Monday, April 27, 2020

New Real Estate "Rules and or Guidelines" Under Social Distancing



In Arizona and all around the Nation-- heck the world- things are changing.  With Covid-19 looming around the corner on the door handle, on a light switch perhaps even in your car, you just can’t be too careful!  Arizona has been hit, but as bad as some states. In this new normal you will notice many more Virtual tours, open houses done through video, or Facebook, sanitizer wipes in each home asking the potential buyers to make sure they use them. Buying or selling a home can be stressful even under ordinary circumstances now add all of this-- it can be overwhelming! Unfortunately, the current state of the world is far from ordinary and no one knows how long this will be our new normal. The housing market is feeling the crunch- but in some ways is becoming more efficient. As fewer buyers want to get out and shop for a home, and fewer sellers want to take a risk with selling. Brokers and Agents are finding creative ways to make it all work for their clients. Now- This isn’t to say that nobody’s buying and selling, of course; the market is just going through some changes and some tweaks.
One of the biggest changes revolves around how buyers and sellers are handling social isolation and social distancing. If you’re thinking of selling, or are in the market to buy, here are a few new “rules” to keep in mind when entering the real estate fray in the era of self-isolation.

Increasing Online Presence
One of the big changes to the real estate process is an increased dependence on online resources instead of in-person shopping. This includes lots of pictures and videos of properties being posted online, but many sellers are taking things even further than this. Recorded virtual tours, online conferences to allow buyers to ask questions about the property, and even livestream walkthroughs with a seller or agent showing the property are all increasingly popular options to supplement or even replace in-person showings and conferences.

Fewer if Any Open Houses
Open houses are a popular way to show off a property to many potential buyers, but in the current crisis these events are a big no-no. In many locales, open houses aren’t even allowed under state and federal guidance. In states where they haven’t been specifically banned, many sellers are still hesitant to hold an event that would bring multiple people into close contact with each other. Online “virtual open house” conferences are popping up as one option to adapt to this, letting multiple potential buyers come together on Zoom or a similar video conference service at the same time to get a better feel for the property that’s being sold.

More One-on-One Time
As convenient as online access and virtual tours are during the current isolation period, few if any buyers would sign on the dotted line without getting a chance to see a property in person. To accommodate this, many sellers and agents are meeting with potential buyers by appointment only. This lets a potential buyer get a good look at the property in question while also restricting the size of the meeting as much as possible. Many of these appointments are made with the understanding that if any participant feels the least bit under the weather on the day of the meet-up, then it will need to be rescheduled for another time.

Respecting Social Distancing
Even when buyers and sellers do meet up, the process is usually a little different than it used to be. Social distancing rules are usually respected, meaning that everyone involved should stay at least six feet apart at all times to prevent potential infection. Discussions about the property and general Q&As are more likely to occur outdoors in the open air, and any greetings or introductions skip out on traditional handshakes. Masks, gloves, shoe covers and hand sanitizer are commonly available on site, and many sellers go through and open all of the doors and windows to both maximize airflow and to allow interested buyers access to the entire house without having to touch doorknobs or other surfaces in order to see inside.

Closing Remotely
Remote closing—In Arizona have been approved and should be implemented very soon. The negotiations are becoming much more common, taking advantage of video conferencing to bring everyone together without actually having to be in the same room.
Now, There may be some instances where people have to meet up to actually sign paperwork because it removes that point of contact, but digital signings of the actual closing documents are more common and notaries are starting to explore the ways they can use the technology and still be in compliance with the law. Even when people do come together for closing and signing, it’s much more likely that everyone will utilize social distancing and that both parties will use their own pens instead of sharing.

As the situation evolves, so do the added measures so keep in mind it is a moving target and I have stayed on top of all the details to make sure you are getting the best care and the best team around! 

We are all in this together, and if there is anything I can do to help you buy or sell a home- please call or text me and I would be happy to help in any way I can! 


Friday, March 27, 2020

Are you wanting to find a home in Mesa with 4 bed, 3 bath, 3 car garage, RV pool and workshop?

