Beware of a Home That Keeps Haunting

haunted-houseWith the economic downturn, anyone dealing in real estate quickly became familiar with previously little-known terms such as foreclosure and short sale. Now that the housing market is picking back up and people are moving on, a new term is coming to light — zombie titles.

The Zombie Title

This is when a home has been vacated because the owners defaulted on their loan and their bank started the foreclosure process. However, for some reason or another the bank never completed the foreclosure and sold the home.

So, when the city starts fining someone for the overgrown grass and dilapidated structure, the homeowner who thought they were finished with the property gets the bill.

A Home That Keeps Haunting

Homeowners think they don’t own the property any longer and therefore try to move on by rebuilding their credit score and finding a new place to live. It can be a rude awakening to find out that not only do they still own a home they could have been living in, but also its long vacancy has caused it to fall into disrepair.

Its Spooking The Neighborhood

These vacant homes can decrease the value of a neighborhood. If the bank or the un-suspecting homeowner are neither one taking care of the property, then it can become overgrown and an eyesore on the block. It becomes a problem with no solution because the owner won’t want to invest any money in fixing up the property when the bank could come back with the foreclosure at any time.

Nail Shut The Foreclosure Coffin

Homeowners who have foreclosed on a home should double check that their bank actually followed through to closing on a sale. They could contact their lender or check public property records just to make sure. Otherwise, they could be haunted by their housing nightmare all over again.

Don’t let the zombie title of a past property haunt your future! Check with your bank to make sure you’re free and clear of your foreclosure. If you’d like more information on zombie titles or have other questions about local real estate, contact Debra Obrock  at: 480 688-2000

Is it time to lower the list price on your home?

Home for Sale  Are you trying to sell your home and finding that it is not selling very well? This might be due to a number of reasons that you can’t control, such as its location or the fact that the home layout is somewhat unusual.

If you are struggling to sell your home, there is one factor that you can alter that might change things – the price.

Many homeowners are reluctant to lower the price of their home, because it feels somewhat like a defeat. However, while you want to make as much money from your house sale as possible – it is better to sell your home at a slightly cheaper price than to let it sit on the market for a long time.

Have You Had Many Lookers, But No Buyers?

If you have had many people come to look at your home, but no one place an offer, this might be a sign that your price is too high. These lookers might be interested in your home, but are waiting for the price to fall before they would consider buying it.

How Long Has Your Home Been On The Market?

Has your house been on the market for more days than the average for your particular neighborhood? If it has, this might be due to the price. Letting your home sit on the market for a long time is not such a good idea, because buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with it. This can turn people off and delay your sale even further.

Do You Have A Deadline?

Perhaps you have a job offer in another city or you have already purchased another home, so you need to sell your house ASAP. In this case, dropping your price a little bit can be a great way to generate buyer interest and get the home sold. Remember – it doesn’t matter how much you need the money, a home is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it.

These are a few situations where you might want to consider reducing the price of your property. To find out more about selling your home, contact Debra Obrock, (480) 688-2000.

How To Beat Out Cash Buyers

 Cash BuyersMost of the time Cash Buyers are beating out those buyers who need to finance their home.  Here’s the scenario that happens all to often in this sellers market. You’ve been searching for the perfect home for quite a while, and finally, you’ve found it! You get all of your finances in order and place an offer on the house.

However, you’re not the only one that loves the home, because there are multiple offers — and one of them is cash.

Cash buyers are seen as desirable because they’re almost always a guaranteed quick close. They don’t have to borrow money from a bank therefore won’t have any financing hang-ups, which is where a large portion of offers fall through. Don’t worry; not all hope is lost.

Here are some tips on how to Beat out Cash Buyers

Less Expensive Homes

If you’ve put offers in on homes at the asking price and are continually beat out by buyers that are paying more, then you might want to consider looking in a lower price range. This is an especially smart strategy for those living in fast-selling markets. By looking at less expensive homes, you can be the one that puts in an offer over the asking price.

20 Percent Down Payment

Save up a higher down payment for the price range of homes you’re considering. If you can come up with 20 percent, then you’re in a position to wave the appraisal contingency for financing with the bank. The more you have in cash, the better.

