Keeping your home looking like a furniture showroom for long stretches isn’t easy. Here are a few tips to keep your house ready for showings while you’re still living in it.
Attack the Clutter
As you prepare your home for showing, start with a major decluttering. Throw out, recycle or give away things you don’t use. Getting rid of junk will make your home more appealing to prospective buyers and free up space for you to neatly store things when it’s time to tidy up for a showing.
Rent Storage Space
Keeping things neat is easier when you have fewer things. An off-site storage unit can help (and you can keep it as messy as you like).
Packing most of your dishes and large baking and cooking items frees up cabinet space that you can use to stash items you use on a regular basis. It also gives you a head start on packing for your move.
Rope off a Room or Two
If you can, temporarily rope off rooms or areas from the kids, pets or spouses to contain your mess in a smaller space while your house is listed. But remember to make those rooms look nice, too, before the showing!
Buy Hiding Spots
The home sections of discount stores are filled with attractive fabric boxes and fashionable bins that can simultaneously hide junk and match your decor.
Stash it under the Bed
Invest in a couple of under-the-bed bins that you can use to store everything from socks to kids’ toys in when faced with a last-minute showing.
When showing your home, it pays to work with a professional. Call my office and get started today!
Sharon Mason, Associate Broker
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Ready to sell your home and feeling a little stressed out about the open house? Don’t be! Open houses are a great way to showcase your home with potential buyers coming through your door. Make sure to do these outdoor items before your open house so that interested buyers will want to make an offer on your home:
Keep It Mowed
Having a lush and well-kept lawn is one of the simplest landscaping elements that can increase the resale value of a property. Initial impressions are important in selling a home and one of the first things that potential buyers will notice is the front lawn. Make sure to mow your lawn the day before an open house in order to keep an overall fresh look. Allowing your lawn to grow too long may deter some buyers or even subconsciously cause them to discount their potential offer. If you can’t make time to mow the lawn before the open house, consider hiring a lawn care service to do it for you.
Clear It Away
Whether it is leaves, weeds, or trash that blew into your yard, make sure that your lawn is in top condition at the start of an open house. Rake leaves and clear away debris that has gone unnoticed for far too long. Pick up sticks that may have fallen from a recent storm and make sure to kill and remove all weeds in the lawn and garden beds in order to leave a good impression. Do a thorough overview of your lawn before an open house to make sure that things have been picked up and put away.
Add Some Color
Invite potential buyers into your home by adding pops of color near the front door. A simple pot with bright flowers will leave a positive impression on those entering your home. You may also consider adding a few planters near walkways to subtly welcome potential buyers.
Light It Up
Most open houses are planned in the afternoon where lighting most likely won’t be needed, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your outdoor lighting. Update your outdoor patio lights that will look sharp even without the lights on. Or consider adding walkway lighting that adds a safety feature to the home. Solar pathway lights are easy to install and are also energy efficient.
Fix the Small Things
Could your mailbox use a coat of paint? Is there a ripped window screen that needs to be replaced? Be sure to do these things prior to an open house. Other areas that are easily overlooked include a rust spot on the front door or a lightbulb that is burnt out on the patio lighting. These small projects are easy to forget when trying to sell a home but may become detractors for potential buyers. Make sure that everything is in tip-top condition so that potential buyers will see only the good parts of your home.
When everything in today’s world is just a short Google search away, you may find yourself wondering why you should hire a real estate professional to help you buy or sell a home.
Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you through the complicated processes and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying or selling a home is definitely not a DIY project you want to mess up. Here are a few ways a professional can help you navigate buying or selling a home:
There’s more to real estate than just finding the home
It has been noted that there are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?
You Need a Skilled Negotiator
Today’s market is cut throat and hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.
Know what the home you are buying or selling is actually worth
How are you to know exactly what is going on in your local housing market with it comes to the flood of information on the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates? How do you know what is accurate? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?
Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.
Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Having a professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage and I’m here to help. Call my office to explore your options today!
Instead of wondering whether or not you should sell your home this fall, consider selling this summer. Here are 4 reasons to sell your home this summer:
1: Buyer Demand Will Remain Strong
Buyers are out in force looking for their dream homes! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available! According to NAR, the median days on the market for a listing was only 24 days last month!
2: There is Less Competition Now
Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.
3: There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in both down payment & mortgage payment, if you wait.
4: It's Time to Move on with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
If you’re considering selling your home this summer give my office a call to help you navigate your options.
A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.
The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. Recently, we have questioned, “Are Low-Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.
2. Building Materials
Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.
