Remove Road Blocks To Sell Your Home

Sell your homeEvery seller has a common goal in mind: sell your  home quickly and for the most money. Yet when it comes time to sell the home not every seller will be prepared.

Many forget or don’t know how to remove road blocks that can stall the sales process or kill it completely. If you’re getting ready to list your home for sale, pay close attention. What you do before you list it can help or hurt the process.

Remove or limit the areas where your home is lacking. Study your neighborhood and the homes that are for sale. If your home is consistently coming up short in comparison, maybe it’s not landscaped enough or it hasn’t had any upgrades in 20 years, and it’s overdue for some renovations or, at the very least, repairs to clean it up.

Get your home “show-ready” so that it isn’t lacking or appearing deficient compared to other homes in your neighborhood. Placing a home on the market that isn’t ready (needs repairs) can cause the home to receive very little foot traffic and it can end up being on the market for a long time.

If, for instance, you have vinyl flooring that’s peeling, consider replacing it with a flooring that matches the style of your home and is comparable to the neighborhood so that it is consistent with the quality of floors in other homes in the area.

Remove YOU from the home. Yes, it’s tricky to remove your personality from the home, especially when you’re still living it. But it’s very necessary. This doesn’t just mean taking down personal photos and putting away private items like medicines. This means that if you’ve turned a room into a particular “you” room – your style, your personality, and your unique use of the room – consider re-doing the room to make it more neutral, versatile, and appealing to buyers.

For instance, if one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom house was converted into a meditation room, it’s wise, when listing the home for sale, to show it with both rooms as bedrooms rather than one bedroom and one room that is uniquely decorated for a specific use other than sleeping. Buyers can sometimes imagine how else they’d use a room but if it looks like too much work to make changes, they’ll keep hunting for a house that is better suited to their needs.

If you’ve converted the garage into a den, office, or kids play area to fit your particular lifestyle, consider making it a garage again. Find a way to show your home with the garage as clean, useful, and as an extended-living space but also with the option to park cars in it. Not everyone wants to park on the street just to have a few extra hundred square feet of living space. An appraiser can actually knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal if the garage can’t be used to park cards in because it’s considered a loss of covered parking.

Remove strong odors from your home. Of course, I’m talking about foul smelling odors but sometimes too much of a good thing can also be a turn off. Gather up pet toys, pet beds, pet food, and make sure the house is pristine. If you’re using fragrances in your home from sprays, candles, potpourri or even real flowers, make sure that the odor isn’t overwhelming. Subtle is good… overbearing can make people think you’re trying to cover up something bad in the home.

Ultimately, the goal is to make the home have mass appeal with as few road blocks as possible to sell it. Think like a buyer and see your home the way you’ll be looking at your own next home purchase. Then maybe you’ll understand the importance of making some changes before you list your home for sale.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Home Prices Highest Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2005

Home prices increasingTwo major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November.

Case-Shiller’s seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over.” He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices.

December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November’s year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December’s reading reflected the highest year-over-year increase in home prices since 2005.

Analysts note that a slower pace of increasing home prices may allow more buyers to enter the market, and may also encourage more buyers to list their properties for sale.

This would increase inventories of available homes and relieve pent-up demand for homes. Although home price growth is cooling off, average home prices remain 20 percent below their pre-recession peak in 2006.

Home Prices Face Challenges In 2014

Another factor in slower growth of home prices is regional differences in the rate of economic recovery. Cities including Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado recently set records for escalating home prices.

Five states including Florida and Michigan accounted for almost half of foreclosures completed during 2013. Slow job growth and poor winter weather were also blamed for slower gains in home prices.

New mortgage rules and relatively strict mortgage lending standards may continue to dampen housing markets, but there is some good news as some lenders are easing credit standards.

Home Prices Higher For 10th Consecutive Quarter

The Federal Housing Finance Administration reported similar trends in December home price data for properties either financed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.80 percent in December as compared to November’s reading.

Home prices were 7.70 percent higher for the fourth quarter of 2013 than for the same period in 2012. Adjusted for inflation, this reading indicates an approximate year-over-year increase of 7 percent.

FHFA reported higher readings for 38 states in its fourth quarter 2013 Home Price Index, as compared with 48 states in in the third quarter of 2013.  In order of home price appreciation, the top five states with highest growth in home prices were Nevada, California, Arizona, Oregon and Florida.

These calculations were seasonally adjusted and based on home purchases only.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Managing Your Stress When Selling Your Home

Selling a homeSelling your home can be one of the more stressful times in your life. When we are going a  stressful time, our bodies naturally react to the situation. This “fight or flight” reaction to stress makes us more alert and ready to avoid danger, so it is helpful in the moment.

