3 Perfect and Practical Holiday Gifts for Older Adults
Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, many of you may be wondering what the perfect gifts are for the older adults on your list. To give you some ideas, here are there perfect and practical holiday gifts for older adults so good, you’ll want to keep them for yourself!
1.) Pain Relief: For some Arizona retirees and active adults, the cooler temperatures of winter bring with it more aches, strains, and arthritic pains. So why not give the gift of pain relief to someone you love? TheraPearl produces a line of different cold/heat relief products to chill in freezer for analgesic cold or pop in the microwave for penetrating heat. You can find TheraPearl products at Walmart, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as on their website.
2. Senior Smartphone: Want the active adult in your life to stay more connected? Consider the gift of a smartphone. The Jitterbug phone, made by GreatCall, has a new smartphone designed with older adults in mind. The Touch3 phone by Samsung features an easy-to-see touch screen, simplified menu with large, legible letters and a full-size onscreen keyboard. Besides traditional cell phone capability to talk and take pictures, the Touch3 can access GreatCall’s 5-Star service to summon emergency help by using the phone’s GPS. Touch3’s Urgent Care app enables users to speak with nurses and doctors without traveling to a medical office or making a copayment. Shoppers can find this little gem at Walmart, Sears, Radio Shack, Fry’s Electronics and other retailers or on their website.
3.) Floor Cleaning Robots: Have a neat freak in your life that loves to clean, but suffers from knee pain, back pain, arthritis, or other ailments that keep them from enjoying tidying their floors? A Roomba vacuuming robot makes a wonderful gift! Designed to clean carpet and as well as hard surface flooring, the Roomba vacuuming robot has sensors on the bottom enabling it to maneuver around furniture, objects, people or pets. This powerful battery-operated vacuum pulls out dirt, dust and pet hair. You can pick up one of these amazing gadgets at Kohls, Fry’s Electronics, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, Best Buy, and online here.
Here’s hoping you find the perfect gifts for the Arizona retirees and active adults in your life. And if you or someone you know is in the market to buy a home in one of our many Arizona retirement communities this holiday season, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason - Associate Broker
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Client Testimonials Click Here
Top 5 Ranked Arizona Retirement Locales
Looking for a place to retire? According to the U.S. census, 15.4 percent of people living in Arizona are 65 years or older, a proportion slightly larger than the national average. It’s no surprise Arizona would be one of the top places to retire, especially since Arizona as a whole is one of the 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees, according to Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based business and finance-advice publication. A survey on WallHub, a financial-planning website for consumers and small-business owners, ranked the top-50 best places to retire in the country. Not surprisingly, sunny Arizona made the list multiple times!
AARP projects that by 2040, the state will see a 300 percent increase in residents ages 85 or older. The group also found seniors in Arizona have lower rates of high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes than the nation's average rates. Below are the top 5 Arizona retirement locales according to Wallhub:
These Arizona retirement locations feature recreational centers, golf courses and bowling alleys as well as local grocery stores, banks and restaurants clustered throughout the communities. As the number of retirees climbs nationwide, people beginning a new stage of life are seeking out the best places in Arizona to retire. Whole communities already cater to retirees and other active adults throughout the state. If you’re looking for an Arizona retirement community to call home, please contact Sharon Mason today.
RE/MAX National Housing Report for October 2018
The third consecutive month of lower year-over-year home sales in October contributed to the first year-over-year inventory increase in a decade according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for October 2018. Meanwhile, the Median Sales Price recorded one of its lowest increases of 2018.
The RE/MAX National Housing Report for October saw sales decline 4.6 percent from a year ago – compared to sales drops of 11.6 percent in September and 1.1 percent in August – and was the eighth month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017.
As a result, inventory is slowly being replenished, with the number of homes for sale in October increasing 1.0 percent over October 2017. October 2018 was the first month to show a year-over-year increase in inventory since October 2008 when two and a half times as many homes were for sale. The Months Supply of Inventory is now 3.5, compared to 3.3 a year ago.
“The market continues to move toward equilibrium. The modest inventory increase is a much welcome sign for buyers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although home sales were down year-over-year, it’s encouraging to see the magnitude of the decline decrease from the sharp drop we witnessed in September. The trend of easing price increases remains and that’s also a positive.”
October’s Median Sales Price of $236,000 marked the 31st consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and was the highest October price in the 10-year history of the report. Even so, the 4.9 percent gain was the third-lowest year-over-year growth of 2018.
Days on Market of 48 was an October record for fewest days and compares to 51 days in October 2017.
“The imbalance that has defined this market for so long continues to moderate,” said Contos. “However, it will take some time to recalibrate. Rising prices and interest rates and tight inventory levels continue. Buyer and seller expectations still appear to be a bit mismatched suggesting a choppy market remains in place.”
Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for October 2018. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
3 Tips for a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for older adults and Arizona retirees to spend time relaxing and enjoying the company of their family and friends. However, for some older adults Thanksgiving can be emotionally or physically challenging. Here are 3 tips for a healthy, happy Thanksgiving to truly enjoy this terrific holiday.
1.) Eat smart for your heart
With all the Thanksgiving goodies on the table, it can be tempting to go a little crazy on the calories. But senior citizens are more prone to holiday-related health issues so be mindful of what you put on your plate and how much of it you put on there. Overeating can lead to everything from indigestion and heart burn to a heart attack. It’s best to limit gravies, butter and other high-fat choices with plenty of vegetables and lean white meat. And if you want to kick it up a notch and enjoy this beautiful Arizona weather, why not take a walk after enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving meal?
2.) Enjoy some company
When Thanksgiving and the holiday season rolls around, it can spark depression in older adults. It’s common for seasonal depression to make you want to be alone, but don’t isolate yourself on this day. If you are unable to be with your family, spend the day with your friends for a “Friendsgiving” style Thanksgiving celebration. In an Arizona retirement home? Enjoy a meal with the company of the other residents. Thanksgiving is also a great day to volunteer to help prepare the feast at a local food shelter or community home. Giving your time altruistically is a great way to lift your spirits and enjoy the day.
3.) Watch your health
With the cooler temperatures, seniors are more susceptible to cold and flu season. Try to keep your stress levels down as everything from depression and traveling to food prep can weaken your immune system. If you feel under the weather - physically or mentally - during the holidays, don't wait to visit your doctor. Be sure to have an up-to-date list of medications you are taking. If you do face a health emergency during the holidays, it's important for your doctor to know your current medical conditions and have a list of your medications.
Thanksgiving can be a fun and festive joyous start to the holiday season, so it’s especially important that seniors take care of themselves during this time. Share and implement these tips and have a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving! – Sharon
Welcome Back to the Valley of the Sun, Snowbirds!
Fall is here and with Arizona temperatures dipping back into the 80’s, you may have noticed the migration of winter snowbirds returning to the Valley of the Sun. For those who don’t know, snowbirds are seasonal residents who visit warmer climates to escape the harsh winters of their main hometowns. Most hail from the Midwest, Western states, Pacific coast and Canada. Snowbird season is usually from October through May and with it, locals see an influx of retirees, Baby Boomers, and active adults soaking up the sun and enjoying all the amenities Arizona has to offer.
Local snowbirds are often retirees, having no attachments or obligations, and having the freedom to do what they want. Snowbirds move in the same general migratory pattern, but they take very different paths to their winter havens and spend their time differently. Baby Boomers in their 50s are a newer breed of Snowbird often choosing to purchase property in favorable markets and gradually spend more time in the state as they near retirement. From vacation rentals and condos to Arizona homes, some snowbirds are choosing to become permanent residents by their late senior years.
Various well-to-do snowbird retirees land in Sun City and other popular Arizona retirement communities to buy second homes, play tennis or hike, attend the theater and check out art galleries and shopping malls. Developments like Sun City Grand in Surprise and Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria are catering to middle and upper-middle income snowbirds. And with so much to do from swimming laps in the pool to enjoying a round of golf, it’s no wonder so many visitors choose to make Arizona their second home. Either way, they’re enriching Arizona’s culture, community and economy and we extend them a welcome as warm as the weather. Welcome back to the Valley of the Sun, snowbirds!
So whether you’re an active adult seeking a seasonal get-a-way in Sun City or an Arizona retiree searching to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, contact Sharon Mason, your retirement expert, for all your living and retirement needs!
Sharon Mason, Associate Broker
Save the Date for ’56 Rock N Roll Concert at the Sun Bowl
If you’re a lover of classic rock and roll then you’ll definitely want to save the date for ’56 Rock n Roll at the Sun Bowl 10220 N. 107th Ave. Sun City, AZ on Sunday, November 4th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Four amazing musicians, individually accomplished in other genres, come together to ask this question: What if all those legends from Sun Records and the Louisiana Hayride never went to Hollywood, never made TV shows and movies but, were still just playing’? What if Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins and even Elvis were going to be playing’ this Saturday night downtown at the civic auditorium in your town?
’56 brings back to life one of the purest forms of American Roots music and lays it down with style. From blues-tinged, hip-shakin’ rockers like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Shake, Rattle & Roll” to the sultry, starlight ballads of “Fever” or “Love Me”, Bret’s silky-smooth, powerful vocals make every female swoon and the fellas want to run out and race with their buddies for pinks! The ethereal twang of Tom’s Gretsch Falcon on tunes like “Sleepwalk” and “Honey Don’t” are reminiscent of Carl Perkins/Brian Setzer/Duane Eddy while Austins’ wing-tipped acrobatics on the stand-up bass have to be seen to be believed! And with Jeff laying down the beat on the drums – wait ‘til you see both of them simultaneously duel it out on “Mystery Train” – unbelievable!
