4 Tips to Selling Your Home Quickly!

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your home on a timeline, it’s important to have a plan of action in place.  While it can be a stressful scenario, it’s not impossible to make the sale of your home happen without pulling your hair out.  Let’s start by saying that the current market is the best time to be a seller.  Current data from the National Association of Realtors reports that 52% of homes have recently sold less than a month of being placed on the market.  The Valley of the Sun real estate market is reflecting the same trend.
blog picMarket the Positive- This is an important tip regardless of the timeline of your home. But when you are assessing your home, take notes of the best features.  If it’s an amazing view of your huge backyard, make sure you have your windows cleaned and open so that it’s an instant draw to potential clients.  If you have a huge living room, make sure that you are staging your furniture to highlight the grandness of the space.  In this market, homes that were properly staged before listing sold in an average of 23 days based on finding by the Real Estate Staging Association.  If you don’t have a friend or family member with a staging eye, hire a professional who will help showcase your home.  As a listing agent, I am happy to recommend ideas that will help you sell.

Professional Photos- Have you ever clicked on a listing only to find photos that could have been made from a smartphone?  This is bad marketing strategy.  If you have lead a potentially interested buyer to look more at your listing, you certainly want to make sure that you appeal them enough to schedule a showing with professional photos of your home.  Hire a professional who has an eye for drawing in buyers.  Pay attention to lighting and make sure that your home is ready to shine for photographs!

Fair Price- If you are in a time crunch to sell and move on, then marketing your home for a fair price is key.  You can’t consider factors such as the original home price or your mortgage balance.  The bottom line is that your home is worth what buyers will pay. High prices will push buyers away but keep in mind that you will want to place the sticker price on receiving a couple of offers to meet you in the middle on offers.  Hire a trustworthy agent that will help you set a competitive price based on recent local home sales.  Knowing the market and key strategy are imperative in this market.

Competitive Agent- This is the time when you have permission not to use a friend who is a real estate agent on the side.  You will need an agent who promotes your listing and skillfully markets your home.  A good agent will sit down with you to develop a plan to successfully sell your home.  They know how to attract the best buyers by highlighting your home’s features to the right area.  They also know the market area like the back of their hand.

As an Arizona Native, I am happy to place buyers into the home of their dreams. When it is time to sell, I can successfully get the maximum amount of money with… a seamless transaction for the seller. Achieving great results has been my success – call me today so that I can help you. 480-466-8193.

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The History of the Lehi Mesa Community

Lehi is an old-established community founded within the city of Mesa in 1876. It actually dates back before Mesa was even existed by Mormon settlers who were sent to establish their faith in Arizona. Their mission was to connect churches from Salt Lake City to Mexico. Under the leadership of Daniel Young, the area was under attack by the Apache Indians. The settlers built a fort as a place of refuge. As the area grew, this community became incorporated. While the fort no longer exists, a marker has been erected from the main church to commemorate the once-standing construction.
This area is a quiet neighborhood that holds so much history.

Planning to sell your home? Don’t wait. Place it on the market TODAY!

You probably had to read the headline twice.  Today?  You mean, today.  Yes, we mean TODAY.  Why the urgency?  The 2017 housing market shows that now is the time to sell.  January unveiled great numbers which paths the way for a strong housing market for this year.

for sale
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”

And CNBC says consumer confidence in the economy is fueling the market:
“U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year high in January as buyers shrugged off higher prices and mortgage rates, a sign of growing confidence in the economy.”

A depleting inventory leaves a challenging market.  In order for a balanced market of homes for sale and interested buyers, the inventory would require a full six-month supply of homes.  The current situation is that there is less than a four-month inventory which means a 7.1% decrease from last year.

Admit it.  These statistics are make you look a little more closely about selling.  The increasing demand and low home supply provides the perfect climate for selling your home for the best price.  I’m more than happy to help you in this process to see if the market is hot in your neighborhood.

The Great Housing Dilemma: Practical steps to selling your old home and buying a new one.

buy-sell
The steps to “moving up” or “sizing down” can be a daunting and confusing one.  Do you sell first?  Buy first?  When is a good time to talk to a financial institution about your plans?  When does a real estate agent come into the picture?  You may not know where to start.  However, I want to reassure you that a good plan can be your best asset.

