Tips for Choosing a New School

Looking for a new school for your child can be as overwhelming as buying a new home. Whether looking at public or private schools, there are several ideas to consider when finding the right fit for your child and your family.

Take a Tour of the School
When looking for a new home you don’t just drive by each home, likewise don’t just just drive by potential schools. Call and arrange to tour the school and observe a classroom. You want to see students who are genuinely engaged, not wasting time or bored. Schools should be relatively noisy places, it’s okay for classrooms to have talking and movement as long it is directed toward a learning goal. Take time to observe how teachers and administrators interact with the students and vice versa. Notice if student work is on display, no matter the grade level, it means that place is about kids and their work.

Look for a Place Where You Feel Welcome
Good schools should welcome parents as volunteers and visitors. The principal should be someone you feel comfortable talking with if there’s a problem. Ask about parent volunteer opportunities available throughout the school year.

Think Long Term
Remember your first-grader will be heading to middle school before you know it. Unless you plan on moving soon, also check out the middle and high schools in the district. If the upper-level schools in your prospective district are about kids doing great work, they’ll likely be a good fit if you like the elementary school.

Visit the School Community
Go to a school board meeting for information about the district. Notice if parents there because their children are being honored or are they there because of a problem? Likewise, attend a PTA or PTO meeting and talk with the parents there. Most parents are open to share school challenges and successes. Also consider the makeup of the students. Chances are if you choose a neighborhood school, you’ll find some similarities between your kids and their classmates, because there are probably similarities between you and your neighbors. Yet a school that has a diverse student body also offers benefits. Even if the school isn’t as diverse as you would like, after-school activities like sports and music give them a chance to interact with students from different backgrounds.

No matter how wonderful the school is, it’s natural to have some butterflies on the first day in a new school. Just like it takes time for a new house to feel like home, it takes time for kids to settle into a new school.

 

Chris and Cheryl Sold Our House for Top Dollar – 5 STAR REVIEW

We used Chris and Cheryl in 2016 when we purchased a house. We lived out of state and Chris found the house we bought and sent us videos showing everything. It was a very smooth transaction especially with us relocating from out of state. We recently sold that house with Chris and Cheryl and could have been more pleased. The buyer threw multiple curveballs at us, however Chris and Cheryl knew exactly how to respond. They sold our house for top dollar and stayed in communication with us the entire time. We would highly recommend Chris and Cheryl for buying or selling. You will not be disappointed with the service they provide.

-ZILLOW 5 STAR REVIEW

About Chris and Cheryl

Chris and Cheryl Park Realtor photoChris Park started his real estate career in 1993 in California, working for a top appraiser, analyzing reports and managing the marketing of their appraisal publications. In 1998 Cheryl became a mortgage loan originator as Chris continued to work as a marketing manager in publishing.

In 2001 Chris joined Cheryl as a loan originator and then received his mortgage broker license. They worked together as a highly successful team utilizing Chris’ extensive marketing experience to build their business.

Cheryl Park has been a licensed realtor since 2005. In 2009 she started working for prominent attorneys negotiating short sale transactions. Chris began working as a relocation consultant for major corporations moving their employees across the country and assisting them in the sale of their homes.

Having closed hundreds of real estate transactions over the years, Chris and Cheryl bring their unique background in mortgage financing, short sale negotiation and relocation home sale to their real estate business.

Residents of North Scottsdale, they understand the appeal of the Sonoran Desert and want to help their clients find their own piece of the “most beautiful desert in the world”.

When you’re ready to sell or buy your next home, call Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477!

Honest, Straightforward And Ready to Rock – 5 STAR REVIEW

My husband and I are were referred to Chris after we had a terrible experience with another agency. My husband and I were ready to give up on the home buying process because it had been so stressful for us. Thankfully we took a chance and let Chris guide us through the process of yet again house hunting. Chris really listens to us, he was honest, straightforward, ready to rock at our pace. No pressure, no hounding about decision time on a home. Because Chris was so patient with us, my husband and I are now in our first home! Chris made the process so easy for us, I really give my hat off to Chris for his hospitality, honesty and for being a man of his word.