So, put your glad-rags on and grab your best gal or guy – ’56 is Rock & Roll that's here to stay and they’re gonna blow the roof off the joint! This event is free for Recreation Centers of Sun City (RCSC) cardholders and their escorted guests only! Gourmet food vendors arrive 1-1/2 hours prior to show time for your dining pleasure. Don’t Forget! Bring your lawn chair or blanket! The long awaited return of '56 to the Sun Bowl is a definite do not miss event! Click here for more event details.
For more fun things to do in Sun City, if you’re ready to sell your Sun City home or seeking to buy a home in one of the many Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today! As your local retirement expert, I have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the Valley for Arizona retirees and active adults and will go above and beyond to help you meet your real estate goals!
RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018
The RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 showed the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6 percent year-over-year drop in home sales. At the same time, the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. It is the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.
The decline in home sales year-over-year was the largest since May of 2011, as September became the seventh month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017. Even so, year-to-date 2018 home sales resemble 2017’s.
“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”
Active inventory dropped for the 119th consecutive month, the decline of 4.7 percent from September 2017 was the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the September year-over-year inventory drop was the fifth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen over the previous three years.
“It’s a little surprising to see prices staying so strong, but it’s hardly shocking in such a tight market,” said Contos. “The headwinds of rising prices and interest rates amid already tight inventory levels have been crimping affordability and slowing sales for most of the year, but it varies by geography. In circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent – a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”
Home prices rose by 5.6 percent over September 2017, more than twice the year-over-year price increase of 2.3 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. That reversed a trend seen in the previous three months, when year-over-year price increases trailed 2017’s rate of growth.
Months Supply of Inventory totaled 3.7, which is the second-lowest for September in report history, second only to 3.6 months in September 2017. Days on Market of 46 was a September record for the report – three days less than September 2017. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in September 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down 1.1percent compared to August 2018, and down 11.6 percent compared to September 2017.
Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018. Looking to sell your home or buy a home in an Arizona retirement community? Contact Sharon Mason, your Arizona retirement expert, today!
Social Security Checks Increasing in 2019
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 will be 2.8 percent which means larger social security checks next year for Arizona retirees.
Each year, the Social Security Administration assesses whether there should be an adjustment to benefits, so that their purchasing power keeps up with inflation. The agency uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This year's increase marks the biggest hike since 2012, when the cost-of-living adjustment was 3.6 percent.
For Arizona retirees who have recently elected to take Social Security benefits, this could be the first time they see a "real increase" in their monthly checks, Joe Elsasser, president of Covisum, a provider of Social Security timing software, previously told CNBC.
For those who are collecting an average Social Security benefit of about $1,400, the 2019 cost-of-living adjustment will amount to an extra $39 per month. In the past the boost from the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment has been eaten up for many by higher Medicare premiums. That is unlikely to happen to as many people this year as it did in 2018, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League.
If you’d like more information about the increasing social security checks, if you’re in the market to sell your Phoenix home, or if you’re ready to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Glendale Libraries Planning How to Spend Grant Money
The City of Glendale’s library system was awarded three grants federally funded through the Arizona Secretary of State’s office that they will use to provide new programming for seniors, backpacks filled with educational hiking materials that residents can check out and a heroes-themed book collection for the new Heroes Regional Park Branch Library, which will open in the spring of 2019.
“It’s rare that a library will get two awards, and we went three for three,” shared Chief librarian, Michael Beck at the September Advisory Board meeting. Here’s how the staff is planning to use the $56,000 grant money:
Hiking Backpacks: The largest grant, for $24,500, was for Discovery and Exploration Backpacks containing trails and educational books and tools meant to be taken on hiking trails. The grant will fund forty waterproof backpacks across the city’s four libraries as well as some programming related to the backpacks. Each library will have 10 backpacks with five different themes — two to each theme. Two of the five themes will be geared toward children while three are geared toward adults. They will not be available until January or February. Each pack will have trail guides supplied by Glendale’s Parks and Recreation department.
Programming for Seniors: Glendale received $12,900 in grant funds toward programming for seniors, ages 55 and older. This program will bring in professional artists and educators to teach craft classes. Ms. Fletcher-Spear said she would often look on Pinterest to learn crafts she felt confident she can teach to a class. One popular craft among Glendale libraries that the grant will fund is canvas painting, which Ms. Fletcher-Spear noted is expensive. At least 38 programs are planned across the city’s four libraries. Classes will be spread across daytime, evenings and weekends.
