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Top 5 New Bathroom Tech to Consider

Installing bathroom tech is a great way to take your remodel or addition to the next level. Aside from adding extra comfort, bathroom tech will also improve the efficiency of your home. Here’s a look at five high-tech gadgets that will turn your bathroom into the ultra-modern — and ultra-convenient — space of your dreams.

1. High-Tech Toilet Fixtures

High-tech toilet fixtures may not sound too exciting, but they’re an important part of creating a clean and modern bathroom. Here’s a look at several high-tech fixtures and their benefits:

LED-lighted toilet seats. Seat illumination will allow you to find your toilet at night without turning on lights or walking in the dark.

Temperature-controlled seats. Temperature-controlled seats ensure your toilet is comfortable no matter the temperature inside your home.

Self-cleaning toilets. Self-cleaning toilets eliminate bacteria buildup in and on your toilet. These models also prevent unsightly mineral staining with automated cleaning.

2. Chromotherapy Showers

These showers use color-changing LCD panels to create a restorative bathing experience. This can help you wake up in the morning or relax at night. Many chromotherapy showers come with lighting presets that will help you achieve your desired effect.

3. Soaking Tubs

Smaller, more efficient soaking tubs are replacing larger Jacuzzi tubs. Soaking tubs come in unique shapes and offer air-based massage jets. You can purchase soaking tubs in stone, copper and even some man-made materials. Some also employ energy-efficient technology that will help you reduce your utility costs. This is particularly helpful if you have a large family.

4. Waterproof Televisions

Having a TV nearby can make bath time a lot more fun. Waterproof televisions are common in many renovation projects and come in a variety of price points. Some waterproof TVs also have internet connectability. This will allow you to check emails, stream your favorite shows or stay up to date with the news while taking a bath.

Waterproof Tolite

5. Refrigerated Cabinets

Refrigerated bathroom cabinets are popular in many renovations. Cooled cabinets will allow you to keep medicine and temperature-sensitive cosmetics close by without having to worry about spoiling. You can also use refrigerated cabinets to keep beverages and snacks cool. Temperature-controlled cabinets are relatively cost-friendly and much more efficient than mini-fridges.

Conclusion

Heated toilet seats, soaking tubs, chromotherapy showers and refrigerated cabinets can add value and comfort to your home. For many homeowners, that’s worth more than the additional cost.

3 Steps To Saving For Your Dream Home

According to Harvard University’s “State of the Nation’s Housing” report, while more people than ever before want to own their own home, fewer feel financially ready to do so yet. Reasons range from high rents to student loan debt.

Saving For Down

Millennials, in particular, are waiting longer to get married, start families and purchase their first home. But this is not necessarily bad news for the housing market. In fact, it could mean that the millennial generation has something to teach us all about saving consistently towards a big life goal such as owning your own home!

In this article, learn three important steps to take when you start saving for your dream home.

Step 1: Pay down your debt to clean up your credit.

Your credit score is a tricky business when it comes to saving for your first home. You have no history of carrying a mortgage, so you can’t make any real impact there. What you can do is to clean up your overall credit report so your general credit score is as healthy as possible before you apply for your mortgage loan.

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), a surprising number of Americans think they have “above average” (60 percent) to “very good” (41 percent) credit, although a full 48 percent have not seen their credit score in the past three years or ever.

So clearly, this is where you need to start. The best way to differentiate yourself from your competition (other people who are trying to convince a direct lender to give them a mortgage loan) is to pay down your debt, clear up any disputes on your credit report and, in so doing, boost your credit score so you can qualify for the best mortgage at the lowest interest rates.

Step 2: Separate and automate your savings.

Saving money is never going to be the easiest goal you attempt. In fact, according to The Atlantic, one of the chief reasons that nearly half of all Americans have little or no emergency savings to fall back on is taking on too much mortgage debt.

So here is a clear area where you should proceed with caution. First, save. Then, buy a home. The best approach to make saving as painless as possible for you is to automate your savings. You can do this by setting up direct deposit on your paycheck and then regular auto-drafts into a savings account reserved just for dream home savings. This way, you never even touch those funds and feel tempted to spend them instead.

Step 3: Downsize to upsize.

Finally, one effective change many adults today are making to save more towards their dream home is to downsize while they save. This can mean anything from moving to a smaller apartment to getting rid of your cable television subscription. Also, you must continually remind yourself why you have downsized in order for this step to work well.

But the key to making downsizing work to serve your greater goals is to make sure you deposit every cent of what you save into your dream home fund. Referring back to Step 2 here, the easiest way to do this is to calculate for yourself exactly what you are saving by paying less rent, giving up cable, etc., and then setting up a monthly auto draft in that amount to deposit directly into your dream home savings account.