-ZILLOW 5 STAR REVIEW

Featured Home in McDowell Mountain Ranch

McDowell Mountain Ranch

Gorgeous cul-de-sac home with tons of on-trend features and breathtaking mountain views!

The gourmet eat-in kitchen incorporates granite counters, stainless appliances, white cabinetry with pulls, a center island, and storage pantry space. Other features include recently painted exterior, custom ordinate accents throughout, soaring vaulted ceilings, 24in porcelain travertine flooring, charming family room gas fireplace, and a 2.5 stall garage. The master suite boasts a walk-in closet and a full bathroom with a furniture-grade vanity with dual sinks, a freestanding clawfoot tub, and a frameless glass shower with porcelain tile surround.

The spacious North facing backyard has a tall block privacy wall, an extended patio, and a large green grass lawn.

Call us today for your exclusive private showing! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Why are Assessed Value and Market Value Different?

It’s important to understand what your home is worth when you are considering selling. Knowing the value of your home gives you an idea of how much you could list your home for. It also plays a part in determining how much property tax you’ll be required to pay. There are different valuations of a home’s worth and you should understand the difference between market value and assessed value.

Assessed value puts market value in the context of property taxes and is based on the laws of the state or county in which you live. The assessed value is calculated as a percentage of the market value of the property. The assessed value is determined by an assessor’s office. Some offices have databases open to the public for you to see the history of your property, as well as what information what factored into its assessment.

Market value is used to determine how much a buyer would be willing to pay for your home. An appraiser determines the market value and is usually hired by your lender. Market value is a vital tool in helping to decide what price to list a property for. Often sellers want to list based on what they feel a buyer should want to pay. However, it is better to list a property based on current market conditions. Market value is based on recent sales of similar homes in the area, along with other factors.

Have more questions about your home’s value? Feel free to send us your questions!  We are always willing to answer any of your questions so that you can feel comfortable with the home buying or selling process! Contact Us

Click here to get your FREE home value estimate!

home value

Living in Scottsdale

Scottsdale house photoThe Scottsdale area north of Shea Blvd and east of Scottsdale Road is a great central location for those looking for established neighborhoods, short commutes, and easy access to everything Scottsdale has to offer.  Some of the most desirable communities are located in this part of town: Scottsdale Ranch, McDowell Ranchos, Desert WindSweetwater Ranch, Desert Hills, Scottsdale Country Club EstatesBuenavante, Patterson Ranch, Ironwood VillageMcDowell Mountain Ranch, and many more.  A lot of homes, especially within the Shea/Cactus corridor, have larger backyards, established landscape, and palm trees; many have been built in the 1980 and have been remodeled to meet current trends.

This area has many amenities within a short drive: Scottsdale Airpark, Ina Levina Jewish Campus, 76th Street Business Center, McDowell Mountain Ranch Recreation Center, Icen Den, Scottsdale Horseman Park are just minutes away.  Residents are surrounded by many dining choices and some of Scottsdale’s most popular shopping centers such as Kierland, The Promenade, Scottsdale Quarter, and Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Schools:  This area is served by Scottsdale Unified School District.  Private school options are also available, such as The Scottsdale School, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, Notre Dame Preparatory High School, Lexis Preparatory School, International School of Arizona, Camelback Desert School The Goddard Pre-School, Mission Montessori Academy del Norte, and Shepherd of the Desert School.

Closing Costs Explained

home soldMost anyone who has ever been involved in buying a house, or even watched a few real estate shows on HGTV, is familiar with closing costs. But what exactly are closing costs? Here’s a quick rundown of these additional fees.

Closing costs are additional fees associated with processing the mortgage and are not paid to the mortgage company. Generally speaking, closing costs are assumed by the buyer of the property (VA mortgages are one exception to this rule) and are paid at the time of closing of escrow. The bulk of closing costs is comprised of the lender’s fees. These fees include the appraisal fee, which is an independent assessment of the value of the property being purchased, as well as the credit report and any property taxes. The lender’s fees also include mortgage and homeowner’s insurance, as well as any flood certification and pre-paid interest charges. These fees may also include origination and discount points depending on your lender, as well as loan application and loan processing fees.