As-Is Home Inspection

This means that based on the home inspection, you’ll take the property with all its issues, or you’ll walk away. What you won’t do is ask the seller to waste more of their time and money fixing every little problem that’s found.


Waive the seller concessions, such as closing costs and the home warranty, and pay your real estate broker’s fees. These extra costs add up in the mind of the seller and will show that you really want the property.

Going up against cash buyers can be extremely discouraging. But, just because they’re dealing in cash doesn’t mean they’ll get the property. Many investors think they can put in a low offer because they’re dealing in cash.

So show you’re serious about a property, follow the steps above and put in your best offer. You’ll be a homeowner soon enough!

If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees EVERY portion of the real estate transaction give Debra Obrock a call: 480 688-2000 or send her an Email

Great Advice For Young Real Estate Investors

 Young Real estate investorsHow young are young Real Estate Investors? How about Early 20’s? When you are in your early 20s, you are not likely thinking about investing in property and are probably focusing on other things.  However, investing in property at a young age can bring you a lot of advantages.  Investing in property at a young age seems like a bit of a daunting prospect sometimes. Most young people don’t have a lot of disposable income, often have poor credit and perhaps even student loans.

Real estate investing  requires a different approach and style and you might be the only one of your peers who is doing so, but you will definitely reap the benefits later on in life. When you invest long-term, you will start building your financial independence.

Some might believe that it is impossible for a young person to start investing so early in life, but investing in your 20’s is completely possible.

You are not “too busy”, in fact you will find that you have even less spare time as your responsibilities grow when you get older. You will need a little bit of money to get started, but often you can purchase your first property with as little as 3.5% down.

Here are 4 Great Tips for Young Real Estate Investors

  1. Get into very good saving habits from a young age by putting aside your money from first jobs. When you want to take out a mortgage, you will typically need to be able to show savings of 3% of your purchase price.
  2. Maintain a clean credit history and pay all of your bills on time in order to build a great credit rating, so that you can obtain a mortgage with a good rate.
  3. Make the most of technology and social media to learn more about investing in property and to find the best opportunities. You have a wealth of information on investing, all at your fingertips.
  4. Find an older mentor – someone with successful experience who can give you tips on how to choose the right investment.

Another main advantage to investing when you are young is that if anything goes wrong, you will have more time to make mistakes and still recover without affecting your retirement. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so why not get started?

As an experienced Realtor who knows property values in the neighborhood Debra can help young real estate investors find the best deals and make the best offers on investment Real Estate.

The Housing Recovery Is Progressing

Housing Recovery  The Housing Recovery is progressing even if the pending sales of existing homes fell by 1.30 percent in July according to The National Association of REALTORS.  According to the organization’s Pending Home Sales Index, this was the second straight month that pending home sales dropped. July’s Pending Home Sales Index reading was 109.50.

Housing Recovery in Your Region

Signed Purchase Contracts For Existing Homes Tracked In The U.S.

  • Northeast:  – 6.60 percent
  • Midwest:    – 1.00 percent
  • West:        – 4.90 percent
  • South:       + 2.60 percent

What Impacts Housing Recovery?

  • Pending home sales were 6.70 percent higher year-over-year on a national basis. This indicates that the housing recovery is progressing, but at a slower pace.
  • Short supplies of available homes have also impacted sales. In some areas homebuyers are facing competition from multiple buyers for individual homes.
  • Another report released earlier in the week showed that the pace of rising home prices also slowed. This connects with fewer pending home sales, as when demand for homes cools, prices are likely to fall as well.
  • Pending home sales serve as an indicator for future home sales, as purchase contracts typically lead to completed home sales within two to three months.

Housing Market Developments Could Delay Fed Stimulus Decision

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it may begin reducing its stimulus program of buying $85 billion per month in U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

The Fed has repeatedly stated that continued monitoring of economic trends would weigh heavily on its decision if and when to modify its current stimulus program.

Mortgage rates have risen more than a percentage point since May when the Fed began discussing potentially “tapering” its monthly bond purchases.

The Fed may interpret the slower pace of rising home prices and pending home sales as a sign that it’s not yet time to reduce its stimulus program. This could help with lowering mortgage rates, which are expected to rise when the Fed reduces its monthly securities purchases and eventually ends its stimulus plan.