Previously, it was stated that we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, however, it’s been reported that economists had started to push that projection past 2020. Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.
We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it’s a great time to be in the market. Give me a call today and I will help you navigate your options!
Home Sales Accelerate While Inventory Hits 34-Month High
May home sales ticked slightly higher year-over-year, ending a 9-month streak of declines, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. At the same time, inventory grew for the eighth consecutive month, representing the most units for sale since August 2016 in the report’s 54 metro areas.
Homes sold quickly, as evident in the Days on Market average of 47 – the second-fastest May average in the 10-year history of the report. And home sales increased 15.3% from April to May – the second-highest April-May jump in report history.
Home sales were up 0.4% over May 2018 - the first year-over-year gain since July 2018. The number of homes for sale increased by 4.9% year-over-year to set a report record for the highest May growth. However, based on the pace of home sales, May’s 2.6 Months of Inventory was down compared to April’s 2.8 months and the 2.9 months of May 2018.
The Median Sales Price of $259,500 was up 3.4% year-over-year, representing the lowest May increase since 2011.
“The spring selling season was in full bloom during the month of May, offering both buyers and sellers something to like,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Buyers are generally finding increased selection along with moderating price increases. At the same time, in general, sellers are selling their homes quickly while still enjoying some price gains. Bottom line, the market is operating efficiently right now, and homes are selling, on average, at a good clip.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in May 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 15.3% compared to April 2019, and up 0.4% compared to May 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales increase were Billings, MT at +64.2%, Burlington, VT at +61.6%, and Minneapolis, MN at +35.8%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In May 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $259,500, up 3.3% from April 2019, and up 3.4% from May 2018. Three metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA at -5.1%, Honolulu, HI at -3.2%, and Billings, MT at -1.6%. Three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages: Milwaukee, WI at +14.2%, Boise, ID at +13.6%, and Albuquerque, NM at +10.2%.
Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in May 2019 was 47, down five days from the average in April 2019, and up two days from the May 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 25, and San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO, both at 26. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME at 106, Miami, FL at 87, and Hartford, CT at 84. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in May 2019 was up 4.5% from April 2019 and up 4.9% from May 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in May 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.6 from 2.8 in April 2019 and decreased compared to 2.9 in May 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In May 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL at 6.2 reported a months supply at or over six. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID at 1.2, Omaha, NE at 1.3, and Manchester, NH and San Francisco, CA, both at 1.4.
Contact me or my team for more information on the market status and we will be glad to help you!
For Father’s Day this year, get your dad something he’ll really appreciate – help him tackle his home improvement to-do list. Here are a few suggestions:
Trim the Yard
Don’t stop at simply mowing the grass and weeding the beds. Try adding some class with edging. Plastic, rubber, and stone edging pieces are easy to install and a simple way to clean up the yard.
Wash the house
Rent a power washer from your local home improvement store and with just a few hours of work, you can return Dad’s home and driveway to its former glory. Be careful around windows, doors, and screens because the high-pressure flow could cause damage Dad won’t be thrilled about.
Service the AC
Take a look at his air conditioning system. You can clean or swap out the filter on your own. Leaving it too long can clog the system and cause the air conditioning to malfunction. Take a look at the pan under the unit. If there’s water in it, there might be a clog in the drain line that you can flush yourself. If the unit needs more help, schedule a pro for regular service and pick up the tab for Dad.
Finish the Deck
Give the man who has it all a nice space to unwind by cleaning, sanding and staining the deck. A good power wash will brighten the wood by blasting off a layer of grunge and a coat of stain will help seal out the elements and keep the wood intact.
Build a Fire Pit
Get creative with gravel, stone, and bricks and don’t forget to buy chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers for the inaugural s’mores.
If you’re looking to buy the right home, it often starts with hiring the right real estate agent. How do you determine which agent is the one for you?
Narrow down your real estate agent options with these four steps.
Read About Them
Want to know what it’s really like to work with a specific agent? Get a feel for the experience by reading what past clients have to say about them.
“An agent can tell someone all day long that they’ll work hard for them. But positive reviews from past clients really say it,” says Jeff Bowers, Broker/Owner at RE/MAX Pro Realty in Charleston, South Carolina.
Make Sure They Know Their Stuff
Homebuying and selling is a competitive space. Understanding the ins-and-outs of what you will face as a buyer or seller is critical, so it’s not a bad idea to have an experienced agent in your court.
“An agent who doesn’t sell many homes a year, or is a part-time agent, is not sharpening their skills and staying on top of the market,” says George Pilant, Managing Broker at RE/MAX Northwest in Tacoma, Washington. “Skill and success require a mastery of fundamental real estate tasks. Mastery comes through practice and repetition, and a productive agent is continually practicing their craft.”