However, if you are in a constant state of stress on an ongoing basis, this can be very damaging to your health and can increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, depression and other problems.

Chronic stress can also result in insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and much more – as well as emotional issues such as panic attacks, anxiety and worry.

This is why learning to manage your stress is crucial to your health. Many people try to manage their stress by overindulging in unhealthy substances, such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

However, by managing stress in this way you are actually making the problem worse because you are contributing to the stress on your body.

So what are some of the healthy ways that you can manage stress?

Express Your Feelings

A lot of stress comes from being angry or upset about a situation, but keeping your thoughts and feelings inside. You can relieve that stress by sharing your feelings and expressing how you feel.

Take Time To Relax

No matter how busy and chaotic things might be, take time for yourself to recharge and relax. Even if it’s only 20-30 minutes per day, having a bath, reading a book or going for a walk – it will really help to keep you calm.

Get Some Exercise

The act of exercising is a great stress reliever because it encourages your brain to produce feel-good chemicals such as endorphins. Also, your body will be better able to fight stress when it is in good shape.

Make Sure You Get Sleep

When there are a lot of demands on you, it can be tempting to want to skip sleep so that you can get more things done. However, when you are sleep deprived you will actually be much less effective and you won’t be able to handle stressful situations as well. Make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable time and get the sleep you need.

Speak To A Friend

Having a close friend who you can discuss your issues with can be a huge help when you are feeling stressed. Even if they can’t solve anything, it is simply helpful to have someone who listens, cares about how you are feeling and offers some encouraging words.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

 

Great remodeled Mid-Century Ranch Close to Old Towne Scottsdale

6519 E CYPRESS Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | 1797 sqft
$315,000


FANTASTIC LOCATION! Close to Old Town, World Class Shopping, Dining, Arts, Entertainment, Tempe Town Lake, ASU. Great remodeled MID-CENTURY RANCH, N/S lot, S patio. This home is NOT the cookie-cutter remodel.Polished concrete floors, recessed lighting, jetted tub, Bosch dishwasher, Dacor Gas Range, New Cabinets w/pull out drawers & so much more. It has been owner occupied & well maintained. Fresh interior/exterior paint, Great floorplan, lots of space for living/entertaining. Nice street scene & views of Papago Buttes.

More Details HERE

Call Debbie to show, we make it easy!
480 688-2000

Sincuidados Home in a Class of it’s Own

30600 N. Pima Road #52

4 bedrooms  / 3 Bathrooms / 3152 Square Feet

$835,000

Stunning interior lot nestled amidst pristine gardens. Charming Sincuidados is in a class of it’s own and this home shows, flows well & feels good with a wonderful great room split floor plan. Some updating has been done. Very gently lived in as a vacation home, but beautifully cared for. Most windows have been replaced w/Anderson Replacement Windows. Charming master suite w/fireplace, secondary bedrooms are spacious, updated baths, lots of storage. Open, bright kitchen with island and breakfast bar overlooking gazebo, pool and grounds. You feel like you are at the Desert Botanical Gardens .*** Some furnishings available by separate bill of sale.

More Details HERE

Call Debbie to show, we make it easy!
480 688-2000

What To Consider When Buying A Fixer-Upper

Buying a Fixer UpperYou have  a great idea.  You will purchase an older run-down property and  have the chance to fix it up and turn it into the home of your dreams.  This works for some, but it’ not for everyone.

What to Consider

 
To Renovate, Or Not To Renovate

However, the renovation project that is simply a quick montage in your imagination will actually take several months or years and thousands of dollars in real life.

The concept of renovating a “fixer-upper” property is exciting, but the reality is a lot of work and investment. How can you make sure that you are making the right choice for you?

One of the main advantages of buying a fixer-upper property is that you will usually be able to get the property for a much cheaper price. But is it worth it for the amount of time and money you will need to invest in the property?

Here Are Some Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself When Making Your Decision:

  • Do you (or your friends and family members) have the skills to be able to perform most of the renovations yourself? If you do the labour yourself, you will be able to save thousands of dollars that you would have spent hiring contractors, which will make the renovation a much more profitable project.
  • Are you comfortable with the idea of living in a construction zone, perhaps for several months or more? There will be dust and noise everywhere and you might have to cope without a kitchen or a shower for a while.
  • Make sure that you have a thorough inspection of the home performed so that you can see whether the home has a sturdy foundation, good wiring and plumbing, etc. If your inspection reveals any structural issues or water damage, you might be in for more than you bargained for. You need to start with a house that has “good bones”.
  • If the home has serious structural, plumbing or wiring problems you should stay away – these repairs are very expensive but “invisible”, so you are unlikely to recoup your costs when you sell the home.
  • Add up the estimated costs for renovating the property along with the cost of the home – does it still work out to be a better deal or would you be better off buying a new property.
  • What is your strategy for financing the renovations? If your only option is putting it on the credit card, you might want to think twice because this is a very high interest option.

