Do’s and Don’ts When Looking at Homes Above Your Price Range

neighborhood aerial view photoShould you even be considering homes above your price range? And no, I don’t mean the difference between your ideal price and a multi-million dollar house on Camelback. I am talking about the home that is just outside of the budget you sent your realtor.  s there any sense in dreaming a little bit bigger, or is it just a recipe for disappointment? 

The short answer is “you should look.” You set that high limit on your budget for a reason. But sometimes, you can find yourself in a situation where the seller is motivated to accept a lower price, or your realtor can help spot a local market where there is some wiggle room for negotiations. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts when considering homes outside your price range. 

Do utilize stats in the area to do research. We compare the list prices with what homes nearby ended up selling for, which can help you determine if it’s worth it to look at the home outside your budget. 

Don’t get attached and be disappointed if the seller refuses to come down on the price and the home is simply unaffordable for you.

Do understand if you are in a buyer’s market, where the odds are good that a seller is willing to negotiate, or a seller’s market, where you don’t have any bargaining power.

Don’t forget that we have experience determining the proper price range, and we are experts on what is a good deal versus what will be a waste of time to look at. Trust us to help you make the right decision.

Do look for situations where a seller is very motivated to sell.  Sometimes sellers are in a hurry due to personal circumstances and may be more receptive to your offer. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to have a realistic mindset when looking at homes with price tags above your upper limits.  It is uncommon that you’ll be able to “bargain down” a lot, especially in situations where the seller has no motivation to sell for any less than intended. Experienced agents have a nose for what will work and what won’t, so don’t force a showing or offer when you are advised strongly against it. 

Are you considering buying a home?  Click here to create a custom home search and we will set you up to receive as soon as they hit the market. 


Build Your Dream Backyard with These Online Tools

Picture this: Your perfect backyard, as designed by you. When we had our vision for a backyard revamp, we started with a pencil and paper to try and capture our thoughts. But the availability of free online tools taught us there’s a better way to get your ideas out there and start building your dream backyard. Here are a few tools that we came across that were useful:

1. Garden Planner Online

This versatile planner lets you change the size and color of everything in its arsenal, which is a lot. Bushes, trees, flowers, pavers and ponds, furniture, walls, herb gardens and more are just some of the things you can drag, drop and edit. You can even draw your own shapes and paver paths.

Tip: You will need to download free software if you would like to save your work. If you want to keep what you are working on, you can print it from the browser (just don’t close it before you are done!)

2. Plan-A-Garden

Offered by the well-known Better Homes & Gardens publication, this resource requires some personal sign-up information, but the app is worth it. All items you can drag and drop on the screen appear 3D over a changeable background of a home’s exterior in real space. You can sort plants by the amount of light they’ll receive, and even color on a base texture. 

Tip: You can save your project any time right in the browser to come back to it later. 

3. Marshalls Garden Visualiser

3D space and plenty of useful objects make this garden planner a breeze to use. It also effectively captures the dimensions of your space, and allows you to move around inside the garden to get an idea of how it will look. You can add features like paths, fences and buildings as well.

Tip: This online planner specifically does not work in Chrome and requires download of the Unity Web Player to work.

If you are looking for even more powerful tools, there are plenty of options for paid software to help you landscape and design your yard.  But for something simple and free, these resources should do the trick.  Having an inviting backyard is not only a great extension of your home but also a huge part of your curb appeal when trying to sell.  Our team offers a free one hour home staging consultation.  Contact us for more information.

Happy planning!


Decorating Trends Beyond Everything Gray

decoration items photoDid you just recently buy a new house, or just reconsidering your interior décor? Wherever we go, we are seeing everything from minimalist midcentury modern to bold bohemian. If you’ve got an eye on the decorating world (or just Pinterest), you know everything gray (we are talking everything – even the wood floors) has been in the spotlight for a while. Now, there’s a hot movement for colors, bold shapes and other trending decorating styles that you might find inspiring.