‘Heroes’ collection: Glendale’s newest library is receiving a unique book collection, thanks to an $18,600 grant awarded to the city. The theme of the “Heroes” collection for the Heroes Branch Library, at the corner of 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, is “Find a hero, be your own hero.” The first two parts of the three-part collection will be geared toward the first half of the theme: a graphic novel collection, filled largely with tales of super heroes, and a biography collection will aim to help readers of all ages discover heroes real and fictional. The third part of the collection will be a collection of vocational books, aimed to help readers “be their own heroes” by working toward the career they want. The collection will also feature an online database called JobNow. It is a new service from Brainfuse, a website that provides HelpNow, an online tutoring service that is currently available at Glendale libraries.
For more things to do in Glendale or if you’re looking to sell or buy a home in one of the many Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today!
RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018
The RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018 shows increasing home prices, low inventory and a reduction in days on market. These combined factors made August 2018 the sixth time this year that home sales lagged behind last year’s pace—but only slightly at -1.1 percent. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.
Home prices rose by 3.7 percent over August 2017, much lower than the year-over-year price increase of 5.4 percent from August 2016 to August 2017. In fact, the past three months of 2018 have trailed 2017’s rate of price growth year-over-year—compare that to four of the first five months of 2018 when year-over-year price increases easily topped those posted in 2017.
The Median Sales Price of $248,500 marked the twenty-ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
Even though active inventory dropped for the 118th consecutive month, the decline of 5.4 percent from August 2017 marked the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the August 2018 inventory drop marked the fourth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines, rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen in early 2018 and over the previous three years.
“It varies by market, but we’re hearing that buyers are being more selective and sellers are becoming more pragmatic,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “That dynamic could bring inventory levels up, especially in the most overheated markets, where we expect to see the clearest signs of equilibrium returning. The economy is strong and potential buyers are out there—they just need more listings, at the right price points, to consider. We believe that balance will return, which will be good for everyone in the long run. It’s just a matter of when.”
Contos added that although the lack of inventory continues to be a challenge, the trends suggest that the market finally appears to be rebalancing.
“The moderation we are experiencing seems to be a bit more than the normal seasonal lull we’d expect this time of year,” said Contos.
Want to know more about the current real estate market? Click here to download your copy of the August 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
City of Surprise Bans Cellphone Use While Driving
Metro Phoenix drivers will need to make sure their cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits as of this month. Surprise enacted the toughest cellphone-use law for drivers in the Valley this month. The law prohibits talking on a cellphone, sending a text message or otherwise using a hand-held communications device while driving in the city, unless the device is in hands-free mode.
Police will generally issue warnings only for the first 30 days of the new law, said Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski. After that, the fines will begin. The fine is $250 on the first offense. Surprise officials put an ordinance banning talking, texting or anything involving a handheld communication device into effect last week, the Arizona Republic reported.
The Arizona Legislature has considered enacting a texting-while-driving ban for at least the last decade. This year, a measure that would have banned texting while driving made it through the Senate, but failed to make it through the House.
The Legislature did take one step on the issue, though, banning new drivers, between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18, from using cellphones while driving, unless in a specific emergency or when using a navigation system. Coconino and Pima counties, Oro Valley, Sedona, Tucson and some other cities ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, but no Valley city does.
Tempe has a distracted-driving law that lets police cite drivers for talking on the phone or texting, but only if police think the drivers pose a risk to themselves or others. Some other cities, such as Flagstaff, Fountain Hills and Phoenix, ban texting while driving, but not the overall hand-held phone use.
Drivers, please make sure your cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits, and as always, please drive safe! If you’d like more information about the cellphone ban in Surprise, or if you’re looking to sell your home or buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Beware Package Delivery Notification Scam
Jae Herron, a Valley homeowner says she recently found a notice on her front door, implying she had missed a delivery. Like a lot of consumers, Herron likes to shop and buy online. She says getting packages dropped off at her home happens fairly frequently. So, when she came out of her front door and found a notice saying, "Sorry we missed you" from a company called "Valley Delivery," it got her attention.
But when she called the number on the notice and that's when felt something wasn't quite right. They proceeded to ask her for her date of birth and she said no. Herron says she then grew even more suspicious as the representative kept asking more personal questions, so she hung up and reported the fraud. According to the Better Business Bureau, a company by a similar name, Nu Home Promotions, was told to "modify misleading advertising practices.” Herron says she’s not surprised and wants others to be aware.
This isn’t the first time this package delivery notification scam has happened in the Valley. Earlier this year, Dave Sollis, a homeowner in Surprise said fake delivery people had been hounding him from the same company that's not actually delivering packages, but rather delivery notices aimed at data mining, according to the company's fine print. Sollis said a fake delivery man visited his home at around 5 a.m. one day, leaving a fake delivery notice. Sollis looked up Valley Delivery online and decided it wasn't a legitimate delivery company.
Valley Delivery has done business under several different names. They have a bad record with the Better Business Bureau and have been the target of past investigations looking into their shady marketing practices.