Buying a fixer-upper property can be a great investment and can give you the opportunity to transform a run-down old house into the property of your dreams. However, make sure you that you consider the choice carefully before making your decision.

For more information about about buying or selling a fixer-upper or any questions regarding real estate, contact Debra Obrock:480 688-2000
 

How To Get The Full Asking Price When Selling Your Home

Selling a homeSelling your home is a complex process and there are a lot of factors that you will need to consider. Your goal will be to sell your home in a timely manner, while getting the highest price you can.

However, many properties sell at a discount because the buyer is able to negotiate a lower price on the property.

Although it is impossible to guarantee that you will receive your full asking price when you sell your home, there are things that you can do to increase the likelihood of this happening. You will need to have a strategy that attracts highly motivated buyers and improves competition.

How To Get The Full Asking Price When You Are Selling Your Home:

  1. First of all, make sure that you have a reasonable asking price to start with. Research your local real estate market and find out what other buyers paid for homes comparable to yours.
  2. Hire a home inspector to perform a full inspection of your home, so that you can fix any problems. If you can show the buyer the repair receipts and inspection report, you will be in a better position to ask for full price.
  3. First impressions are very important and can improve a buyer’s perception of your home’s value. Make sure that your property has plenty of curb appeal and feels welcoming.
  4. De-clutter and clean your home – this makes it appear more spacious and luxurious and will make a buyer willing to pay more.
  5. Ask your real estate agent to create a flyer that compares your home’s price to other similar listings in the area – showing that your home is a great deal. This will convince buyers that your asking price is already discounted.
  6. Schedule your property tours as close together as possible. This can mean that you get multiple offers at around the same time, which will encourage the buyer who is eager to seal the deal to pay full price.
  7. If you have any rooms with bright colours that might not appeal to the average buyer, give them a quick makeover with neutral tones. These are safe colours that will increase the odds that your home will sell.
  8. If you have the budget to renovate one of the rooms in your home, it should be the kitchen or the bathroom. Studies have shown that renovations and upgrades in those two rooms have the most impact on the potential selling price of the home.

With these tips, you should be more likely to achieve the full asking price when you are selling your home. For more tips, give Debra Obrock a call today: 480 688-2000

How To Create Equity Within Your Home

Home EquityHome equity is the difference between what your home can sell for and what you owe on it. Generally, the longer you own your home, the more equity you build.

This is money you can use before you sell your home through a home equity loan. Just keep in mind that a home equity loan is secured with your home. If you can’t make the payments, you can lose your home.

Use Your Home Equity In Smart Ways:

  1. Remodel Your Home – If you’ve wanted to add on a family room or modernize your kitchen, consider using your home’s equity to fund the project. Home improvements usually increase your home’s marketability and value.
  2. Make Needed Major Repairs – Your home’s equity can be a funding source for major repairs like plumbing problems and re-roofs. Once again, this is an improvement for your home that will help keep its value up.
  3. Buy Another Property – Real estate is still a safe investment. You can use your home equity to buy a second property when home values are down. When the market recovers, you can sell the investment property for a profit. This also works if you have to move out of town and are still trying to sell your home. If you can afford the payments, use your home’s equity to purchase your new home until the current one sells.
  4. Pay For Unexpected Medical Expenses Or Job Loss – You never know when a medical emergency or job loss will leave you in debt. A home equity loan can give you the money you need to get through this difficult time.

As your agent, Debra Obrock will make sure your home is ready to sell fast and t top dollar. Call Debra today: 480 688-2000

The Importance of Credit Repair

Credit ScoreCredit repair is the perfect solution for all your financial worries. The process of credit repair is used to identify mistakes, correct the relevant information, and monitor the credit bureaus to ensure that your credit reports are accurate and error free.

Whether you want to apply for an auto loan, insurance policy, employment or a home mortgage, the decision of the lender and employer is largely influenced by your credit reports. Your reports are issued by Experian, Equifax and Trans Union, the 3 major credit bureaus.

