Outlet Malls in the Valley of the Sun

coach storeAmenities such as good shopping centers are important for homeowners searching for new homes.  Here in the Valley of the Sun, we have a wealth of great retail centers, including several major malls such as the Scottsdale Fashion Square, Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, Arrowhead Mall, and Chandler Fashion Center, among others.  But for serious shoppers in search of a bargain, only an outlet mall will do.  Phoenix and its outlying suburbs have plenty of these retail havens:

  1. Arizona Mills Mall.  This mall located in Tempe at Baseline Road and the I-10 freeway is the largest outlet mall in Arizona.  Featuring over 185 stores and dozens of restaurants, Arizona Mills is sure to delight every shopper.
  2. About ten minutes south of Arizona Mills is the newest outlet mall in Phoenix, Phoenix Premium Outlets.  Located in Chandler, off the I-10 freeway, this mall has 90 different stores in an outdoor setting.
  3. Heading west to Glendale, shoppers will find the Tanger Outlet.  Just west of the 101 freeway, at the Glendale Avenue exit, this outdoor outlet mall has over 60 stores.
  4. The Outlets at Anthem, located just north of Phoenix off the 1-10 freeway in Anthem, Arizona, is a smaller mall with approximately 40 stores, but has plenty of bargains for every shopper.

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Pest Control in the Desert: Scorpions

front yard photoWhether you’re an Arizona native, or new to the Grand Canyon State, there are some unique things which with you’ll have to contend as a homeowner in the Sonoran Desert.  Residents of the Midwest don’t have to worry about such things as scorpions, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes and packrats.  However, taking a few simple steps will make it much easier for you to coexist with the less desirable desert inhabitants without having to resort to chemical removal.

Scorpions are one of the most common, and most dangerous, pests that homeowners in the desert will encounter in and around their homes.  One of the most crucial steps you can take as a homeowner is to seal off any openings to your home.  Scorpions can enter cracks as small as 1/16th of an inch, so caulk and seal any cracks, pipes or wiring outlets on the exterior of your home.  Doggie doors are a very common method of entry so check that these exits are sealed when your animals are inside the home.  Put tight mesh screens on any and all return air or heater ducts that are on floor level. Be sure to clear any shrubbery or piles of wood that are next to your home.

Scorpions are also attracted to moisture, so repair any drips that result in standing water. Keep all interior drains (especially in bathrooms) closed or sealed when not in use as scorpions have been known to come up through the drains on occasion.  Also, keep outside lights to a minimum as scorpions, and other pests, are drawn to lights.  These other pests are food sources for scorpions.

As Arizona natives are aware, never walk around barefoot after dark. Shake out shoes and piles of clothing that are near the floor regularly, as scorpions like these hiding places.  Periodically inspecting the interior of your home with a black light (flashlights are available at any hardware store) will reveal any scorpions who have made entry into your home. The exoskeleton of scorpions contains a fluorescence that causes it to glow under UV light.

Taking a few of these simple steps should make it much easier for you to enjoy the beauty of our Sonoran Desert surroundings where it belongs, outdoors!  We’d be happy to give you referrals to recommended pest control experts as well.

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What is the Difference Between Condos and Townhomes?

Condominiums and townhomes are very popular real estate options for several types of buyers, from recent college graduates and Millennials to Baby Boomers and empty nesters.  They are also smart investment opportunities in certain communities, as often they can be easily rented out on short and long term bases.  But while these two types of dwelling share many similar features, they are, in fact, two different structures for purposes of real estate.

Grayhawk CondoCondominiums, generally speaking, are one of many units inside a larger building, that can sometimes be several stories high.  Legally speaking, you’re buying “air space” when you purchase a condominium, as you are purchasing everything within the walls of the unit you buy.  You are also purchasing a fraction of the condo community itself.  This fraction is based on the number of units in the complex, so if there are 25 units, you own one-twenty fifth of the community.  This gives condo owners an interest in the common areas of the community itself.
Townhomes, on the other hand, include the land on which the townhome sits.  While condos are typically all on one level inside the space, tonhomes often are built vertically, with multiple stories within the home.  This is to maximize the land space, as well as maximize the interior space.  Townhomes, unlike single-family homes, typically have shared walls, at least on one side of the home.  Unlike in a condominium, however, there are rarely neighbors above or below the townhome residents.  While condominium owners are typically not responsible for exterior maintenance or upkeep, townhome owners usually are responsible for these items, including any roof repairs or replacement.

Whether you are interested in condominiums or townhomes, there are many options in every price range throughout the Valley of the Sun.  I look forward to helping you explore these ownership opportunities!

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Post-Foreclosure or Short Sale Home Buyers

Scottsdale Real EstateWhether you are re-entering the market after a foreclosure or short sale, there are a few things you will need to know.  There are mandatory waiting periods before these homeowners can apply for a new mortgage.  For a new FHA loan, the required waiting period is three years, whether it’s a prior foreclosure or a short sale.  The waiting period begins the date the prior foreclosure or short sale was actually recorded, not when the homeowner has left the home.  So if the transaction took several months to be negotiated, those months need to be excluded from the three-year time period.

For a conventional loan, the waiting period is typically four years after a short sale, and seven years post foreclosure.  VA loans typically have a waiting period of only two years.  There may be extenuating circumstances such as a significant reduction or income that may reduce these timeframes.

Homeowners who have gone through a short sale or foreclosure will also have to take special care to raise their credit scores.  Paying down or paying off any other debt such as credit card debt or automobile loans are the quickest way to do this.  Pulling your credit reports from the three national credit companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—and examining them closely for any outstanding debts and liabilities is another important step to take before applying for a new mortgage.  If there are any inaccuracies, you will need to notify these credit bureaus as soon as possible.

Finally, there are many resources to assist these homeowners who want to re-enter the housing market.  The Arizona Department of Housing, for example, has a program called the HOME Plus Home Loan Program which may offer assistance with down payments thanks to grants.  Another mortgage program to consider may be The Pathway to Purchase Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a down-payment assistance second mortgage (equal to 10 percent of the purchase price, or up to a maximum of $20,000).

I’d be happy to help you navigate these mortgage solutions or find others that may be more suitable to your personal situation.

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Grayhawk Open House Saturday 5/7 & Sunday 5/8 from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale

Home Front Photo - 0002-74th (2)

We will be holding an Open Houses this Saturday 5/7/16 from 1-4 pm and Sunday 5/8/16 from 1-4 pm in North Scottsdale’s Grayhawk neighborhood at 20728 N 74th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Call us at 480-754-9477 or 480-754-9077 if you would like more information. This gorgeous home has just been completely updated. 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.