Monday, May 30, 2016

Pre-qualified versus Pre-approved what is the difference and why does it matter.

Many banks will give you a pre-qualified letter-- but that is not enough if you are buying a home in Arizona. 
It is important to understand why you must do your part before looking to buy a home- this will save you many headache and will give you the best chance to buy your dream home when you do find it.  

If you are planning on buying a home in the next year, there are a few things you should do before you start looking: decide on the neighborhood that will provide you with good schools and a reasonable commute to work; get your credit reports and confirm all the information is accurate; and learn the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved mortgage loans.

What Does Pre-qualified Mean?
The first thing you need to know is that being pre-qualified for a mortgage does not guarantee you will get one. When a lender sits down to talk to a prospective buyer, they will ask questions about the buyer's credit, assets, and income. It's important to note that no verification of income and assets takes place and no credit check is run. Pre-qualification is based solely on the information you provide to the lender, and it does not mean you will secure a loan.

What Does Pre-approval Mean?
When you are pre-approved by a lender, it means your credit check has been approved and your income and assets have been verified. The lender has made the decision to lend you a certain amount of money to purchase a home. The real estate agent and the seller know you can buy the house if you like it. A pre-approval letter from the lender defines how large a mortgage you are approved for. There is usually a time frame, such as 120 days, to use the pre-approval for the purchase of a home.

To Get Pre-approved You Will Need:
  • At least two years of W-2 forms, several weeks of current pay stubs that provide year-to-date income, two most recent tax returns, plus, proof of bonuses, alimony, and any other earned money.
  • Bank and investment account statements, which provide proof of assets that can cover the down payment and closing costs. If you receive money from family to use for your down payment, you will need a gift letter stating no loan is involved.
  • A credit score of 740 or higher to get the lowest interest rates. If your score is lower, you will have to pay more in interest or possibly make a larger down payment. FHA loans require a minimum of a 640 credit score.
  • A copy of your driver's license and Social Security number. You will also have to sign a release form allowing the lender to pull your credit report. You may be asked to provide additional paperwork if you have any specific circumstances that can affect your loan.
  • In the state of Arizona, there is a pre-qualified form that must accompany your offer this process can take a couple of days so it just doesn't make any sense to go looking for a home without this being done, even if you find the PERFECT home, you can't make an offer without going through this process.  
A pre-approval letter is what you need to get before you go house shopping. Do your preparation work before approaching a lender. Be cooperative, answer all the questions you are asked, and provide requested documents promptly. Once you have your pre-approval, it's time to find your new home.

There are some great lenders out there- but here are a couple I can strongly recommend;

Jeff Hanks at AmericFirst- 480-779-0606 

Greg Sorenson at MegaStar Financial Corp- 602-403-3586 

To get you on the right path and start your home buying process with the right foot! I would love to be your guide through the process- so please contact me when you are ready!  or 480-570-1912  my website is

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?

Your house is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and I want to be sure you and your home are in good hands. The plain and simple fact of living is that one day we will die. It’s sad but true. How do you protect your biggest asset - your home? You have an estate plan.
Having an estate plan is important for your care if/when you are medically incapacitated and distribution of assets after your death. An estate plan should clearly define:

  • ·       Medical instructions including naming a medical power of attorney
  • ·       How to distribute your assets after your death
  • ·       Custody of minor children and disabled adults in your care
  • ·       Special requests for your assets such as naming a caretaker or leaving money for your pet(s).

What is an estate Plan?

An estate plan is a plan for your well-being if you are medically incapacitated and a plan for your assets after your death. Having an estate plan means you are taken care of even if you are unable to communicate. It also means your assets are distributed to named beneficiaries, the people you want to receive the assets. Without a will or estate plan, your estate will go to a probate court where a judge decides who will receive your assets, including your home.

What is included in an estate plan?

An estate plan is a comprehensive document to protect your assets and includes the following:
  • ·       Will
  • ·       Living Will or Health Care Directive
  • ·       Financial Power of Attorney
  • ·       Life insurance and other insurance policies
  • ·       Deeds to real estate
  • ·       Bank and investment account information
  • ·       Funeral Directive

Working with an estate planning attorney, you can organize all of these documents to protect your family and your assets in the event of your illness or death. For more information about Arizona estate planning, please contact Sally Worthington at Helm Livesay & Worthington for pointers and to get your plan started. Sally has helped my family with her needs and I know you can trust her with your plans for the future.