Title fees are also part of closing costs. These fees include the title service fee, which covers the handling of title documents and funds, as well as half of the settlement and escrow fees, which cover the fees for the title search and examination.  Finally, title fees also include any title insurance. Recording fees are another part of closing costs and include recording fees, transfer taxes, and an affidavit of property value. HOA transfer fees and HOA dues are typically also included within closing costs.

While this is a brief overview of closing costs and is by no means a thorough list, we hope this sheds some light on these necessary real estate transaction fees.  Every transaction is different, and while we am unable to give legal, tax or accounting advice, we look forward to helping you navigate your own process with ease and clarity. Feel free to call us with any additional questions! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Final Walk Through Tips

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases many people will make in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important to always do a final walk-through of the property with your real estate agent before closing. This allows the buyer, with guidance from their agent, to ensure the property they are purchasing is in acceptable condition. If repairs were requested it is also a time to make sure they are completed in an acceptable fashion.

When walking through the property if you discover certain repairs, as stated in the contract, are not completed. Then have your agent document the findings and send the sellers a list of items to be completed before closing. Also, if certain items or fixtures are taken and/or sellers’ personal property has yet to be removed this too can be documented and fixed before closing.

A big mistake that some buyers make is forgoing the final walk through instead of reassessing the property one last time. Oftentimes the buyers feel that they have been to the property numerous times, and everything seems okay so they pass on the walk through. On many occasions, buyers have waived the walk through and found themselves moving into a dirty house or one still containing the seller’s debris and/or personal property.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to do a final walk through after the sellers have vacated the property. Sometimes the sellers are not set to move until the real estate transaction closes. If this is the case then it is still highly recommended to have a walk through. This is to make sure that sellers are at least in the progress of moving out.

What can you do if the sellers do not adhere to their contractual obligations (i.e take items that were included in the sale, not fix repairs, or leave debris and/or personal property)? First, make sure that your agent immediately notifies the listing agent to see if the situation can be rectified. Then you can delay closing, if possible until all contractual obligations are met.

However, it is not always possible to delay closing so an alternative would be to fix all the contractual obligations and send a bill to the seller. If you do not get reimbursed, consult a real estate attorney immediately.

5 Benefits of Homeownership

Owning a home is often referred to as the “American Dream.”  While there are many obvious benefits of owning a home, there are also some that are not so obvious.

1-Stable Monthly Payments

If you choose a fixed rate mortgage, then your monthly payments will remain mostly the same, which is one of the best benefits of owning a home. When renting a property, there is always the unknown if the monthly payments will increase each year when you renew your lease. Consistent monthly payments that come with owning a home can provide some peace of mind when it comes to creating a monthly budget. Of course, monthly payments can change when owning a home if property taxes or homeowners insurance change, but the amount of change in property taxes is typically a very small amount.

2-Opportunity to Build Equity

The longer that you own a home, the more you pay towards the principle balance of your mortagae.  As the balance of the mortgage lowers, and hopefully the value of the property increases, the larger the equity!

3-Cheaper Than Renting Overtime

Undoubtedly, there are many associated when buying a home, such as the down payment, appraisal fee, and homeowners insurance.  The upfront cost to buy a home is substantially more than just paying monthly rent to a landlord. Yet, over time, owning a home is cheaper than renting which is a great benefit. In Arizona, if you compare a rental property and the monthly mortgage of a comparable home, the cost of ownership is typically much less.

4-Owning a Home Provides Tax Advantages

Paying taxes is a necessary evil, but a great benefit of owning a home are the tax advantages that it provides.  Arguably the biggest tax advantage of owning a home is the option to deduct paid monthly interest from your tax returns. If you’re unsure how owning a home will impact your taxes, it’s recommended that you discuss it with your accountant so you fully understand how owning real estate will impact you come tax season.

5-Build Your Credit

There are many factors that impact a persons credit score, one of the most important being the length of credit history.  Since the length of a mortgage is typically 15 or 30 years, having a mortgage on your credit history is a great way to lengthen the average of your credit accounts.  In addition to improving the average length of credit accounts, each and every month that a mortgage is paid on-time it shows that you’re a responsible borrower which not only can improve a credit score but also improves the chance of approval for future credit accounts.

Owning a home is much more than just having a place to live. Give us a call when you’re ready to become a homeowner! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477