Monday, December 16, 2013

The Pros and Cons of making a biweekly mortgage payment

Have you ever considered paying off the mortgage on your home in two biweekly payments rather than one monthly payment? It might seem like this wouldn't make a difference, but the truth is that biweekly payments really do add up more quickly.   Since there are 52 weeks in a year you will end up making 26 payments in total – which is equal to 13 months rather than 12. This means that your mortgage will be paid off more quickly and you will save money on interest payments in the long run.  This arrangement might be the best for you when it comes to paying off your mortgage quickly and saving money, but it’s important to consider the possible disadvantages before you make the decision.

Cons of a Biweekly Mortgage Payment
  • ·                  Often lenders do not offer biweekly services free of charge. You will be required to pay a registration fee as well as paying biweekly charges.
  • ·                  If your budget doesn’t allow the room to pay more toward your mortgage every year, this could be a foolish move. Don’t neglect the importance of having an emergency savings fund or paying your bills.
  • ·                  If you have your mortgage payment set up via direct debit from your bank account, taking out a payment every two weeks could catch you out if the funds are not there, especially if you are only paid once per month. This would result in charges for insufficient funds from both your lender and your bank.

Pros of a Biweekly Mortgage Payment
  • ·                  Some people find that paying their mortgage biweekly fits better into their budget because it’s easier to plan for a smaller payment amount – especially if they are paid every two weeks.
  • ·                  By shaving years off the length of your mortgage, you are reducing the amount of money you will pay over the long run.
  • ·                  You will also be speeding up the time it takes to build equity in your home.
  • ·                  You will be compelled to make an extra mortgage payment per year, enforcing good habits on yourself that will eventually pay off.

·                  These are just a few factors to consider before deciding whether you should make biweekly payments on your mortgage. If you don’t want to commit to biweekly payments on your home mortgage, you can always save up your money and make a lump sum payment at the end of the year.
For more tips and advice,  Let me know you need some questions answered and I will get you in touch with the right people.   Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest financial obligations you will do, so doing your research is very important.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 2013 newsletter

3 National Housing Market Trends

After hitting post-recession highs, existing-home sales declined in September. According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing-home sales were down 1.9 percent from August to September. Yet for the past 27 months, sales have stayed above year-ago levels, and September proved to be no exception; sales are still 10.7 percent above the pace set at the same time last year. The Northeast saw a sales decline of 2.8 percent but managed to surpass last year's... Read More

Remodeling Market Index Highest
Since 2004

More homeowners are upgrading their homes' windows and installing their dream kitchens. For the second quarter in a row, the Remodeling Market Index has climbed. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the RMI has risen by a modest two points to 57. This is the highest the index has reached since the first quarter of 2004. The index measures the optimism of remodelers in regards to the current and future state of the remodeling market. A reading above 50... Read More

Remodeling Projects That Give a Good Return on Investment

Are you considering selling your home now or in the near future? Choose remodeling projects that will give you a good return on your investment. Remember to stick with colors and finishes that are crowd pleasers, rather than looks that are more polarizing.

Install new exterior doors.
A new exterior door provides great curb appeal that potential buyers will appreciate. Safety-minded buyers will appreciate a steel safety door on the front and back of the house, which resists forced entry much better than traditional doors... Read More

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Salvation Army Giving back to those that need it...

Giving back to the community is something I really believe in, if you are in the area of Higley and Germann today come by the  Frys @ 6470 S. Higley Road, Gilbert 85298- come by and see me!  :)

If you have Kids or Grand kids we are doing some fun stuff to keep them entertained!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Great Checklist to Buying a Home

It’s important to do as much research when you can when you’re preparing to buy a home. And while it’s necessary to read up on everything you can before you begin searching, it’s also important to have a quick-to-access home buyer’s checklist. I’ve listed all of the key things you will want to look out for and ask about while you are house-hunting, so be sure to print this out or pull it up on your smart phone – to guarantee you cover everything you need to assure you find the perfect home!