 You can call her at 480-345-9500 or her website it

Sunday, May 22, 2016

In Arizona Singles are Buying Homes Much More Frequently

Some highlights:
  • 24% of all recent home buyers were single at the time of purchase
  • 47% of single men cite the desire to own a home of their own as the primary reason to buy.
  • 18% of first time buyers were single woman 

If you have been thinking of owning your own home- I LOVE helping first time buyers get on the right path so down the line you have the right home for your needs...Never any pressure, and always making it a fun experience!   

Monday, May 9, 2016

5 Tips for Finding a Home for Your Growing Family

With Summer just around the corner are you thinking of buying a home for your growing family? There are a few things to consider. What features mean the most to you? Maybe you need all the bedrooms on one floor or prefer a one-story home. What’s your budget? What part of the Phoenix area do you want to be? Answering all of the questions can get overwhelming which is why I offer the following tips:

 Buy a home with resale in mind. Families are transient here in the Phoenix area with many residents hailing from other cities and towns across the nation, making it important to think about reselling your home. For example, a kitchen and bathroom remodel could cost a lot of money but you may need to do it to sell your home at a good price.

Schools. Even if your children are young now, think about where you would want them to attend school. You wouldn’t have to move just to get into a better school district. Also, when you resell your home, the value may be different depending on the school district.

Location. More than likely you want to be close to family and friends and in an area that has good restaurants or kid-friendly activities. Consider your commute to work also. You don’t want to spend your life in the car, whether it’s a work commute or to see loved ones.

 Budget. It is my goal to get you in a house with most, if not all, of the features you want while also staying within your pre-approved mortgage amount. that is why it is so important to talk with a lender and get pre- qualified- before you go out looking.  

Floor plan. Consider how your family uses your home. Do you need an open floor plan to see kids from the kitchen? Do you need all the bedrooms on one floor? Perhaps you want your teens to have their very own space…Do you need a pool or are you aware of the cost of a pool, so a community pool will fit your needs better? This will help your real estate agent search for properties that are a good fit for you and your growing family.

I absolutely love to match the right home to your family and your needs.  To put you on the right path to a solid financial future is always my goal…no matter if your need this home for a few years or a few decades! 

The team at Beery Realty is here to help you find the home that’s right for you and your family! Contact me today to get started. 480-570-1912 or or find my website at

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thinking of using rental income as a plan to retire

Lately many of the folks I come across are thinking of and acting on having a couple of rental homes as a second source of income to their retirement income. Does that sound like you—well know you are not alone.

A Harvard University recently published a report of the rental market in the United States. This study included rental-market trends over the last decade and predictions for the next ten years. One of the most surprising facts from the study is that renting a home has become a more common option for almost all types of Americans.

These are some of the results found in the report:

  • The number of renters increased for people with all levels of household incomes. 
  • The number of renters increased for single people, couples, and parents with children. 
  • The number of single-family houses that have been converted to rental units also increased. 
  • Rising Rent Costs in Most Cities 
This housing study also looked at America's largest rental markets. Three out of four of the biggest population centers had vacancy rates of less than five percent. Typically, 95% occupancy is considered full occupancy by property management professionals. Only one out of the 75 biggest markets had a vacancy rate that was over seven percent.

Because vacancy rates are low and demand is high, property owners have been steadily increasing rents. While renting has become popular with people in different economic classes, it may be the only choice for people with modest incomes. The main concern of the study was not that landlords would have trouble finding people to lease properties but that people with lower incomes would be unable to find affordable housing in many parts of the country. 

Will the Rental Boom Continue?

The study predicted an even greater demand for rental apartments and houses in the next decade. The baby boomer generation is now aging into senior citizens. The authors of the study believed that many seniors would choose to sell their houses in order to cash out their home equity and enjoy the simplicity of renting. If the predictions in this study are correct, many of those sold homes will get converted to rentals. This is because upcoming generations don't seem as eager to buy a house as their parents or grandparents once were. The study cited higher levels of student loan debt and tighter qualification rules for mortgages as some possible reasons.

Even though both small and large investors have been supplying more inventory to satisfy the needs of all kinds of renters, the supply is not keeping up with the demand in some places. The next great real estate opportunity in the United States might be an investment in rental property. Vacancies are very low and rental prices are rising. Of course, markets differ across the country and even in different parts of the same city, so wise investors should do their research.

  • Make informed decisions not impulsive 
  • Have an exit plan 
  • Understand it will cost money to maintain your asset- so you can exit without losing all that you gained from rental income- and you should be standing on solid ground in the future. 
For more information or a guide to the next steps check out my website at or contact me at 480-570-1912 or