Grayhawk Raptor Retreat Open House Sunday 1/31 from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale

7704 E Overlook Dr

We will be holding an Open House this Sunday from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale’s guard gated neighborhood Grayhawk Raptor Retreat at 7704 E Overlook Dr. Scottsdale, AZ  85255. Call us at 480-754-9477 or 480-754-9077 if you would like more information. We hope to see you there.

Also, if you would like to see homes in other Scottsdale neighborhoods such as Grayhawk, McDowell Mountain Ranch, DC Ranch, Gainey Ranch, McCormick Ranch, Desert Mountain, Troon, Sonoran Hills, Desert Ridge, Terravita, etc, please let us know. We can send you listings for homes in your area of interest, preview homes for you and schedule showings for you to see any homes that you would like to see.

Now You’re In Escrow

Unlocking a front door photoCongratulations!  You’ve found the perfect home to purchase, you’ve made an offer, the homeowner has accepted your offer, you’ve handed over earnest money and you’ve signed the contract.  Now you’re in escrow!  But what exactly does that mean?

According to, Escrow refers to “a contract, deed, bond, or other written agreement deposited with a third person, by whom it is to be delivered to the grantee or promisee on the fulfillment of some condition.”   In other words, escrow refers to the process where the buyer and seller deposit money and the real estate contract with a neutral third-party, the title company, until the conditions are met for a real estate transaction.  Here in Arizona, the escrow process is provided by a title insurance company, generally speaking, instead of an attorney as is required in other states.  So, in Arizona, title companies handle both the title and the escrow part of a transaction.

Once escrow is “opened”, the title company begins to “vet” or research the buyer, seller and the property itself so they can issue title insurance.   So, when the real estate transaction is “in escrow”, the real estate contract, along with any earnest money, has been presented to the title company.  Also, the title company has opened a file with the names of the parties in the contract.  This real estate transaction stays in escrow until it is “out of escrow” by closing the transaction according to the contract terms.  If something goes wrong such as the buyer doesn’t qualify for the loan, the transaction will fall out of escrow.

Why is escrow necessary?  Simply put, whether you are the buyer or seller, you want the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all of the transaction instructions have been followed.  The title company (ie, escrow holder) has the legal obligation to safeguard all funds and documents during their possession, and to convey title and/or disburse the funds only when all provisions have been met.

The escrow process can range from a few days to several months, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement.  Generally speaking, the Deed of Trust is recorded within one business day of the title company’s receipt of loan funds, signaling the “close of escrow”.  The escrow officer will verify with the local records office that the documents have been recorded and legal transfer has been made from seller to buyer.

While this is a simplified description of the escrow process, I hope this has clarified a sometimes-confusing term in a real estate transaction.  Every transaction is different, and I look forward to helping you navigate your own process with clarity and ease.

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Why Buy in Desert Ridge?

Aviano community entrance photoDesert Ridge is recognized as one of the most popular residential areas in North Phoenix.  There are many reasons for this area’s popularity.

First, as we say in real estate, location, location, location.   Desert Ridge has a very convenient location, as this community is literally minutes from both the Loop 101 and State Route 51 freeways.  These freeways will take you to downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona State University, or any of the outlying cities in the Valley of the Sun quickly and conveniently, while bypassing traffic on surface streets.   Desert Ridge is also conveniently located to dozens of restaurants, shopping centers and entertainment venues.

Namely, Desert Ridge Marketplace, a gorgeous outdoor mall with over 50 retail stores, over 25 restaurants, a grocery store, two drugstores, as well as a movie theatre, arcade and play center for kids, provides endless options for dining, shopping and entertainment.  Next door to Desert Ridge Marketplace is High Street, another outdoor mall with trendy restaurants, bars and shops, along with luxury loft-style apartments above the retail spaces.  The Scottsdale 101 shopping center is just minutes away and is home to several restaurants, a movie theatre, Whole Foods, and stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Babies R Us, and the Container Store.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of Desert Ridge as a place in which to live is its network of high-performing schools.  The A plus rated school district of Paradise Valley Unified serves the schools in the Desert Ridge area.  All highly-rated schools, Desert Trails Elementary, Wildfire Elementary and Fireside Elementary serve grades preschool through sixth, while Explorer Middle School serves seventh and eighth grade students.  Pinnacle High School is the high school for the Desert Ridge area, and is a nationally recognized school.  While PVUSD does offer open enrollment, the popularity of these schools has resulted in waiting lists for at least two of the elementary schools, unless the students actually reside in Desert Ridge.  Therefore, buying a home in Desert Ridge ensures your children will be able to attend these award-winning schools regardless of any wait list scenario.

Finally, the beautiful common areas and parks in the Desert Ridge community also make this a place both the fitness-minded and families will enjoy.  From the miles of walking paths throughout all of the neighborhoods, to its multiple common areas and community clubhouses with fitness centers, Desert Ridge is a community that is enjoyed on a daily basis by its residents.  Desert Ridge is also a magnet for families thanks to Cashman Park with its newly-remodeled shaded playground with top-notch play equipment, Aviano Community Park with its extra-large adventure playground complete with zip line and spider web climber, as well as Fireside Community Park with its two shaded playground areas and a climbing wall.

If Desert Ridge is on your list of communities to consider, I will utilize my extensive knowledge of the home values, as well as the market trends in Desert Ridge to help you find the best home for you and your family.

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What is the Mortgage Quiet Period?

Scottsdale home photoYou’ve made the exciting decision to purchase a home.  Deciding where you want to live, and what you want your home to look like are the fun part.   Figuring out all of the ins and outs of obtaining a mortgage is the not-so-fun part.   After you’ve gone through the loan process and have been approved for a loan, it’s time to celebrate, right?  Not so fast.

The time between the original check of your credit which led to your loan being approved to the loan actually closing is called the mortgage quiet period.  This time is even more critical nowadays in this tighter economic climate, with loan writers being even more vigilant about financial activities that may affect your original credit score.   From the loan writers’ point of view, financial activity during the quiet period in the mortgage origination process can sometimes be a warning sign of fraud, particularly when an unscrupulous borrower attempts to take out more than one loan on a property in a scam known as “shot gunning.”

Unfortunately, then, even if you’re not an unscrupulous borrower, any financial activities you undertake during this quiet period will be subject to scrutiny.  Borrowers who take on any type of installment debt may adversely affect their credit score at closing, as these debts will affect borrowers’ debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.  Therefore, signing up for a store credit card as part of a promotional offer, or financing new furniture or a vacation on a credit card may jeopardize your pending loan.

Other actions include withdrawing cash from any accounts that were used to verify funds for the loans, or changing jobs may be considered signs of financial instability, and are strongly discouraged during the mortgage quiet period.  Even making large deposits into these same accounts could cause issues as lenders are required to source all funds in a transaction.  This means they need to prove the sale of items and verify financial gifts, which can delay the loan process significantly.

If any of these changes must be made, be sure to notify your loan officer so they can be properly documented, and the loan officer can be assured of your good faith.  I’m available to answer any questions you may have about this process.  I look forward to working with you in your home search!

Are you ready to sell or buy?  Contact us today get started!