Oh, the Great Housing Dilemma.  The thought of it can brings so much anxiety.  Remember that the overall goal is to maximize the selling price of your home and find a new one for a reasonable price.  However, If you sell your current home first, where will you live until you find a new one?  If you buy first, you are stuck with paying two mortgages– that is, if a lender has the ability to offer you a second mortgage.

Options during this transition may involve:

Borrow down payment money for the second house from family or friends. Point out that you need help for only a short period, and offer a competitive interest rate. Give the person making the loan a promissory note, secured by a second mortgage (deed of trust) on your new house. Try to arrange it so that no monthly payments are due until your first house sells. Be warned, however, that depending on your financial situation, institutional mortgage lenders may refuse to approve a loan where the down payment doesn’t come from your own resources.

Get a bridge loan from a financial institution. If you have no other choice, it may be possible to borrow money from a bank or other lender to bridge the period between when you close on your new house and when you get your money from the sale of your old one. This idea is that you take out a short-term loan on your existing house, using it toward the down payment and closing costs on your new house, and repaying it when your first house sells.

Bridge loans can, however, be far more expensive than regular mortgage or home equity loans (higher upfront payments as well as interest rates), and they’re not easy to qualify for — you have to have plenty of equity in your current home and enough income to pay both mortgage payments indefinitely. The requirements all but negate the benefits of the loan!

First things first, evaluate the housing market with a trusted licensed real estate agent like myself.  I can give you current market value for your home to sell as well as advise on what is on the market for your next home.  With the marketing that I can do early on, I may be able to secure a buyer while you are preparing your home for sale.  I currently have an active listing that I “pre-marketed” for 3 months and accumulated interested buyers.  Now the home is actively for sale, we have multiple offers!  Multiple potential buyers who are interested in the listing will sell the home very quickly.

I am happy to do “Seller Net Sheets” that allow you to see estimated values of what you will net.  Talking to a lender will also determine what the lender feels your budget should be.  This allows you to know what is a reasonable next purchase should you need or desire to finance that purchase.  My goal is to get all of the information and planning done upfront so the transaction is seamless when we decide to proceed.

If you still have questions, I’m here to help!  Call me at 480-466-8193.  Erin Newman

Weekend Warrior: Take Your Front Door From Tired to Inviting

Old man winter is behind us.  It’s time to bring out the rakes and potting soil and bring life back into your yard this spring!  Whether you have just moved in, putting your home on the market, and need a new look, spend a weekend doing a few things to give a brand new look to your home and plenty of curb appeal.
front door before
A few tip that will make a huge difference…..
1.) Clean out old flower beds by raking dead leaves and plants, rocks, and debris .  Replace it with fresh mulch for a more manicured look.
2.) Replaced a tired doormat with a colorful one.  Find a versatile wreath or door decoration that adds character to your front door.
3.) Find flowers and plants that you can easily take care of during the warmer months.  Be mindful of watering and daily sun/shade requirements.
4.) Never underestimate the power of pressure-washing and a fresh coat of paint.

front door after

Daydreaming of a Vacation?

Planning the Best Summer Vacation Ever

It’s only early spring but there are plenty of reasons why you should already be thinking of summer.  If you are like lots of families, the beach is what you think of when you plan your getaway.  But there are lots of other places that get people out, too!  Here are some of the best tips to plan a trip to remember.

beach pic

Be an Information Gatherer

Think about what kind of vacation you want.  Touring a new city?  A relaxing beach trip?  A weekend at the lake?  Maybe two weeks on a cruise in Europe?

Whatever your way to un-wind is, start gathering information with reviews and suggestions from friends and family.  Social media is a great place to start!   After all, people you know will give you their most valuable (and honest) opinion.  If you want a family-friendly beach, make sure there are plenty of activities for those rainy days (ie: movie theatres, indoor putt-putt courses, outlet shopping).  If you’re thinking of exploring a new city, where are the best hotels and restaurants?   You get the gist.  It’s all about doing your homework before arriving into town.