The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers often impersonate well-known shippers or steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate. If you really did miss a delivery, the driver will leave a ticket at your door to arrange for a later delivery or for you to pick up the package. If you or someone you know has been a victim of delivery notice fraud please report the incident to the Attorney General, Better Business Bureau or contact the local, state or Federal regulators most likely to have answers to your questions here.
And as always, never give your personal information or credit card information to anyone over the phone unless you are certain you know that you are dealing with a legit business. As always, shop smart and be safe!
Hacienda Style Home for Sale in Surprise
Welcome home! Located in the well-established community of Sun City Grand Rincon, this popular Hacienda model floorplan style features 3 bedroom 2.5 bathrooms and 2,334 square feet of space to call your own.
The great room features a custom entertainment center, stone electric fireplace, and opens to kitchen and breakfast bar; which boasts pendant lighting, white cabinets with decorative crown molding, stainless appliances, quartz counter tops, double oven, gas cook top, large pantry, custom plank tile, bamboo wood flooring, decorator paint, custom baseboards, lighting, fans, and brushed nickel hardware throughout!
You’ll love the upgraded windows throughout as well. Enjoy two custom guest bathrooms with tiled shower which surrounds comfort height toilets, upgraded vanities and sinks. The master bedroom has a bright bay window, spacious walk-in closets, and the master bathroom features a walk-in shower.
The exterior is just as lovely with a fully fenced wrought iron backyard, extended covered patio, 3 car garage, paid for solar power, and so much more! Furniture is available outside of escrow so please enquire for more details. To schedule an appointment to view this Hacienda style home for sale in Surprise located at 16657 W. Bajada Trail, Surprise, AZ 85387 contact Sharon Mason today!
July 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report
July home sales rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, making it the second month of 2018 to post a sales increase year-over-year, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.
In the July 2018 report, 37 of the report’s 54 metro areas posted sales increases over July 2017—April was the first month of 2018 where more homes were sold than the same month in 2017. The report also marks the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
The Median Sales Price of $250,575 was up 4.4 percent from July 2017, and represents the third-highest price in report history—topped only by May and June of this year. Months Supply of Inventory was at 2.9 – the smallest total ever recorded for July.
Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. The Days on Market dropped to 41 – four days less than July 2017 and one day under the previous nine-year low set in June 2018.
“Because we’ve faced challenging inventories and increasing home prices for some time now, a seasonal slowdown that rebalances the market a bit might actually be a positive in the months ahead,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It could level affordability to some extent and create more opportunity for buyers who’ve been priced out of hot markets.”
The average Days on Market for homes sold in July 2018 was 41, down one day from the average in June 2018, and down 4 days from the July 2017 average. The number of homes for sale in July 2018 was down 0.3 percent from June 2018, and down 7.8 percent from July 2017. Based on the rate of home sales in July, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 2.9 from 2.7 in June 2018, and decreased from 3.1 in July 2017. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In July 2018, all but one of 54 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply at or less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market.
Want to know more? Click here to download your copy of the July 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Sell Your Home Quickly With These Top 3 Design Tips
It’s a sellers’ market which means if you’re ready to sell your Phoenix home, you may not be the only one on the block. Stand out among the competition and sell your home quickly with these top 3 design tips!
1) First impressions are lasting and your home’s exterior makes the first impression to potential buyers. Make a good first impression by making sure your lawns are clean of weeds, debris, and any visually unappealing clutter. Colorful desert blooms and outdoor lighting near the entry way also help emit a welcome home exterior that potential home buyers love.
2.) Home buyers want large, roomy spaces for their belongings. Removing clutter and allowing plenty of room to walk around furniture and easily maneuver around is a great way to help sell your home. Clean windows with open window coverings that let in natural sunlight help spaces seem lighter, brighter and open. Also, placing a few strategically placed decorative mirrors helps further make rooms seem more spacious.
3.) Kitchens and bathrooms are often the first thing buyers gravitate to. Give your cabinetry a set of new hardware and repair any cracks or broken hinges. Make your flooring stand out by cleaning and resealing your tile or refinishing your wood floors. Cleaning or upgrading your countertops really helps make them stand out. Some home sellers even choose to upgrade the bathroom fixtures or kitchen appliances to give their kitchen and bath an extra kick.
If you want to attract more buyers and sell your Phoenix home or if you’re an Arizona retiree seeking the perfect retirement community to call home, please contact Sharon Mason today! I have the proven track record and resources to help you achieve your real estate goals and get top dollar for your home!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
RE/MAX Professionals Celebrates August as the Month of Miracles
Giving back is a priority in the RE/MAX culture. All over the world, RE/MAX agents make a difference in their communities - volunteering, donating money, contributing time and ultimately changing lives.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) raises funds and awareness for 170-member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.
We are excited to announce that our offices will be participating in our fourth annual “Month of Miracles” throughout the month of August. This is a month-long fundraising event is designed to raise much-need money to support our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as raise awareness in our community.