Step One: The Home
Here is everything you will want to look over and ask about for each house that you look at:
·         Square footage
·         Number of bedrooms
·         Number of full baths
·         Number of half-baths
·         Condition of walls (interior)
·         Closet/storage space
·         Kitchen storage space
·         Basement –if applicable
·         Fireplace
·         Cable TV/Internet
·         Exterior appearance (condition of outdoor walls, overall appearance)
·         Front and back lawn areas
·         Deck/porch/patio?
·         Fence
·         Garage
·         Windows/screens
·         Age and condition of roof
·         Cost of utilities

Step Two: The Neighborhood—(this would be where the Buyer Advisory would help a lot) 
Here is everything you’ll want to ask about, look into, and research about the neighborhood you move into:
·         Appearance/condition of neighboring homes
·         Safety
·         Noise level
·         Traffic issues
·         Kid-friendly? Average number of children per residence?
·         Parking
·         Police
·         Fire Protection
·         Pet restrictions
·         Parks/recreational facilities
·         Trash removal
·         Insurance fees for home

Step Three: Schools
If you have children or are looking to start a family in the next few years, here are the things you’ll want to check for in relation to education:
·         Age/condition of schools and buildings
·         Reputation of school district
·         Test scores of current students
·         Quality of teachers and educators
·         Private school locations (if you’d prefer private school)
·         Play areas/playgrounds
·         Class sizes
·         Curriculum
·         School safety
·         Step Four: Community

It’s important to live in an area where you not only love your house, but you feel at home in the community. Here are some things you’ll want to ask about:

·         Schools
·         Religious community centers (churches/synagogues/etc)
·         Shopping centers/grocery stories
·         Proximity to your place of employment
·         Hospitals
·         Doctor and dentist locations/quality
·         Parks and recreation
·         Restaurants
·         Entertainment (movie theaters, shopping malls, etc)
·         Airport
·         Proximity to highways

·         Public transportation – bus? metro?

    Need help finding the right home in the Phoenix Metro area- Call me and I can help!  
    Elaine Beery

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Heath care for small business owners the ins and outs...

Well, Completely off topic- but this seems to be in the minds of most everyone I talk with and  since no one really knows what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means to them, I thought I would share this bit of information I came across.  Hopefully it will help! 

Snippet from the article:

If you are a human being in the United States, chances are you know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, do you really know about the ACA? Strange as it might sound, as a Realtor or other small business owner working in the industry, it is important that you do.
There is a large amount of diversity when it comes to the employment situations of those working in the mortgage and real estate sectors. Some are self-employed, some work for small or large companies, and some people run those companies. The ACA affects all of these people in dramatically different ways. Let’s look at just what this law means in all of those situations.

 For the rest of the article-

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stats for Sept. 2013 for Metro Phoenix

Some folks are saying "the lights went out this month".  Now I am and always will be an optimist.  Giving the choice- the cup will always be ½ full.  But I see our market flatting out, ebbing in a way that makes sense.   If we keep seeing the 15-20% equity build as we have in the past 2 years- then I think I would be worried. 
As I think you would see the chart explain well- Click on the link to see all of them

Summary Statistics
% Chg
2013 YTD
2012 YTD
% Chg
Absorption Rate
Average List Price
Median List Price
Average Sale Price
Median Sale Price
Average CDOM
Median CDOM

As always, if you have any questions or would like to see what is going on specific to your neighborhood- please give me a call 480-570-1912Market Summary
Residential, September 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home builders, concerns and projections

The National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped two points to 55 from September’s revised reading of 57. Builder concerns over labor costs and availability and economic uncertainty related to the federal government shutdown were noted as factors contributing to the lower reading for October. 

Key Points Noted In Octobers HMI included:

  • Builder confidence remains above 50, which indicates that more builders have a positive outlook on housing market conditions than those with negative sentiment.
  • The October HMI cites pent-up buyer demand in markets throughout the US as a positive influence on October’s reading.
  • A spike in mortgage rates lowered builder confidence, but the Federal Reserve’s decision not to change its quantitative easing program eased fears about rapidly rising mortgage rates.
  • The federal government shutdown, along with builder and consumer concerns about the national debt ceiling also contributed to a dip in homebuilder confidence.
  • National HMI results are comprised of homebuilder ratings of three factors. Homebuilders rated current market conditions at 58, which was two points lower than September’s reading.
  • Builder outlook for market conditions over the next six months fell by two points to October’s reading of 62. The lowest reading came in at 44 for buyer foot traffic. This reading was also two points lower than the September reading.

Regional HMI Results Mixed

Readings for regional homebuilder confidence varied for October:

Northeast: The reading for October fell three points to 38. Concerns over the government shutdown were felt here.

Midwest: Up by one point for October at 64, the Midwestern region posted the only gain for October.

South: The October reading for the Southern region was unchanged at 56.

West: The West lost one point on its HMI for October. Lack of available homes and developed land for building likely contributed to this reading.

NAHB Projects Single And Multi-Family Housing Starts

The NAHB estimated that starts for single and multi-family housing units for September will fall between 875,000 and 900,000 on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Single-family housing starts are expected to range between 620,000 and 630,000 for September. 