By following these three steps, you can make tangible financial progress in saving to buy your dream home. If you can save 20 percent towards a downpayment, you can avoid paying expensive Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and you may even qualify for a lower interest rate. Scrimping and saving is never fun or easy, but it will be worth it when your realtor hands you that brand-new set of house keys!

Can You Trust Zillow’s Home Price Zestimate? In a Word: No.

I got an email from Zillow last week. Seems my house has gone up in value another $2,000+ dollars in the past 30 days. And it’s going to rise another 3.5% in the next year, according to their Zestimate®. Fab!

Except that it’s just speculation. When it comes to Zillow’s Zestimates, you have to take the numbers with a grain of salt. Make that a big shake of salt, right over your shoulder. And maybe a stiff drink. And a frank conversation with your real estate agent, give us a call.

“Shoppers, sellers and buyers routinely quote Zestimates to realty agents – and to one another – as gauges of market value,” said the Los Angeles Times. “If a house for sale has a Zestimate of $350,000, a buyer might challenge the sellers’ list price of $425,000. Or a seller might demand to know from potential listing brokers why they say a property should sell for just $595,000 when Zillow has it at $685,000. Disparities like these are daily occurrences and, in the words of one realty agent who posted on the industry blog ActiveRain, they are ‘the bane of my existence.'”

Are faulty Zillow estimates irritating, dangerous, somewhere in the middle? It all depends on your personal situation. A real estate investor, a seller in a high-end neighborhood, or an obsessive real estate watcher (ahem) may be able to brush off a $15,000 error. But for many people across the country, the word of Zillow might as well be the word of God. So, yeah, dangerous.

Price errors

Errors in sales prices are one of the issues Investopedia pointed out in its look at Zillow’s Zestimates.

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“Zillow factors the date and price of the last sale into its estimate, and in some areas, these data make up a big part of the figure. If this information is inaccurate, it can throw off the Zestimate,” they said. “And since comparable sales also affect a home’s Zestimate, a mistake in one home’s sales price record can affect the Zestimates of other homes in the area. The Zestimate also takes into account actual property taxes paid, exceptions to tax assessments and other publicly available property tax data. Tax assessor’s property values can be inaccurate, though. The tax assessor’s database might have a mistake related to a property’s basic information, causing the assessed value to be too high or too low.”

In June, Zillow’s much-maligned (by industry experts, anyway) Zestimates got an upgrade with a new algorithm. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has famously called his company’s price estimates, “a good starting point” and copped to a median error rate of approximately 8%. With their new algorithm, they say it’s dropped to 6.1%.

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John Wake, an economist and real estate agent from Real Estate Decoded, applied Zillow’s updated 6.1% margin of error to “Zillow’s own estimate of the median sale price in the U.S. in May 2016 of $229,737 and got a typical error of $14,000. He then took a sample city, Denver – a city in which estimates are actually more accurate than average” – and found “the error spread in 2016 is a lot tighter and more focused on the bullseye of the actual sales price,” but that “their Zestimates are scattershot.”

In his example, “a Denver home has a fair market value of $300,000. According to Zillow’s Zestimate Accuracy Table, 10% of their Zestimate prices were off by more than 20% from the actual sale prices. Half of that 10% are Zestimates that are too high by 20% or more, and half are Zestimates that are too low by 20% or more. That means you have a 5% chance Zillow will give you a Zestimate of $360,000 OR MORE, and a 5% chance Zillow will give you a Zestimate of $240,00 OR LESS. Yikes!”

Missing data

It gets even more complicated without all the data that gets fed into Zillow’s algorithm. Limit the available info and the margin for error grows.

That same email I received included a couple of new listings and info on recent sold homes in the area. Notice anything interesting about these recent sales?

z1

Yep, no sales prices. Texas is one of about a dozen states without a mandatory price disclosure law, which makes property appraisals challenging and which makes it even more difficult for Zillow to come up with an accurate Zestimate since it eliminates one of their key data points.

In the case of my home, they’re a good $11,000–15,000 high on their sales price estimate. And that’s based on my direct knowledge of sales prices in my neighborhood—not list prices, not tax assessments, and not assumed sales prices based on trends.

Which brings up another issue that leads to inaccurate estimates. In many neighborhoods, sales trends and prices vary street to street. But Zillow’s estimates are a one-size-fits-all program. In my masterplan, the building of high-density units on the southern edge of the community a few years back took a bite out of the value of homes on the perimeter streets. Sales of homes with a first-floor master also get a bump here.

And then there’s the fact that this community is also split between two elementary schools. Zillow wouldn’t know which one buyers prefer and wouldn’t account for a difference in sales price between two otherwise comparable homes. But, people who live here would, and so would the local real estate agents.