Test Their Local Knowledge
In order to help you buy or sell a home quickly and efficiently, a good understanding of the location you are interested in is key.
“An experienced agent that understands local area/neighborhood dynamics is important. The economy, unemployment, job growth, upticks and downsizes in businesses, traffic, construction, and climate all influence real estate market supply and demand, pricing, days on market, concessions, etc. And all feed into the home-buy or home-sale equation,” says Jen Horner, an agent with RE/MAX Masters in Salt Lake City, Utah. “As every real estate market has its intricacies, the experience is a must to navigate these dynamics.”
Ask the Right Questions
When interviewing a potential agent, make sure to ask them questions about what to expect from them during the buying/selling process. How often will they communicate with you, how do you get in contact with them? Having a knowledgeable, productive agent is important, but so is having a personable, easy-to-work-with agent.
“A home purchase is a serious investment – most likely a consumer’s largest investment. Therefore, the importance of choosing the right agent is paramount,” says Horner. “Experience is important, but the ability to mesh and have good communication and rapport is critical as well. Do you get the feeling during your interview that the real estate agent is trustworthy and honest? You need to find a Realtor that’s going to work hard for your best interest!”
Bottom line, call me and put me to the test.
Before you put your home on the market, it is important to ask a professional for guidance on improving your home’s presentation. As your agent, I can tell you what buyers expect in your particular market and at your home’s price point. Check out these 10 steps to get a head start on preparing to sell your home.
Make your front door visible and accessible to buyers. Paint the door, clear debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and prune hedges. Pot or plant colorful annuals and perennials to attract attention from the street. Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles, and outdoor lighting, and replace your doormat. Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers.
Make it Sparkle
Cleanliness implies that your home has been well taken care of. Deep cleaning can win points with potential buyers. Buyers judge homes; Especially their kitchens and bathrooms. Try recaulking and repainting to give these grime-prone rooms a fresh and clean look. Clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains or dinginess and eliminate odors. Tidy each room, including cabinets, closets and the garage, before showing. If it seems daunting to do all that cleaning yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of all of it for you.
Cramped and cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your house look smaller. A home packed with your personal belongings also makes it difficult for others to envision living there. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos. Pack up things you don’t use on a daily basis, and put them in storage or ask a friend to hold onto them. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.
A well-done, no-frills paint job is all you need. Put a fresh coat of paint on white or beige walls, and repaint walls that have eccentric or unconventional colors. Nature-and spa-inspired neutral colors, such as taupe and subtle gray, are the best choices. Do not forget the trim and molding either. Also, a fresh paint job on outdated or worn cabinetry goes a long way, too.
Fix the Small Stuff
Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. You can install new door handles, faucets, towel bars, and curtain rods – fixtures that are readily visible to homebuyers – rather inexpensively. New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components.
Replace decorative light fixtures that no longer fit your home’s cleaner, fresher look. Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home. For example, ambient, low-key lighting fills a room, whereas directional or task lighting works better in areas like a reading nook. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers’ attention to certain selling points.
Ensure you have the right window treatments, which enhance natural brightness and boost the appearance of a home. Window treatments also can impact a room’s temperature because they reduce or increase the amount of light entering the space. Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings.
Set the Table
Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch. Also, keep place settings handy for your tables so you can quickly set them out right before showings or an open house. Pull out all the formal stops for a dining room, and keep the table casual in the kitchen.
Hide Every Day Items
It’s best not to leave children’s toys and pet belongings out in the open during showings and open houses. Move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates and kids’ entertainment to less conspicuous areas of the home, such as an outdoor storage unit or garage before each showing or open house. Also, think about where you can store things like dirty laundry and dirty kitchen sponges.
Don’t Forget the Back
Keep your backyard looking spacious and functional. Plant or pot colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.
Contact me today to get you started and we can help you every step of the way.
Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, accepting a new job offer in another city, or fleeing to (or from) the suburbs, deciding what you need to do to get your house market-ready can be confusing. Should you go into renovation mode? Or should you sell as is?
Items that impact the home’s operation need to be fixed before you list. Is there a leaky roof, a broken furnace, plumbing or electrical system issues? These are all things sellers are legally obliged to disclose. If not, a home inspector will identify them to a potential buyer, possibly leading to an offer being withdrawn.
However, not all things need to be fixed up. Here are some things to consider when selling your house.