NAHB produced this estimate in lieu of the US Department of Commerce report on housing starts that was delayed due to the federal government shutdown. NAHB also reported continued volatility in multi-family housing construction. 

A continuation of the government shutdown will almost certainly create ongoing consequences for housing and mortgage lending.

Hope this helps!!  :)

Elaine Beery       480-570-1912  
United Brokers Group

Monday, September 30, 2013

Real Estate Tips and Tricks for October 2013

National Home Sales Remain Above Year-Ago Levels
When it comes to predicting immediate future sales, economists rely on the Pending Home Sales Index. It tracks the number of contracts in the housing market, not closings. And while July's pending home sales were down a slight 1.3 percent, they were still 6.7 percent above last year's level. 
What's more, for the past 27 months the index has stayed above year-ago levels 

Rising Mortgage Rates
The slight dip in the index can be blamed... Read More

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Home Mortgage

Once you have found the perfect home and it has passed its home inspection, the next step is finding the right home mortgage. There are many different types of mortgages, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. You need to understand the ins and outs of your mortgage agreement before you sign anything. 

What is a home mortgage?
A home mortgage is an agreement between a borrower and a lender that the borrower will pay back the mortgage loan with a pre-determined amount of interest. Until the loan is completely paid off, the mortgage lender owns... Read More

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking of buying in Arizona check out this chart for the latest on how much and how many....

ARMLS puts together a chart each month that recaps the market...this is helpful as each area is selling for more or less because of demand. 

See this chart in the link and it will show you the picture of where we are at.

Now, each community will sell for more or less because of demand- so if you need help buying or selling your home, please feel free to give me a call. I can help you narrow down the price for the home in a certain community by the specifics.   

I am always happy to help you answer any questions, with no obligation.  I am just a phone call away!

How to beat out a cash offer

First you get all of your finances in order and start the process of looking for the home you and your family need.  After a while of searching for the perfect home- You find it, this is the one you can see your furniture in, see your daughter come down the stairs for her first date, see your son hanging in the living room with his buddies and all of the other dreams you have for your home.  You are so excited you found it!

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.

Follow the steps below to beef up your offer and get your foot in the door. So to speak;

Get Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved

Have your lender do the DU approval and provide that along with the offer and any other pre-qualification form needed. This shows the seller that you are not only pre-qualified, but also you have a pre-approval for the loan amount. Showing your strength beyond most offers that need financing.

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.

Take-It-Or-Leave-It Home Inspection- As is

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. 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. But a smart buyer can do some of these simple things to get an edge on the competition.  
Good luck and if you have any questions about this- please let me know!  

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 2013 Market Report

Report overview:

This report includes MLS data for the past 36 months in Maricopa County only as provided by the FlexMLS system.

Please note that searches fluctuate daily when running these reports; these figures were obtained on 7/4/13.   A reminder that you need to meet with a real estate professional to see how statistics impact the area where you are considering selling or buying – blended statistics will not be as accurate as a more detailed report that your real estate professional can provide to help you with your decision making.

Click HERE to view full market report!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Real Estate Market Update

Below is the my Real Estate Market Update compiled from Michael Orr’s ASU Monthly Housing Report, ARMLS STAT and The Arizona Republic. This data is typically 45 days behind current market conditions.  I hope you find this data and information valuable!

June Stats from ARMLS

·        New Listings in June fell by 6% to 9,246 from the prior month. Year over year we are down .3%

·        Inventory:  Total inventory declined again 1.1% to 19,511 in June…Months supply of inventory is 2.37

·        As of July 11thARMLS showed 15,725 active listings with 3,786 UCB listings…30,000 active listings is considered normal!

·        Home Sales: June sales decreased 12.8% to 8,228 from May. Year over year we are plus 1.2%

·        June’s median new list price remained flat at $199,900. The average new list price declined from $281,670 to $275,608.

·        June’s median sales price increased 2.9% to $180,000, representing a 27.7% gain over the past 12 months. Average sales price slipped to $236,954 from  $237,800, indicating a 25.7% increase since June 2012.

·        Foreclosures pending dropped again in June to 8,027 falling 9% from last month and down 55% Year over year!!

·        Distressed sales total (short sales plus lender owned sales) of 1,766 fell again as a percentage of total sales to 21.5%

·        From the PPI Supplement (source ARMLS)…this shows the Price Points where most contacts are being written:

The following data is from ASU W.P. Carey School of Business with Michael Orr, Director Center of Real Estate Practice and Theory


Price Per SQ FT continues upward in all categories!!!

Like always, if you want to know what is going on in TODAY'S market, please contact me and I would be happy to answer any questions you have.