Posted On: February 10th, 2015 5:44PM
The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas of the country. Whenever I encounter someone that is considering a move to the area they often ask “Where should I live in the Phoenix area”? This is always a difficult question to answer because Phoenix, affectionately known as The Valley of the Sun, is in many ways unlike any other area of the country with regard to employment and housing. The Phoenix MSA (which is officially known as Phoenix/Scottsdale/Mesa) consists not only of Phoenix, the largest city, but several other large cities like Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe and dozens of smaller suburbs that together comprise a massive land area of over 10,000 sq. miles. Traveling from one end of the valley to the other can literally be classified as a “trip”. So commutes become not only a matter of time, but of distance as well. With little public transportation, most residents here use their automobiles to commute, so living within a reasonable commute is not only important from an economic sense, but from a travel time perspective as well.
When it comes to employment here in the Phoenix area again we break from the tradition found in many other parts of the country. Instead of just one central employment hub as in many older cities, there are several employment hubs throughout the valley. Downtown Phoenix, which has shown encouraging growth in the last few years, of course is the largest employment hub. Phoenix also boasts of job centers in the North Central corridor, Deer Valley and the west side I-10 corridor. While other major employment hubs such as Scottsdale which is home to the likes of GoDaddy, Pay Pal and Vanguard (just to name a few) is another. The east valley cities of Chandler, home to Intel, Verizon, Broadcom (and other high-tech companies) and Mesa with its fast growing Gateway Regional Airpark are homes to thousands of jobs. Tempe, home to Arizona State University is also home to American Airlines (formerly U.S. Airways), Freescale, Wells Fargo and others.
With all these options available to someone relocating you can see that when relocating to the Phoenix area one must research many factors before deciding on where to live. As is common most people want to live in communities that are clean, convenient, low crime, good schools and offer a variety of entertainment choices. Fortunately, regardless of the area where you will be employed, north, south east or west, there are housing options that will suit most people needs within a reasonable commute, if you know where to look. I always recommend before relocating to the Phoenix area to pay us a visit. Learn more about your employer and place of employment and then find a good Real Estate Agent that knows the local area. Their expertise will be invaluable when it comes to making Phoenix a great place to call home.
Posted On: February 4th, 2015 9:37PM
Over the years I have worked with many mortgage companies and many Loan Officers. I even made an attempt at originating loans myself and found it was harder than it looked. But one thing I can state with confidence is that a Loan Officer can make or break your purchase.
Whenever I work with a new client that is seeking to purchase a property using mortgage financing my first concern is "How will they obtain their financing?". While I know I cannot pressure or require any lender, the buyer is free to choose. I know that the lender they choose could be a factor.
As in any business there are going to be individuals that do an great job and some that don't. Over the years I have learned who some of the good guys are and who to avoid. So when I client asks for a referral I gladly offer a list of reliable lenders. It just takes the worry out of this aspect of the transaction.
Because getting money from the bank, should be like having money in the bank.
Posted On: February 3rd, 2015 3:25AM
As REALTOR Safety Month winds down and in the light of the recent killing of Beverly Carter an Arkansas real estate agent this is a good time to remind agents and clients alike of the risk of encountering someone who may be intent on doing you harm.
As an agent I meet new people on a regular basis. Most of the time I have little or no opportunity to screen the person before we begin to interact. Showing vacant homes or even holding open houses presents a situation where you have little or no control over an unexpected meeting. You have to be a quick judge of character and ask the right questions.
Clients too are not averse of risk when meeting a new agent. As a client you should always take a few minutes to research the agent that you are planning to meet. For most clients it is easy enough to find information on an agent, including contact information and even pictures. A few minutes of investigation will let you know if the person you are meeting is in fact the person you are expecting to meet. Meeting first at an agent’s office or in a public place may be safer than meeting at a vacant home.
Many people that want to view homes like to remain anonymous. They are concerned that the agent will "bug" them if they revel too much about themselves. When meeting with an agent at an open house or a home showing please don't be insulted if I ask you to sign in or even present some ID to verify your identity. It is for you safety and the agents.
If you prefer not to have the agent contact you after your meeting, let them know right up front. Most agents are very good at honoring a person’s request.
Posted On: February 3rd, 2015 3:24AM
"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition." Or so wrote famous writer and essayist ~Samuel Johnson in the 18owners century.
Johnson who was famous for such important works like “A Dictionary of the English Language”, knew what many people who came afterward began to realize. That owning your own property, your own home, would enrich your life and give you a feeling of purpose and stature. Americans have always felt that home ownership, whether small apartment home or sprawling estate should be viewed with the pride of ownership and sense of accomplishment. As author John Howard Payne stated “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”
The housing crisis which resulted in many foreclosures and short sales is now well behind us and many of the people that were affected are again able to purchase and restart the pursuit toward the American dream. While many are still a bit gun shy it has been shown that home owners in the United States tend to have greater wealth and higher incomes than their tenant counterparts.
Today, home ownership in the U.S is at an estimated 67.4%, down slightly from an all-time high of 69% in 2004. But the number is trending upward and with the improving economy and job outlook that movement should continue...
What does home mean to you? A place that gives you unconditional love, happiness, and comfort? A place where you can bury your sorrows and shame without guilt? To have a happy home, you don't need the trappings of opulence. Any place can be home as long as you are comfortable and secure. A small house in need of repair would be a palace to a homeless person.
While the number of wonderful historical references to the wonders of home are nearly boundless. There are a few that may warm your heart or lift your spirits.
“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort”. - Jane Austen
“I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world”. - George Washington
“Peace, like charity, begins at home.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Or you can simply sum it up by saying: “Home Sweet Home”
Posted On: February 3rd, 2015 3:22AM
Several years ago my wife and decided to take a vacation with one of our neighbors. The neighbors had a nice boat and invited us to visit their favorite lake and stay at the “resort” that they had been going to for many years. Of course we jumped at the chance of spending a relaxing week of boating, swimming, early morning coffee and late night cocktails on the porch overlooking the lake. When we arrived at the “resort”, our hearts sank. The “resort” turned out to be a group of rustic cabins overlooking the lake. The front door of our cabin barely closed, the screen door was half off the hinges and most of the window screens were dirty or damaged or both. What a terrible first impression! Had it not been for our commitment to our friends, we might have turned around and left before we ever checked in. As it turned out, the cabin was rustic but more than adequate for our needs and the resort turned out to be quaint, quiet and relaxing. The vacation was fun and we actually returned there years later for another visit.
So why am I posting this story? Quite simply it is to remind home sellers that first impressions are so very important when placing a home on the market. So many home sellers want to invest big money in replacing appliances, carpeting, light fixtures and other items that may not add to their return on investment while ignoring the simple things that make a good impression.
Putting your home on the market? Remember that curb appeal is the first step in making a home inviting. Look at your front door. Is it clean? Does it seal well? Open and close easily? Do the lock(s) match? If not, repair it or replace it. Paint it or clean it. Fix the weather stripping around it.
How about the walkway to the front door? Is it clean, free of debris? Is the concrete cracked and sunken? Do the steps sag or droop? Again, clean it up, fix it up, and make it look nice.
Plant or place some flower pots along the walkway or near the door to add color and fragrance to the visitor’s psyche.
All this can be done with a minimal amount of cost and labor. At least the buyer will walk into the home with a positive mindset and you will have made a good first impression.