Book Early

The best places to stay book up early.  It’s just a fact.  Check out VRBO for renting condos and homes during your stay if you want more than a hotel room.  Even if you don’t book early, you may be able to find great deals for owners who want to rent out their space for weeks that aren’t booked.  If your trip will require flying, check out sites like Skyscanner which will keep tabs and alert you on the cheapest fares.  Make reservations at hot restaurants that tend to book up during peak seasons.  A little planning will go a long way on the wallet and your time!

cruise pic

Join the Party

Many families use vacations as time to be together.  But if you’re up for it, consider inviting along another family (or couple) that enjoys the same activities.  This will not only help with defraying expense by splitting the cost of renting a beach house but you can rotate cooking meals.  If you’re traveling with kids, you can also trade off babysitting with date nights.  The more, the merrier!

Make It Educational

Even if your beach trip was designed for relaxation, explore the local area with a tour with a lighthouse or visit a Civil War fort.  Even a ghost tour will give you a little history of a time long gone.  For kids, there is nothing more valuable than seeing places that they have read in their school textbooks.  Don’t forget to take pictures of them to share with their class in the fall!

Do Something Memorable

One of the best parts of traveling is doing something that you don’t usually do.  Maybe parasail or take dinner cruise to look for dolphins.  This can even be eating food that is beyond your comfort zone (fried octopus, anyone?).  Even if you are staying right here in the U.S. ( or your own state), it doesn’t mean that you can’t explore different tastes or experiences.

5 Fun Facts About Gilbert, AZ

Every town has a history.  Gilbert has roots of being a farming community long before it evolved into the city we know today.  Here are some fun things to know:

  1. In 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway requested for land donations to build a rail line  between Phoenix and Florence. A rail siding was established on property owned by William “Bobby” Gilbert. The town was eventually named after the farmer.
  2. This town was once known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World”.  It was an agricultural depot and the access to the railway could easily ship hay especially to the surrounding towns of Chandler, Mesa, and Phoenix.
  3. Gilbert is currently the most populous incorporated town in the country. The last three decades has increased in population at an exponential rate due to neighboring Phoenix for job opportunities.  According to the 1980 census, 5,717 people took up residence in Gilbert.  Compare those numbers to 208,453 in 2010.  Talk about a population boom!  And in 2005, it was listed as one of the safest cities in America.
  4. The Gilbert Historical Museum has reports of being haunted with after-hours residents.  The century-old building has been visited by paranormal investigators to further look into mysterious giggles and creaks.  This community was once a part of the Wild West so lots of history are on these grounds.
  5. Joe’s Real BBQ is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.  The owners strived to give patrons a feel of a BBQ joint set in the 1940’s with an ambience to honor that time era.  When the restaurant opened in 1995, they bought the current building built in 1929 that was originally a Safeway Pay’n’Takit.

Thinking of moving to a place Gilbert?  I would love to help you find a home here or anywhere in the Valley of the Sun!erin's email footer 2

Why finding a home in Scottsdale could be your best move

When you picture the perfect weekend away, what do you envision?  Maybe it’s a day on a world-renowned golf course followed by a farm-to-table meal at a local restaurant.  Perhaps it’s strolling through museums and ending your day at a relaxing spa.  It could even be spending the day hiking the beautiful trails of desert. When this is the place that thousands of visitors come to unwind from everyday life, you know there must be something special about Scottsdale.

No matter if you are single, a young family, or a retiree, you can find exactly where you belong here.  It’s no secret that the Valley of the Sun has no shortage of exciting nightlife, outdoor activities, and great homes nestled in a beautiful scenario.  What are you waiting for?

scottsdale pic

Tee Time
Golfing is a favorite hobby in Scottsdale.  Whether it’s for leisure or business affairs, there are plenty of rolling green courses to choose from here.  Surrounded by the complimentary views of mountainous landscapes, this area has become the premier destination for avid (and novice!) golf players around the globe.  A few of the preferred courses of the locals to tee off include Troon North (which continues to hail king of the “must play” courses), Southern Dunes Golf Club, and The Boulders.