Geometry: Backsplash tile, wallpapers, bold rugs and even lampshades: If it’s angled, it’s in. The increasing popularity of a simple geometric form adds a modern flair and a bold edge to almost any space. 

Macrame: Not just for the 70s anymore, macrame is back in action prominently as plant holders, but inside the home it also is adding a vintage touch hanging on walls and as textured fringe.

Bold sofas: Is it red? Wonderful. Is it velvet? Even better. Design trends are eschewing the plain for something that pops in the living room (and is actually comfy to sit on). 

Warm color palette: Design is shifting this season from cool tones to embrace warm browns and earthy, light accents. Yellows and browns make spaces more inviting while still retaining a minimalist sense of style. 

Marble, terrazzo and stone: Two are bold, the other sparse. But all are making a comeback in design trends, from lavish marble countertops to austere stone tables to funky, chunky terrazzo tiles. 

Metallics: Take a few picks from silver, gold or copper to achieve a trending penchant for mixed metal accents (or even rose gold).

Colorful cabinets: Move over, white. Kitchen design is all about the blue, green and other cool, moody shades for a cabinet look. 

Southwest inspiration. Lucky for us, cacti are cool. The modern Southwest feel is especially trendy, so break out that ceramic pot, woven rug or rough-hewn basket. 

Let us know what type of a home you are looking for.  We can find you a home that meets your needs and lifestyle.  CONTACT US

Considering An Investment Property?

condo photoDid you move to the valley and start by renting an apartment, condo or single-family home? We known so many people who moved here and started renting off the bat – they were able to get an impression of neighborhoods and find out where they wanted to buy. 

We also know some of them that haven’t decided to become homeowners at all. It fits with the national trend of home-ownership rates dropping from 70 percent down to 65 percent. And a third of those renters are leasing out single-family homes, not apartments. 

What does this mean for you? Investment properties, of course! Phoenix has a strong demand for housing, and paired with the popularity of renting, this is a good time for those interested in rental properties to strategize. 

The good: Buying an investment property is a way to diversify your holdings, and renting increases cash flow.

The challenge: Are you prepared to make the right choice in property, and to maintain it while working with tenants?  Do you have the means and some extra time to deal with issues that might come up? 

If you’re not daunted by the idea of after-hours calls and taking care of surprise repairs, then investing in a rental home can be a solid decision for your financial future. Arm yourself with resources (or an experienced partner) to help choose the best property that fits your criteria. As a first-time investor, it’s important not to put too much on your plate – fixer-uppers and large, expensive properties can set you back. 

You should also be aware that investment properties incur a large down payment; since mortgage insurance isn’t available for the rental property, you’ll need at least 20 percent down for traditional financing. And that is just the start of the numbers: Break out that calculator to check your margins, operating expenses and the return on your investment for your efforts.  A study showed rental properties in Phoenix returned an annual average 8.7 percent, which is quite high. If this sounds like a venture for you, contact us!

Phoenix/Scottsdale Real Estate Market September Update – August 2018 Stats

Here is the Phoenix/Scottsdale area Monthly Real Estate Market Report for September 2018, which shows 8,232 homes sold in the month of August compared to 8,221 homes in August 2017. This is a 0.2% increase for the number homes sold year over year. And the market remains strong with the average sale price is up 7.3% year over year, while the amount of listed homes is down by 9.8% to 15,934 from 17,654 in August 2017. Demand continues to remain strong into going into the Fall, even with sales activity constrained by the lower supply of listed homes. Supply of listed homes is still at a 5+ year low. And the average days on market is down 9.6% from August 2017 to just 57 days!

Click here to see the full August 2018 Market Report & Statistics

Give us a call or text us at 480-754-9477 or 480-754-9077 if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this Summer, as the strong market continues to be good for both buyers and sellers, or if you have questions about this information. And don’t forget to explore our website to see Scottsdale area homes and helpful articles. – Chris & Cheryl Park