Take a tour of this Mesa Gem- 4 bed, 3 bath, 3 car garage, RV gate, pool and a workshop. This home is 2448 sq ft with the popular Athena floor plan, it has a comfortable floor plan with formal living/dining and an eat in kitchen, granite countertops & lots of cabinets, and pantry. Gas fireplace in the living room and split master suite. The master bathroom has double sinks, separate tub and shower, large walk in closet with plenty of storage. The laundry has a sink and more cabinets for storage. The other side of the home is appointed well, with a jack and jill bathroom adjacent to 2 bedrooms. You will be pleased with the 3rd full bathroom in the hall and the last bedroom that is being used as an office, now. We are just getting started- heading outside, the patio will always be shady, and the play pool is perfect for the Arizona summers, the shed/ workshop is HOA approved, and is perfect for the hobby of your choice-- In addition, newer paint outside and The RV gate is positioned to be very usable, and the 2 AC units were just replaced 2 years ago with seer 16 very efficient units. Hurry and make your appointment to see this one!

https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=o9hmyug2t4E&brand=0  





Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Popcorn ceilings what are they & how to get rid them safely.


Popcorn is great for lots of stuff. You can enjoy a big bucket with family and friends while at the movies, string it on a thread to give Christmas that old-fashioned touch and even turn it into questionable “treats” for Halloween. One place that it’s a lot less welcome is on the ceiling.
Unfortunately, too many homes still have popcorn ceilings. They often create a lot more questions than they answer.

What Is a Popcorn Ceiling?

Back in the day, someone had a brilliant idea. What would happen if there was a cheaper alternative to meticulously applied plaster ceiling coating and decoration for homes? This person asked themselves. Well, that would be just lovely! In addition to it looking “different” it also has acoustic properties in a room.

And now that person wasn’t wrong in concept. It was a practice that turned out to really be the killer.
Popcorn ceilings, the solution to the problem, are still around, largely haunting homes built between the 1930s and 1990s. The ceiling texture that oddly resembles cottage cheese far more than it does popcorn, was popular for its ease of application and, at the time, low maintenance requirement.

Popcorn Ceilings: The Kicker

Even if you don’t object to the generally dated appearance of a popcorn ceiling (hey, maybe retro’s your thing, we’re not judging), think twice before going all in because that house you’re looking at has one that’s still intact.
So many popcorn ceilings contain some amount of friable asbestos that they are generally not a great idea to keep around. Even though popcorn ceiling mixtures containing asbestos were banned under the Clean Air Act in 1979, the remaining mixes that hadn’t been purchased were still allowed to be sold. In some areas, this means that new installations of potentially hazardous popcorn ceilings lingered well into the 1980s.
If the asbestos wasn’t enough, many popcorn ceilings have been painted since they were installed, or were installed using paint as part of the initial mix. Lead-based paint was the norm until it was banned in 1978. It’s kind of a double-whammy.

There are two kinds of asbestos: friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos is the most dangerous kind, since any amount of disturbance can result in particles floating around in the air and being inhaled. This is not good news. Risks of free-floating asbestos can range from lung scarring to mesothelioma, an insidious and heartbreaking form of cancer. This is the kind in popcorn ceilings.
While non-friable asbestos isn’t a picnic, it’s a lot safer because the asbestos is encapsulated within another material. For example, older homes often have siding made of cement fiber-board tiles. These often contain asbestos, but unless you’re cutting the tiles, it’s safely contained.

There are very specific laws about dealing with both types of asbestos, but those surrounding friable asbestos are as much about protecting humans around the material as the environment. In most areas, homeowners are legally allowed to remove popcorn ceilings from their own homes, but it’s still a really good idea to at least have a test for asbestos before you try it.

Before You Even Think About Scraping That Ceiling
There are few things easier than removing a popcorn ceiling. A scraper and a lot of time will do the job, but the hazard to someone who goes in blindly cannot be understated. So, before you even think about scraping that ceiling, take some samples. Carefully.
Send one to a lab for testing for asbestos. Send another for testing for lead based paint (or use a high-quality at-home test kit). Wait until you have results to move forward.
If you test positive for either or both, consider calling in a pro. They have all the right equipment to ensure that asbestos doesn’t get loose in your home, where you, your family and your pets will be at risk of exposure. If you DIY this one, do not skimp on ventilators and other filters to keep any friable asbestos contained.

This is Definitely One for a trained professional--

Usually, easy jobs are a slam dunk for DIY, but when it comes to one that can create such a significant risk to health and home, it’s really best to call on a home pro with the right kind of equipment to keep everyone safe.

Thinking about taking on this project in your home— Be safe and contact me and I can get you in touch with the right folks!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The history of interest rates have been up and down.