“Children’s hospitals depend on local donations — like those from RE/MAX agents participating in Miracle Home and Miracle Property programs — to provide the top-of-class care kids deserve,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “On behalf of the millions of families impacted by RE/MAX donations, we appreciate each agent’s efforts and thank them for truly making miracles happen in their communities all year long.”
Last year our Month of Miracles event raised over $15,000 and our office made a total contribution to Phoenix Children’s Hospital of $44,160.20! We were recognized by RE/MAX LLC for being the highest contributing office in the Southwest Region (Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico) to the Children’s Miracle Network, and our local Phoenix Children's Hospital! Each donation helps fund pediatric medical equipment, treatments, charitable care and other healthcare services for local CMN hospitals. As the contributions continue to grow, we are able to aid a larger number of sick and injured children – which is something we take great pride in being able to do for our community.
Please help us reach out goal of ONE MILLION PENNIES for the “Month of Miracles” in August, 2018. You can drop by any one of our four offices to participate in our fundraising efforts, or contact me and I will be happy to pick up your donation.
On behalf of all the kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I thank you in advance for your support in helping us achieve this goal for our community!
June 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report
The housing prices are at record highs while inventory is at record lows and home sales are trailing 2017’s pace, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. June sales were 5.5 percent lower than June 2017 in the fifty-four metro areas surveyed, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
Headed in the opposite direction, the June Median Sales Price of $258,500 was an all-time high in the nine-year history of the report. It was 5.1 percent higher than the $245,000 recorded last June, bringing the consecutive months of year-over-year price increases to 27. In each of the previous five years – going back to June 2013’s $193,750 – June has posted the highest Median Sales Price of the year.
“Year-over-year prices have been climbing for more than two years now, which is great news for homeowners and sellers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “In the hottest markets, demand is especially high because there simply aren’t that many homes for sale. The slower sales figures we’re seeing are tied to inventory more than anything else.”
Forty-two of the fifty-four metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. That years-long trend is reflected in Months Supply of Inventory dropping to 2.7 – down 8.8 percent year-over-year and the smallest figure ever recorded for June. Fewer houses for sale generally results in a faster process: Homes sold in June averaged just forty-two Days on Market – five days less than June 2017 and three days under the previous nine-year low of forty-five days.
“Lack of inventory has become a theme for the year,” Contos said. “Having fewer homes to choose from poses a challenge for buyers, who need to be ready to act decisively and quickly. Working with a full-time, professional RE/MAX agent can prepare them for that.”
To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT or click here to download your copy of the June 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
5 Ways to Avoid Home Improvement Scams
Each summer, professional home improvement scammers roam the U.S. in search of victims. Scams include everything from offering unbelievable deals that end up with hidden fees to using low-quality materials and not doing quality work. If you’re in the market for making big repairs to your home, here’s 5 ways to avoid home improvement scams according to Consumer Reports, Inc.
1.) Get recommendations. Avoid contractors that contact you unsolicited. Don’t hire a contractor based solely on an ad in a local newspaper, even if you’re offered a big discount or another incentive. Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives.
2.) See what others are saying. Before hiring a contractor, check his or her work history with your state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Search the Web using the company or individual’s name and such words as “reviews” and “complaints.”
3.) Check credentials. Verify with your state that the contractor has the required license or registration. Some states have funds that reimburse consumers who obtain judgments against licensed contractors.
4.) Know your rights. Some states give consumers three days or so to cancel home-improvement contracts. Under federal law you have three days to cancel most contracts that are signed in your home or outside the contractor’s regular place of business.
5.) Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on spoken promises. Demand a written contract, and get all warranties in writing, too.
Older adults are especially at risk of home improvement fraud so please be on the alert and share with friends and family. For more tips on how to avoid home improvement scams or if you’re looking for a home in one of the many luxury Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today!
New Library in Glendale Coming in Spring 2019
New builds in the Valley of the Sun are always exciting, because they bring new employment, new revenue and new services and amenities to the community. That’s just one of the many reasons so many residents are excited that construction for the new library in Glendale that’s coming in spring 2019!
The Heroes Regional Park Library in Glendale recently broke ground and will be part of the Heroes Regional Park, at 83rd Avenue Bethany Home Road, which has been a work in progress for two decades. The park is currently a mix of play structures and ramadas and vacant land. After long last, part of that vacant land will be used for Glendale’s fourth library branch. A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for the the new library was held last month and construction officially began a few weeks ago. The library is scheduled to open in Spring 2019.
“The Heroes Regional Park Library, while long overdue, is such an exciting opportunity to provide free and equitable access to information, technology and cultural and educational materials to our citizens,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “I want to thank our City Council, especially Yucca District Council member Joyce Clark, for their support. Our Library Board, our city staff — it takes everyone working together to make it happen.”
