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IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HOME INSPECTIONS

If you’re hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you’re a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market, here are five things you need to know:

1. You can choose your home inspector.

Your real estate professional can recommend an inspector, or you can find one on your own. Members of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI), must complete an approved home inspector training program, demonstrate experience and competence as a home inspector, complete a written exam, and adhere to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

2. Home inspections are intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic flaws.

You should attend the inspection and follow the inspector throughout the inspection so you can learn what’s important and what’s not. No house is perfect and an inspection on any home is bound to uncover faults. A home inspector will point out conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. They won’t comment on cosmetic items if they don’t impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing.

3. Home inspection reports include only the basics.

A home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection. The home inspection should include the home’s exterior, steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows, and doors. Inside, they will look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, and garages.

They report on the working order of items such as faucets to see if they leak, or garage doors to see if they close properly. Inspectors may point out termite damage and suggest that you get a separate pest inspection. The final written report should be concise and easy to understand.

4. Home inspectors work for the party who is paying the fee.

The NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics clearly state that members act as an unbiased third party to the real estate transaction and “will discharge the Inspector’s duties with integrity and fidelity to the client.” A reputable home inspector will not conduct a home inspection or prepare a home inspection report if his or her fee is contingent on untruthful conclusions.

The inspector should maintain client confidentiality and keep all report findings private, unless required by court order. That means it is your choice whether or not to share the report with others. If you’re a seller, you don’t have to disclose the report to buyers, but you must disclose any failure in the systems or integrity of your home.

5. Inspectors are not responsible for the condition of the home.

Inspectors don’t go behind walls or under flooring, so it’s possible that a serious problem can be overlooked. Keep in mind that inspectors are not party to the sales transaction, so if you buy a home where an expensive problem surfaces after the sale, you won’t be able to make the inspector liable or get the inspector to pay for the damage. In fact, you may not be entitled to any compensation beyond the cost of the inspection.

As a buyer, you need the home inspection to decide if the home is in condition that you can tolerate. You can use the report to show the seller the need for a certain repair or negotiate a better price. You can also take the report to a contractor and use it to make repairs or to remodel a section of the home.

One thing you should not do when buying a home is skip having the home inspected because of cost or undue pressure by the seller. A home inspection is reasonable, it can save you money in the long run, and it’s required by many lenders, particularly for FHA loans. There’s a reason why buyers should beware, and a home inspection gives you the information you need to make a sound buying decision.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

UNDERSTANDING HOW CREDIT SCORES WORK

Lenders want to give you a mortgage, but they also want to minimize their own risk. The easiest way to retard risk is by using your credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit scores are compiled separately by three consumer reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. These credit reporting bureaus calculate scores differently, and base their scores on information that may differ from other bureaus.

Equifax Beacon 5.0 Facta: scores range from 334 to 818.

Experian Fair Isaac V2: scores range from 320 to 844.

Trans Union FICO Risk score Classic 04: scores range from 309 to 839.

Your credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report, whether you pay your bills on time, how much you owe creditors, payoffs, and derogatory information such as liens. It also includes inquiries into your accounts from lenders, landlords, and employers.

When you apply for a home loan, your application includes giving your lender permission to “pull your credit” and base the decision to lend to you and the rate of interest on the information contained in your credit scores. The higher the score, the better terms you’ll receive from the lender.

Once your credit scores are reviewed by your mortgage lender, you’ll receive a computer-generated report of the findings in the mail, but it won’t have a copy of your entire credit report. It may include key factors that adversely affected your scores. Some examples might include:

  • Too many inquiries in the last 12 months
  • Time since most recent account opening is too short
  • Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts is too high
  • Too many accounts with balances
  • Amount owed on revolving accounts is too high

What if you’re declined for the loan, or your lender wants to charge higher interest than you were expecting? Is there anything you can do?

Yes, talk to your lender and ask for help repairing or correcting your scores. For example, you may have innocently done something that resulted in a negative score, such as closing a line of credit. Or, you may not have realized that a late payment would bring your score down as much as it has. The lender will tell you exactly what you need to do.

Under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the national consumer credit reporting agencies once a year. There are several sites where you can go to get your free reports includingAnnualCreditReport.com or FreeCreditReport.com.

If you find an error such as derogatory data that doesn’t belong to you, or an account that shows the wrong balance, simply show the lender your canceled check, release of lien or other proof that the credit report is wrong.