Which only reinforces the importance of working with one. Give us a call if you want a more accurate value for your home. 480-213-5251

5 Home Improvements That Pay Off

There are several improvements that offer a high return on investment (ROI) for homeowners looking to sell. Per the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, some investments are still worthwhile, while there are others you might reconsider. Keep reading to learn about five cheap home improvements that are worth the investment.

Update Your Entry Door

A new entry door is a cost-effective improvement that will offer substantial returns during a sale. To get the most from your investment, look for a steel entry door. Steel doors have the most safety features and highest ROI of all entry door options.

Install Insulation

Adding Insulation isn’t a flashy renovation, but it will improve the value of your home. In fact, due to low installation costs, many homeowners get a 100 percent return on their investment. You’ll also be saving money while you’re in your home since you won’t have to use the heat or air conditioning quite as much.

Replace Your Garage Door

Old garage doors, even if they’re hidden from street view, don’t do much for a home’s visual appeal. They also create an ideal entry point for intruders. Updating your garage door isn’t particularly costly. In fact, most installations recoup 75 percent of the cost.

garage

Install New Siding

Replacing your siding will improve the look of your home and prevent any water- or weather-related damage. Siding updates also boast a high ROI. Many homeowners get a return of more than 80 percent on their investments.

Improve Your Kitchen

Upgrading the dated features in your kitchen is a great way to bring extra value to your home. Flooring, countertop and fixture updates provide a reasonable ROI. Adding treatments to your kitchen windows is another way to modernize the look of your home without breaking the bank.

kitchen_remodel

Always avoid over investing in your kitchen. Embarking on a $40,000 remodel could price you out of your neighborhood and hurt your chances of selling.

Conclusion

Improving your home can be a little scary. But with the right planning, you can improve the looks and functionality of your home without overspending. Smart investments also mean you’ll see a greater return when you decide to sell.

Phoenix Real Estate Market Report ~ February 2017

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Average Sold Price_Monthly

Average Days on Market_Monthly

Active vs Sold Transactions

Short Sales_Monthly

Foreclosures_Monthly

The current real time market profile shows there were approximately 9,999 new listings (up 3,847 listings from last month) on the market in February 2017 and 6,538 sold transactions. The overall inventory of homes on the market in February 2017 is 22,612 homes which is down -12.9% as compared to the number of home on the marker in August 2014. In December 2015 there were 23,353 homes, in December 2014 there were 26,270 homes and in December 2013 there were 26,463 homes for sale on the market. This declining number of homes for sale on the market is a good for sellers if 2017 brings added buyer demand due to changes planned to be enacted by our new president.

Since November 2016 after our new president took office the average sales price has increased from approximately $281,000 to $$287,000 or an appreciation rate of 2.1%. Last Wednesday the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by .25 basis points and another rate increase is expected in July and October of this year. We will not see the effect of this rate increase in the Phoenix market until after a few months because it typically takes 30 to 45 days for a finance buyer to complete the purchase of their new home. Another change in the Phoenix market since November 2016 is the average days on market have increased from 73 days to 81 days or an increase of 11%. Since March 2016 (12 months ago), the average sold price has increased 6.6%, the average days on market has increased approximately +2.5% (up from last month) and the number of sold transactions has decreased approximately -22.7% (up from last month).

The volume of foreclosure purchases since March 2016 (12 months ago) has decreased approximately -24.3% and the volume of short sales decreased of approximately -36.7%. Since August 2013 the number of foreclosures have decreased -301.3% and the current percentage of foreclosure sales is only 2% of the market which indicates a healthy market. Also, since August 2013 the number of short sale transactions have decreased -516.2% and the current percentage of short sales sold is only 2% of the market. Unfortunately, some homeowners who bought between 2005 and 2007 are still up-side-down as shown in the annual average sold price chart above.

Since March 2016 (12 months ago), the number of homes for sale on the market have decreased approximately -10.7% or 25,329 homes for sale on the market to a gradual decrease of 22,612 homes (Up 758 homes from last month). 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), interest rates are planned to increase in 2017 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

View All Sonoran Mountain Ranch Homes for Sale

Secluded in the foothills of North Peoria you will find the high desert setting breathtaking. Designed to preserve that setting, Sonoran Mountain Ranch offers a community that is harmonious to the desert backdrop. Extensive preserve spaces and washes offer many view lots for home sites. A wide variety of builders ensure there is something for everyone, including high end luxury homes by Camelot, as well as a custom home gated enclave set into the hillside.

Combined with access that gets you places quickly and amenities nearby, you have the best of both worlds at your fingertips. Hiking trails lead up the mountain side right from the sidewalks, lots of bike paths and walking trails complement the trails. The community has a large park area as well as assorted greenbelt and tot lots. There is land dedicated to a K-8 school at some point in the future. The community features approx. 1500 homes and/or lots. Homes here were built from 2004 to present. The community is nearing build out, but there are still opportunities to for a brand new home.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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