The new 7,500 square-foot library will serve an estimated 80,000 visitors annually and bring an array of library programs, services and the latest innovations in library technologies to Glendale’s west side. It will eventually have a collection of about 25,000 books. Facility amenities will include dedicated children’s and “teen’s only” patio areas. A large glass window will bring the park inside.
Staffing the new branch will be fifteen employees, adding up to seven and a half full-time equivalent salaries. The new library will also likely offer volunteer positions which are a great activity for active adults and Arizona retirees looking to give back to the community and stay active.
For more information about what’s happening in your West Valley community or if you’re seeking to sell your home or buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
3 Senior Housing Trends for 2018
Now more than ever, Arizona retirees, active adults and baby boomers are reinventing the idea of retirement, taking control of their quality of life, and making their own choices for their personalized retirement experience. The aging population is more active, more empowered about their health care choices, and wanting different living accommodations to better suit their retirement needs. These changes have contributed to these 3 senior housing trends for 2018.
1.) Amenities: Today’s seniors aren’t sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch anymore. They’re playing pickle ball, hiking, going back to school and staying more active than ever before. Due to this, many facilities are considering the area’s appeal to active adults. Arizona retirement communities are offering more amenities and more senior-friendly activities for those early retirement years.
2.) Independence: More Arizona retirement communities are embracing baby boomers and retirees who can live comfortably on their own. The housing market for older adults is gradually adapting to the need of younger retirees by providing self-governing living facilities that encourage and celebrate independence.
3.) Aging in Place: A recent AARP study estimates that nearly ninety percent of people over age sixty-five want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Because of this senior housing trend, there has been a development of more affordable-in-home care programs. There has also been an increase in health technology from wearable medical alert bracelets to health apps for smart phones to help make home care more viable and manageable for Arizona seniors.
If you are an active adult looking for an Arizona retirement community to enjoy your golden years or are looking to downsize or sell your Sun City home, please contact Sharon Mason today!
June National Housing Report
Homes sold faster in May than at virtually any other time in the past decade, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low inventory and high demand in May cut Days on Market to 46, the second-lowest monthly number in the nearly 10-year history of the report. May home sales topped April sales by 14.5 percent, and were down by 2.8 percent from May 2017. The median sales price of $251,673 was up 7.8 percent. By comparison, homes averaged five more days on the market (51) in May 2017, 12 more days (58) in May 2016 and 18 more days (64) in 2015.
“Even with low inventory and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, homes are going from ‘for sale’ to sold 28 percent faster than three years ago,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.
With eleven metro areas increasing the median sales price year-over-year by double digits, May is still a seller’s market, and homebuyers should expect to compete with other buyers when they are ready to make an offer on a home.
“Be prepared — that’s my message to potential homebuyers in this summer selling season,” added Contos. “Make sure you are pre-approved with a lender, try to make a clean offer with no contingencies and, if possible, consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date. Pairing today’s real estate technology with the guidance of a professional RE/MAX agent, can help you find the right home.”
Click here to download your copy of the May2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report or access the housing report infographic here. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
3 Ways to Enjoy a Fun Retirement Staycation
Now’s the fun time of year where many Arizona retirees begin taking their summer vacations. From taking adult cruises to the Bahamas to snorkeling off the Cayman Islands and hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. But these days, more and more active adults are opting to stay close to home and enjoy all the amenities their community has to offer. This has aptly been called taking a “staycation” which is a slang term for frugal vacation without leaving your hometown. Whether you’re saving up or just don’t feel like traveling this year, here are 3 ways to enjoy a fun retirement staycation.
1.) Create a Staycation Schedule: Can you believe there are Arizona retirees who have lived in Arizona their entire life and have not seen the Grand Canyon? If you’re one of those, create a staycation itinerary of some fun places to visit or local things to do. Pick up the paper or check out a local even page online to see what’s happening that you’d be interested in. Visit local art exhibits, craft shows, free live entertainment venues, museums, or try out that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about. The possibilities are endless when you stay in town so why not explore them?
2.) Homeward Bound: Who says you can’t have fun in your own home? It’s easy to get into a daily routine rut that has you yawning long after you’ve started your day. So breaking the bonds of your normal home routines can be a great way to enjoy your staycation. Indulge in some new hobbies like planting a garden, taking a recreational online class, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. If you’re feeling more social than solitary, you can host a weekly book club or host a wine tasting party at home. Fire up the grill and have a dinner party to remember right in your own backyard!
3.) Get Outside: Early mornings and evenings are still great times to discover the hidden gem bike riding trails, join a hiking club, or even indulge in some camping near a lake. Stargazing on a night hike away from the city is a great way to appreciate and connect with nature. Not into trekking and sweating? The many outdoor spring festivals, farmers markets, and public barbeques happening valley wide can help give you a healthy dose of vitamin D and a shot of retail therapy too.