The housing recovery has led the economic recovery; faltering indicators in the housing sector suggest that the overall recovery is a fragile process.

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Home Prices Increasing At Highest Rate Since 1977

Home prices increasingHome Prices increasing at highest rate since 1977 according to data released by RealtyTrac Inc.  The U.S. housing markets continue to drive the economic recovery

National home prices rose by 11.90 percent year-over-year for June.

48 states reported rising home prices with only Delaware and Mississippi reporting lower home prices. Nevada led the states with a 26.50 percent gain over June 2012.

Cities also fared well on housing prices; 99 of the 100 largest U.S. cities reported gains in home prices.

Rising Home Prices And Mortgage Rates, Short Supply Of Homes

According to Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, home price trends are rising at their fastest pace since 1977. While good news for sellers, homebuyers may find fewer affordable options over time while also contending with rising mortgage rates.

In spite of rapidly rising home prices, national home prices remain about 19 percent below their peak in April 2006.

Why The Shortage Of Available Homes?

Some homeowners are hoping to recoup losses on their homes before listing them for sale. This could be a risky decision, as many economists have previously characterized the last peak of the housing market to be a “bubble,” or an abnormal spike in home values.

In some markets cash buyers are snapping up homes and making it difficult for mortgage-dependent homebuyers to compete.

Another common scenario that presents challenges to home buyers in areas where homes are in high demand occurs when there are multiple purchase offers for one home.

Buyers who rely on mortgage loans for financing their home purchase can improve their chances by being pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home.

Fewer Foreclosed Homes Contribute To Rising Home Prices

RealtyTrac estimates that 500,000 home mortgages will be foreclosed this year. This is approximately 25 percent lower than the number of 2012 residential foreclosures.

Bank-owned homes are typically offered at lower prices and with incentives such as direct financing, but most are sold as-is with no warranties or guarantees as to their condition.  Multiple foreclosed homes within a community can drag down home prices, so fewer foreclosed homes is positive for homeowners and communities alike.

Want To Buy A Home? Don’t Give Up

Rising mortgage rates and home prices can present challenges, but working with your local real estate professional can help with finding an affordable home. Programs are available for assisting eligible first-time buyers with their down payment and closing costs.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans that provide a low fixed rate for a specified introductory period provide an alternative to higher payments required of a fixed-rate mortgage. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good option for first-time buyers who plan to “move up” within a few years.

For assistance in finding an affordable home please feel free
to call Debra at:: (480) 688-2000
for a list of homes in your price range.

Buying a Home? Choose the Best Location

Choose Best LocationChoose the Best Location is probably the best advice you will receive when purchasing a home.   The area of the city where your home is located will have an impact on its future value as well as your lifestyle.

Location, Location, Location still holds true no matter where you are buying a home or in what price range.

How to Choose the Best Location

Proximity to Your Daily Needs

If you work downtown, living out in the suburbs means that you will be adding time for a commute onto your day.

While this might be worth the cheaper prices for properties out of the town center, it is something to consider when making your decision.

You will also need to consider whether the house is near shopping centers, schools, doctors, dentists and other services that you will need regularly.

Planned Developments

When you are choosing a neighborhood to buy in, do some research into what developments are planned in the future for that part of town.

For example, you might be able to get a cheap price on a home that is out of the way, but a new proposed highway leading straight into the town center that will be built in the next five years could increase property values considerably.

Overall Atmosphere

Take a walk around the neighborhood where you are considering buying and get a sense of the overall atmosphere. Are there a lot of families living there? Are there green places to relax? Are people friendly and saying hello to you?

You want to live in a place where you feel welcome and comfortable.

Property Values

Different neighborhoods will have a range of house prices and you will want to look for something with the right balance of value.

Some areas of town will be very expensive but very nice; other areas will have cheap house prices but might not be as pleasant to live in. Take the time to find the neighborhood that is in the middle, where you will find the right house, and neighborhood, at a good price.

These are just a few of the factors to consider so that you can choose the right neighborhood to buy in.

With over 25 years of selling homes in Metro Phoenix,
Debra Obrock knows all about the value of location.
Give her a call for the best advice: (480) 688-2000