The Dining Experience
If you are looking for an evening of fun and food, The Mission Restaurant serves up a mix of traditional dishes with a modern twist.  The atmosphere alone will make you feel like you are miles away from home.  Start your Latin-inspired feast with their famous guacamole and pair it with the perfect tequila cocktail.  You won’t regret it.
When the chef is the southwest nominee recognized by the James Beard Foundation, you know you are in for an amazing culinary experience.  FnB uses locally grown ingredients in dishes that will engage even the most eclectic taste buds.  The menu is seasonally rotated to ensure the freshest quality.  Their award-winning wine list perfectly pairs dishes to the glass.  Be sure to make a reservation!
While locals enjoy celebrating special occasions at this local cafe, the setting at Monarch brings a romantic feel to any meal.  Request a table in the candlelit courtyard to enjoy a chef-inspired 4-course meal.  End it all with a delectable slice of rum cake.

Get Outside
Many locals would agree that it’s almost impossible to live in Scottsdale without enjoying the active lifestyle.  Bike trails, outdoor yoga, and hiking paths invite you to explore the hidden treasures of the city.  Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture breathtaking views!
Best local park?  Pinnacle Peak.  Be ready to spend your entire day enjoying the cactus air!

SAMSUNG CSC
SAMSUNG CSC

Social Scene
If you didn’t know that so much of Scottsdale revolved around food and drinks, take a look at the local event calendar.  From the Scottsdale Culinary Festival to Southwest Festival of Beers, your social agenda will quickly fill up!

Parada del Sol Parade

The Scottsdale Arts Festival welcomes over 170 artists from across the country.  Peruse the booths, enjoy the music, and take home your own masterpiece.  If you are a music lovers, Arizona Musicfest is your scene.  Or check out live music when the sun sets.  Old Towne Tavern offers one the best patios around. Gather some friends, sip on some drinks, and listen to your favorite local band.  You’ll soon find out that Scottsdale is a nightlife kind of town.  Get out and enjoy the scene!

Become Refined
Gather your friends and sip on the best wines in the Valley.  Explore different flavors at wineries and support your local businesses at Aridus Wine Company, LDV Winery, and Postino.
Tap into your cultural side by purchasing an annual membership into one of the area’s museums.  Debuting as one of Arizona’s newest attraction, Museum of the West embraces the art, history, and stories of the American West.  Engage yourself in the rotating exhibitions, events, tours, and activities for the entire family.  The Heard Museum celebrates the heritage and culture of American Indians.  The art exhibits and galleries brings to life how they played a role in shaping our future.  The Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits the modern works of art, design, and architecture.  Check out the events calendar for upcoming galleries, social minglings, and artist meet-and-greets.
While the Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most visited tourist spot, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home Taliesin West can also boost as a national historic landmark.  Tucked at the foothills of McDowell Mountains, you can feel the famous architect’s presence and the legacy he left for the future.

Baseball Fanatics
After a long winter break, baseball spring training returns just in time for spring.  Sports fans flock to this great town from mid-February to late March to spend an afternoon immersed in America’s favorite pastime.  Pitchers and catchers report to local spring training and more than 200 games are booked on the Cactus League schedule.  Root for your team in (practically) your own backyard!

If you’re interested in looking at real estate in Scottsdale, consult a native from the Valley of the Sun!  I’ll be able to find your dream home in your dream community!  Call me- Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.
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There’s lots of reasons why Tempe could be your next neighborhood.

My full-time real estate career takes me all over the valley.  As I talk with my clients, I can get a feel of what they are looking for in a home.  But there’s a bigger picture in mind.  The people.  The neighborhood. The community.  What do they picture doing on the weekends?  Whether it’s hiking or perusing through a local farmer’s market, finding a home is so much more than where you place your head at night.  Through a series of Valley of the Sun Community blogs, I will be featuring several local communities that may give you a new yearning to be there, to connect there, and to live life there.  So let me ask you…what area you want to call home?

Tempe

tempe
If it has been a while since you’ve been to Tempe, it’s time to give it a second look. With a thriving culture of eclectic restaurants, museums, shops, and ASU (Arizona State University for all the non-locals) campus, there’s always something to do.  Walking through downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue gives you a sense of the life here.