You’ll also have to correct the information yourself separately with each agency, and it may take a few weeks for the agencies to record the updated information.

In the meantime, work with your lender and do what he/she tells you to do to get the best rate, including paying more than the minimums, paying on time, and making sure that your debt to income is well within your ability to repay all your loans.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

6 GADGETS THAT WILL INCREASE HOME EFFICIENCY

For bolstered efficiency and enhanced convenience, it’s worth it to equip your home with the newest technology. There are practical smart home devices that will help you save on utility costs, ensure the safety of your home and assist in home maintenance. There are also more personalized gadgets that will help you monitor health, ensure your pet’s safety, and also provide multifaceted assistance in home management. Tailor your home with the right technology for you and your family. Here is a list of the best smart home gadgets you should invest in:

Nest Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat pays for itself with its energy efficiency programs, which yield significant savings on utility costs. The device learns the temperatures you like and will program itself in about a week with an automatic heating and cooling schedule. It also automatically turns itself down when no one is home, which saves energy. You can remotely control your Nest system from your phone, tablet or laptop. Nest will guide you toward the best temperature schedule that will save you both energy and money.

Philips Hue

Philips Hue bulbs help you control your house’s lighting via your smartphone. You can create light schedules for home automation so lights turn on when you arrive home or turn off once you’ve left. Doing this will help you reduce energy usage and also provide you with a means of remote theft deterrent. The away-from-home controls let you adjust your lights remotely. This is handy if you have forgotten to switch your lights off or if you need them on during a non-scheduled time. The Philips Hue kit is compatible with Apple HomeKit technology, which can be voice-accessed on the iPhone 6s Plus through Siri or manually through the app.

Beautiful young woman waking up with mobile alarm clock

Withings Aura

The Withings Aura is a high-tech alarm clock disguised as a sleek, modern lamp. It offers a personalized, gradual wake-up experience that will help you feel refreshed and energized. The light on the Aura provides a simulated sunrise, at your designated alarm time, for a gradual wake up. At night, the light provides optimized colors that promote the secretion of sleep hormones while its attached speaker projects soft ambient sounds that will enhance your sleep.

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a hands free speaker that you control with your voice. It can play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather and more. You can connect the Echo to your music libraries from Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn—the music will fill the room through the devices’ 360 degree omni-directional audio. Even while music is playing, the Echo can detect your voice for instruction. You can connect the Echo to your other smart home devices like the WeMo, Philips Hue, Nest, Wink, Samsung SmartThings, Insteon and ecobee.

Petcube

Keep track of your furry friend, while you’re out of the house, with Petcube. The cube contains a wide-angle lens video camera that provides HD live video so you can monitor your pet’s activity from your smartphone, tablet or computer. There is also two-way audio, which allows you to listen-in on your little friend and also chat with them through your smartphone. A built-in laser toy lets you interact with your pet so they get in some play time during the middle of your workday.

Belkin WeMo Switch

The WeMo Switch lets you remotely control the power source to your electronic devices. The switch uses your Wi-Fi network for wireless control of your plugged-in devices, like your television, stereo, heaters, fans, kitchen appliances and more. Through the WeMo app you can turn the device on or off and set schedules for them. The WeMo Switch helps you conserve energy and ensure that your home is safe from any electrical mishaps.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

HOW LANDSCAPING INCREASES YOUR HOME’S VALUE

After spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on landscaping, how do you know if you’ll recoup your investment? Homeowners may wonder if their efforts are worthwhile compared to interior projects. In actuality, landscaping comes back in resale value more than you may think.

According to a publication from Virginia Tech, a home landscape has been valued at around 15 percent of a home’s total value. Furthermore, certain landscape aspects add more to the home than others, including:

Design: 42%
Plant size: 36%
Diversity of plants: 22%

The study cited that a $150,000 home could go from $8,300 in worth to almost $19,000 more with the addition of a landscape. That’s a lot for just adding a front yard to your home. Here is more information about these elements and how to increase the value of your home.

Landscape Design

design

Photo courtesy of Jardin Passion Landscape Con
How you design the landscape is the first step in creating a beautiful and valuable front yard. If you plant shrubs, flowers and trees without a design in mind, you could run into maintenance issues down the road. This is why you might call in a landscape designer to help. Landscape designers have the knowledge when it comes to creating landscapes to match homes and climate conditions. They know which trees, shrubs and flowers mix versus which ones might be troublesome. The end result will be a manageable, uncluttered and beautiful landscape that you can enjoy for little to no hassle.