Having fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and staying in doesn’t have to be a bore. If you’re interested in finding more retirement activities for a staycation in your area or if you’re an active adult seeking the perfect home in Sun City, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Get Your Arizona Home Summer Ready
July is usually our hottest month in Arizona and if you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare your air conditioner and home to ensure the lowest energy bills and maximum efficiency. And with the temperatures expected to reach 110 degrees this weekend, you definitely want to make sure you and your home are staying cool. Here’s what you need to do to get your Arizona home summer ready.
Keep Your Filter Clean: Arizona’s 300 days of sunshine contributes to the dry, dusty climate that can quickly clog your air filter and reduce its efficiency. Clogged air filters can lead to higher energy bills and more frequent air conditioning repairs. So be sure to clean or replace your filter every month. If it’s easier, set the same date every month on your calendar or in your phone to change your filters. You and your A/C will be much happier.
Set It and Forget It: If you’re constantly changing your thermostat, you won’t conserve energy in your home. It’s best to set it at the highest comfortable temperature and leave it. Or if you can, use a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust for times you are away from home or sleeping. Also, thermostats can pick up heat from lamps, TVs and appliances so be sure to keep them away.
Get Cool: Using your air conditioner isn’t the only way to cool down your Arizona home. Use ceiling fans and oscillating fans when you can to move and cool the air around your home. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to have it blowing downwards for a cool breeze effect. Just remember to shut your fans off when you’re not in the room or away from home to save energy. You can also invest in room darkening window coverings like sunscreens to help keep the heat out.
During Arizona summers, our homes demand extra care and attention to stay cool and comfortable. The good news is with a small amount of effort, you can sit back and make the most of your home. If you’d like more tips on keeping your home cool this summer or if you’re looking to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 5 Tips for Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona
Summer is nearly hear but the temperatures are already on the rise in Arizona. And for active adults who love to hike outdoors, taking safety precautions to avoid heat stroke and stay protected is especially important this time of year. Trails can turn deadly for even the most avid hikers if they’re not prepared, especially during the summer months. If you’re ready to brave the trails, please don’t forget these top 5 tips for safe summer hiking in Arizona.
For more tips on safe summer hiking in Arizona or if you’re an Arizona retiree looking for a luxury Arizona retirement community to call home this summer, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Looking for Volunteer Work? Northwest Valley Connect Needs Drivers
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Volunteering and helping others can help older adults reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
If you’re an active adult or Arizona retiree looking for a volunteer work then you’ll be happy to know that Northwest Valley Connect is currently looking for drivers! The nonprofit agency helps Northwest Valley residents with transportation challenges find alternatives. One of those is Northwest Valley Connect’s volunteer driver program, in which volunteers use their own vehicles to provide rides for residents for doctor and other medical appointments, grocery shopping and other trips within the area.
NVC officials aim to educate the population it serves on existing transportation resources as well as provide new senior transportation options to service unmet needs. NVC serves as the one-click, one-call resource aimed to keeping older adults in the Valley active and connected to the community. From doctors appointments and errands to grocery store trips and visits with friends, getting Valley residents to the places they need to be easily and efficiently is the agencies primary mission.
Northwest Valley Connect is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the agency responded to more than 10,500 requests for transportation referrals and rides during the past year, according to Kathy Chandler, the executive director of Northwest Valley Connect. Most calls are from residents 55 or older with physical limitations, she added. In the past three months inquiries from Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise residents doubled figures at this same time last year.
NVC’s area of service has also seen growth and now includes Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale and the projection for 2018 response to inquiries is 14,000 or more shared Chandler. If you’d like more information about volunteering for Northwest Valley Connect call 623-282-9304 or visit northwestvalleyconnect.org. If you’d like more information about volunteer activities in Sun City or if you’re looking to downsize to a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 3 Super Summer Health Tips for Seniors
Though the first day of summer is stilltechnically not for another month, there’s no denying that it’s already beginning to heat up in Arizona. And while the summertime is a time of relaxation for most people, for older adults, the heat and sun can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren't taken. Here are the top 3 super summer health tips for seniors that Arizona retirees and active adults can use to make sure they have a fun, safe summer.
1.) Watch for heat stroke: It is extremely important to watch for signs of heat stroke, especially for Arizona retirees. Some signs to look for include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, excessive tiredness, headache, lethargy, nausea, and a rapid pulse. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
2.) Stay hydrated: By the time you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. For active adults, the feeling of thirst decreases as we age, so be sure to increase your water intake if you are exercising or doing any type of prolonged physical activity. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
3.) Apply Bug Spray: The elderly is unfortunately prone to the Zika Virus, West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito carrying this virus.
The beautiful Arizona summers can bring a few dangers for Arizona retirees including sunburn, eye damage, dehydration, heat exhaustion and more. If you follow these top 3 super summer health tips for seniors, there's no reason you can't have an enjoyable and fun-filled summer -- no matter your age.