Credit Report

A credit report includes comprehensive details about your credit related activities including current debt, type of accounts, history of accounts, positive accounts and negative reporting accounts. Included are inquires that have been made by others to view your credit report and any late payment information. The ‘credit report’ is basically used to identify your credit score, financial strength, credit history and whether or not you pay your bills in a timely manner.

According to recent research almost 79% of Americans have some type of inaccuracy, miscalculation and questionable negative accounts in their credit report files. Regardless of how big or small the error is, it can damage your credit score greatly and lower your financial strength.

Let’s say you want to purchase a dream home for your family. You apply for mortgage and it gets rejected just because the information in your credit report reduces your credit score badly. To avoid this, credit repair is the perfect way to ensure your credit reports are accurate and up to date.

Credit Repair

Through credit repair you can say goodbye to your financial worries and credit issues and enjoy a host of benefits like:

  • Better insurance policies premiums
  • Best loan terms
  • Mortgage loans with low interest rate
  • Ability to improve and achieve a good credit score

Self-Managing Your Credit Repair vs. Hiring a Professional?

It is advisable to hire a professional and a reputable credit repair service for the job instead of trying to manage this tedious job yourself. Hiring a professional service is a good idea simply because of their wealth of experience, impeccable expertise, comprehensive knowledge, and access to cutting edge tools.

So, what are you waiting for? Do it now!

What Homeowners Should Know at Tax Time

taxes“The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”

— Mark Twain

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service circulates a large publication, entitled “1040 Instructions” which is available on its Web site. According to the IRS, the average time required to complete and file Form 1040 (the most commonly used income tax return form) is 15 hours. The bulk of this time – eight hours – involves only record keeping; tax planning accounts for two hours, completion of the form and submission another four hours, and one hour for miscellaneous.

You should have received statements from your employer and lender at the end of January. By law, any lender (private or commercial) that receives $600 or more in mortgage interest must send the borrower Form 1098. Although in recent years, most consumers were not paying points to buy down a mortgage loan, any points that were paid must also be listed on this form. The form will also include any mortgage insurance premiums that were paid last year.

If you paid such insurance premiums on policies issued on or after Jan. 1, 2007, and if the policy was for “aquisition debt” – which refers to a home that you purchased or substantially improved – those payments may be deductible on your 2013 tax return. Unfortunately, this was one of the many tax benefits that Congress did not extend for this year.

When you get Form 1098, don’t just put it in your tax file. Review it carefully, since the same information has been transmitted to the IRS. Get an amortization table – available on the Internet or in local bookstores – and make sure that all of your payments have been properly credited. This is especially important for those of you who have been making extra principal payments over the years, so as to reduce your loan obligation as quickly as possible.

And if you bought or refinanced a house (including a condominium or a cooperative apartment) last year, there may be real estate tax adjustments or interest payments reflected on the HUD-1 settlement statement which may not be included in the1098 form.

Every year, there is always something new in the tax law. Sometimes, it will cost you more money. For example, beginning in 2013, a 0.9 percent Medicare tax may be imposed, depending on your income.

But you may also get a tax benefit. If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or even a foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally can use the married filing jointly or married filing separately on your 2013 return. According to the IRS, this is true even if you and your spouse now live in a state that does not recognized such marriages.

I am always asked – especially by homeowners who for the first time will be able to itemize their tax deductions – what’s the best way to start. My suggestion: Go to the IRS Web site, and download a number of its helpful publications.

Recently, the IRS announced that it has significantly updated “Your Federal Income Tax” forms. According to the IRS, Publication 17 includes important changes to help taxpayers “get the most out of various tax benefits and get a jump on preparing their 2013 federal income tax returns.” This 292-page guide contains thousands of interactive links to help taxpayers quickly get answers to their questions.

Other publications which may assist you include: No. 1, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer;” No. 502, “Medical and Dental Expenses;” No. 504, “Divorced or Separated Individuals;” No. 523, “Selling Your Home;” and No. 530, “Tax Information for First Time Homebuyers.”

A complete list can be found at www.irs.gov, click on Forms and Publications.

Additionally, you can obtain free help with problems you cannot resolve on your own by contacting the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service. According to the IRS, there are offices in every state as well as in the District. For more information, Click Here.

Finally, beware of scam e-mails or phone calls. The IRS periodically issues a warning not to provide any personal and financial information – such as name, Social Security number, bank account and credit card or even PIN numbers – to anyone calling or e-mailing claiming to represent the IRS.

The IRS makes it very clear: It does not send taxpayers e-mails about their accounts. And the only way to get a tax refund or to arrange for a direct deposit is to file a tax return. For more information, see “Suspicious e-mails and identity theft” on the IRS Web site.