I am writing this as a "food for thought article" Please take it as that...

The history of interest rates have been up and down-- that is their nature. As the economy changes so does the interest rate. It is not a natural thing for either to be up for too long or down too long... it must change with the times. 

I think that has been forgotten. in the past 10 years or so-- as a healthy economy needs to grow so does the views about it.  When the stock exchange continues to see new records broke though month after month-- I question the validity. 

The American dream has always been (as long as I can remember) to own your own home- to be the person who reaps the benefits of ownership. To control one's life by knowing what your mortgage will be for a lifetime. God Bless America to allow that right of ownership- to allow each citizen the right to have a piece of the american dream.  

Below is a chart showing the past interest rate and some comments about what the nation was going through at the time... thanks to Chris Butterworth for the chart.


    We can see that, while the entire decade had extremely low interest rates, the rates started ticking upward in 2018 before falling again in 2019 (thank you, Fed.) We’ll have to see where rates go in the 2020’s, but it does seem like they would have to skyrocket before we could really consider them “high”. As an average of 6-8% is the average. 

A look back in time:

1970s - Real estate was relatively flat (as was every part of the economy), with rates averaging about 9% before spiking up to 18% in 1982.

1980s - Real estate was a go-go, with the market growing fast and furiously while rates trended downward but averaged about 12% for the decade.

1990s - Another big-time growth decade, with rates averaging about 8% on a somewhat downward trend. The decade started with a slight downturn in 1991, and ended with a stock market bubble amid Y2K concerns of a world-wide computer meltdown.

2000s - The biggest boom and bust in our country’s history, caused by greed throughout the system (from top-level bank executives all the way down to regular home buyers) and aided by “liar loans” and subprime lending. Rates dropped significantly over the 10-year span, but averaged about 6%.

2010s - Housing growth rebounded nicely, both in new construction and existing home sales. This was helped by rates hovering near 4% for most of the decade; the lowest interest rates in history.

Overall - we’ve had 50 years of exciting news, crises, boom and bust cycles, international concerns, technological breakthroughs, etc., but through it all real estate has continued to increase in value, making the cost of a loan negligible. 

My wish for us going into the next decade is to have that realization- to have that dream come true for more people... and I will fight hard to make it a reality!  So, if your dream is to own a home-- no matter what your credit rate, or your savings account-- I want to hear from you, so we can get you on the right path to home ownership!  Elaine Beery 480-570-1912

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Consider buying a home with a pool? What do you need to know if you are considering it.


So many times, I have had folks come to Arizona and say, “I would like a home with a pool”.  Before you go that route, please think.  Because after about 2-3 years those same people come to me and ask me to sell their home because they are tired of being a slave to the pool.
 When decided to move to Arizona, you will see a lot of homes have a pool out here, but here are a few things to consider when buying a home with a pool.  

·         If the pool is heated, you can have all year enjoyment. But usually it is heated by electrical and that will jump your bill up about $200.0/$400 a month. (depending on how much you heat it)   

·         If the pool is not heated, then you will most likely not use it for only about 6-7 months of the year (typical usage is from May through September), depending on your tolerance of colder water. But will have to maintain it every month by adding chemicals and keeping the water level up and cleaning it. Average cost $50-120 per month.  Measure the cost with the usage to see if you feel it is worth it.  You can hire a pool company to come out each week or biweekly or you can do the maintenance yourself…but that is about a 2 hour time commitment.  
      **My recommendation  for a good quality Pool company is Troy  http://www.azpoolcarepros.com/   480-699-2566

Remember, the city can fine you if your pool is not taken care of and becomes a heath hazard.

·         There are safety measures you must take by law if you have a pool.  Here is a good website to find out the current requirements; http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oeh/pool_rules.htm  and check with the city you plan to purchase the home in as they may have additional rules/laws.   

·         With safety measures come liability—be sure to talk with your insurance company to see what your home insurance will cover, and how much a year will it be, usually homes with a pool are more expensive. 

·         If you decide to get a home warranty on your home, check with the company to see if you will need extra coverage for a pool and what they cover like; the pump, the electric panel, the valves, etc., etc., and  if it is a salt water pool do they cover the salt cell?

Pools are very enjoyable out here in the heat of our summer.  But do your homework before you buy and you will find yourself relaxed and at ease, floating away an afternoon.  If you don’t the same afternoon could be filled with all sorts of things you didn’t expect.