Dining local

You’ll quit eating chain food restaurants when you discover the sacred dining district in this part of town.  You never have to leave your own town to experience flavors from all over the globe in the local eateries.  House of Tricks offers a relaxed dining experience and a menu that is sure to satisfy any craving.  Feast on Korean baby back ribs, house smoked salmon, or seared scallops.  Don’t forget to end your meal with a salted caramel-apple bread pudding topped with cinnamon whipped cream

tempe restaurant

Meet friends for Sunday morning brunch at Postino.  The quaint establishments serves up ciabatta French toast and breakfast sandwiches whipped up with only the freshest ingredients.  Check out the wine selection for seasonally rotating menu.  Take in your whole experience while sitting on the patio.

Saturday mornings

If morning runs or getting on the water are your thing, Tempe offers plenty of parks and water recreation.  You’ll soon find your own favorite hotspot for all those sunny desert days when you want to be outside.

One of the most popular spots for everybody- locals and visitors alike- is Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake.  Town Lake boasts the title for largest Independence Day celebration in the state!  But there’s a plethora of activities around the calendar. Check out the Fantasy in Lights Boat Parade in December and Ironman Arizona in November.  Competitive runners enjoy marathons such as The Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, The Color Run, and Run the Distance for Parkinsons.

fourth of july tempe
Hiking or biking fanatic?  Explore the network of trails at Papago Park.  You will enjoy the natural setting and find some of the best views that the Tempe area has to offer.  The park features an archery range, fishing lagoon, and baseball facility. The Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens are conveniently located.

papago
You always hear to think local, buy local, and support local.  Here’s your chance!  Tempe Farmers Market specializes in organic and local products.  If you want to eat healthy or just try out new ingredients, they can guide you towards what you want.  Grab a specialty latte at the coffee bar while you are taking it all in.

Find a workshop or class for the whole family at the Tempe Center of the Arts.  The events calendar is jammed packed with educational classes to weave in history, art, and fun.

Sea Life Arizona offers an interactive aquarium with touch pools and a 360 degree tunnel. Spend a day observing the likes of lionfish, octopus, and sharks.  Be sure to stop by and visit Ziva, the aquarium’s very own resident endangered sea turtle!

Become a hometown tourist

I know what you’re thinking…. “Erin, why would I do something so “tourist-y”?” My response is you’re seeing the city from a whole new perspective.  And if we’re being honest, you know you’re curious about how fast a segway goes.  Take one around Tempe Town Park.  Is there any better way to get to see your own town?

If that doesn’t sound like your speed, there’s plenty of other ways to experience the city. Rent a boat and spend the day on the water, take an electric bike through the trails, or even see the views by hot air balloon!
http://www.tempetourism.com/things-todo/tours-transportation/

A Culture of Art, Food, and Music

Calling all art lovers!  Tempe Festival of the Arts is consistently hailed as one of the top art shows in the nation and is the recipient for the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association.  While locals can enjoy this bi-yearly event in the spring and fall in their own backyard, visitors from all over the country come to this three-day weekend event.  Arts range from photography to ceramics and jewelry but not everybody is invited to participate.  A jury selects the top artists to showcase their work to ensure that guests are viewing the best of the best. As many as 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets displaying unique and hand-made artwork that offers a distinctive shopping experience. In addition to the art, the festival also features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, and street performers for the whole family. Grab lunch and enjoy the day!

Beer and wine bars are a specialty here in Tempe.  Tap into your more refined side (we all have one, right?) at the Arizona Wine Festival for tastings and sales by the glass, bottle, or case. Or if wine isn’t your drink of choice, The Great Arizona Beer Festival features local microbrewery sampling and sales.  Be sure to bring along a DD! tempe wine

Live the college life

Ahhhhh, life in a college town.  The Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) is situated perfectly in Tempe and adds exactly what a community needs.  Of course, there’s always collegiate sporting events and Friday night pep rallies. There’s something special about strolling through campus on a beautiful morning.   If you want Broadway performances, look no further than the Gammage located on campus.   The school has a nationally recognized film school so check out the calendar of events opened to the public.

If you’re interested in looking at real estate in Tempe, consult a native from the Valley of the Sun!  I’ll be able to find your dream home in your dream community!  Call me- Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.