Plant Size

size

Photo courtesy of Applegate Landscape Co.
On a visual level, adding different plant sizes will make your front yard look more appealing. Adding different shapes and colors complements your home and the lawn. On a maintenance level, mixing small and big plants will cut down on clutter in your yard. If you have too many bushy plants, their roots and branches could get mixed together and cause maintenance issues. So plant different trees, shrubs and flowers to make your landscape colorful and varied to add onto your home’s appeal and save on trouble.

Diverse Plants

diverse

Photo courtesy of M&M Garden Designs
Intertwined with the plant sizes you choose are how diverse they should be. You don’t want to plant only shrubs and trees with leaves. Vary it up with fruit trees or shrubs that have flowers to add color to the front yard. You also might choose annual and perennial flowers to sprinkle across your yard. You will need to replace annuals every year, but that gives you the chance to try out different flowers. Perennials, on the other hand, will last for many years and can endure harsh winter conditions.

Conclusion

Whether you hire a landscape designer or decide to tackle the front yard landscape yourself, be sure to include these three elements. Adding them to your front yard will pay back dividends in your home resale value, and it will make your home more attractive to buyers.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Phoenix Real Estate Market Report ~ August 2016

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The current real time market profile shows there were approximately 9,332 new listings (up 291 listings from last month) on the market in August 2016 and 7,936 sold transactions. Since August 2016 the overall inventory of homes on the market is down -16.4% as compared to the number of home on the marker in August 2014. Current demand is equivalent to demand for housing experienced in August 2015 but due to the greater demand this year the lower inventory of homes on the market may cause prices to appreciate at a faster rate. There is currently 21,873 listing on the market and 7,963 sold transaction which equates to 2.7 months of inventory on the market. Historically, 2.7 months of inventory on the market is the lowest the Phoenix market has seen June 2013.

In July 2016 the average sold price took a steep dive south as well as the number of sold transactions. The month of August the average sold price increased approximately +1.0% to $275,642 but is still down -2.6% from June 2016 at $282,879. This could be the temporary price decrease due to the upcoming presidential election. Last year’s summer buying season was weak where we saw prices decrease from June to September. This month the number of transaction increased 194 transactions which is a small increase as compared to prior months. Since September 2015 (12 months ago), the average sold price has increased approximately +6.0% (up from last month), the average days on market have increased approximately +7.0% (up from last month) and the number of sold transactions have increased approximately +14.1% (up from last month).

The volume of foreclosure purchases since September 2015 (12 months ago) has decreased approximately -28.1% and the volume of short sales increased of approximately +1.3%. Since August 2013 the number of foreclosures have decreased -228.3% indicating a healthy market. Also, since August 2013 the volume of short sales have decreased -344.2% because the inventory of homes “up-side-down” have been exhausted and values have risen to a point where consumers can break-even or sell with some equity but some homeowners are still up-side-down if they purchased their homes between 2005 and 2007.

Since September 2015 (12 months ago), the number of homes for sale on the market have increased approximately +0.4% or 21,778 homes for sale on the market to a gradual increase of 21,873 homes. The total number of listings is low as compared to 26,076 listings in August 2014. This decrease in the number of homes for sale indicates we are currently in a seller’s market (low supply and increased demand).

Real estate prices are still relatively low (near 2008 prices), mortgage rates are still at a historical low and the macroeconomic market is improving both in terms of prices and the overall economy. Give us a call to discuss your best buying or selling strategy, TODAY!!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Search All Homes For Sale In Verrado With One Click

A few years ago this spot just off the I-10 near the White Tank Mountains in Buckeye was empty desert. DMB, a Scottsdale developer, created Verrado, an instant town in the New Urbanism mold. The homes come in a variety of architectural styles and all feature porches and proximity to parks. There’s also a Main Street with a retail district that includes a good pizzeria, and Mokarabia coffee, live jazz performances and other homey touches.

For more than a decade, Verrado has been a place to experience the best of home, town and Arizona. Set amidst the beauty of the White Tank Mountains, Verrado is a modern community known for its small town charm. It’s warm and inviting; full of friendly neighbors, engaging lifestyle and exceptional educational opportunities.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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