No Renovation ROI
Most home renovations don’t pay off instantly or at all. Complete bathroom and kitchen renovations add the most value but also cause the most disruption and can be very expensive. If these rooms haven’t already been renovated it could be a bad idea to start now, just before selling. Focus on making sure the existing selling features of the home are in great shape.
Stress of Living in a Renovation Zone
If you are fortunate enough to own a larger home with multiple bathrooms and a spare room or two, renovating may not be quite as challenging as it is for those in smaller spaces. However, if you’re not doing the work yourself (and sometimes even then), you’re at the mercy of your suppliers’ timelines of when they come and go from the home. That means you have to live there while renovating even though you’re not going to be the one to benefit. Before you sink $20,000 into a last-minute kitchen transformation, consider smaller renovations. You could just paint or replace cupboard door fronts or add some new hardware to update the look.
Buyers Like the Space or Don’t
If a potential buyer can’t imagine living in a particular space, they’re not going to make an offer, unless they plan to flip or gut and rebuild, regardless of recent updates or renovations. You can’t anticipate how someone else will want to use the space. A study may become a hobby room or a nursery. A small bedroom may become a big, luxurious bathroom. Concentrate on creating a space that suggests multiple possibilities rather than trying to anticipate the needs of someone else.
Don’t let past house wishes influence your renovation decisions when you’ve decided to move on. It is no problem that you never got around to expanding the master bedroom closet. Your next home may have the big walk-in closet you desire. Don’t just move — move on.
Start on the Outside
Curb appeal starts on the outside, not the inside. Focus your renovation motivation there first. All the energy you spend on interior renovations will be pointless if you neglect your home’s exterior. Get rid of all the bikes your kids have outgrown, re-seed those patches of lawn where the grass is yellow, paint the door and create an approach to your home that’s welcoming. If you’re going to invest in something other than landscaping for the exterior, make it something like new patio furniture that you can take to your new home.
Clean Outweighs New
Nothing will make an offer disappear faster than the sight of a dirty house and hard usage. Grubby walls, scratched floors, torn carpet, cracked tiles, appliances with fingerprints and ratty towels are small things that unpleasantly remind prospective buyers that other people are using a home. You want your buyers to see themselves living in the home. If you really can’t bear to paint over the door frame where you marked your children’s heights over the years, replace it and take the old one with you. Selling your major life investment is about being pragmatic, not sentimental.
Appeal to the General Buyer
While it may be your dream to own a home with a hot tub or a pool, it’s not necessarily your buyer’s dream. The same goes for a home theater, game room or built-in bar. Those renovations may have no appeal whatsoever for an outdoorsy family that spends every weekend off-roading, running marathons or hiking in the mountains. Don’t be the house that’s too much for the neighborhood, or you’ll end up being the house that’s priced way too high. You could end up taking a huge loss as a result.
Keep your renovations logical and do not dwell on the sentimental. It’s time to move on to your next chapter and sell your investment. Clean up the home and make sure it’s functional updating only what you think will appeal to the general buyer.
When considering how to protect your real estate investments, don’t forget about pets. It’s no secret that pets can cause serious damage to a home. In addition to home damage, certain breeds may also pose other liabilities. As a flexible and easy to work with landlord, you may want to welcome all breeds. However, insurance companies don’t feel the same. This can make it difficult for people with pets to find rentals willing to accept them. Especially, for renters with multiple pets.
So, the question stands: should you accept pets in your rentals? It really depends. Here are some reasons why you should accept pets in your rentals:
Not All Pets are Destructive
While it’s absolutely true that many pets are destructive (especially young ones), most are not. When carefully vetting prospective tenants through personal references, interviews, and so on, you can likely find out how a person cares for their pets and property.
Do they often exercise their pet? Do they work long hours away from home? Do they take their pet on day trips with them? Do they leave the pet alone for hours on end with no company, exercise, or potty breaks? These types of questions can be found out during casual conversation when interviewing possible tenants and make a huge difference in the way the pet will behave in your rental property.
You should also establish a pet agreement that includes a picture of the pet, its veterinary information and a pledge that there is no history of violence with the animal. Then collect a pet deposit, along with monthly pet rent, to cover possible pet damage to the property.
Some Rentals Are More Pet-Friendly Than Others
Does the property have a fenced yard? Does it have tile flooring? If so, you may want to consider accepting pets.
It would be difficult for a domesticated animal to harm tile floors. However, in properties where there are wood floors, you may not want to allow dogs as the potential for damaging these floors is much higher.
Just because you accept pets in one property doesn’t mean you need to across the board. If none of your properties are a good fit for animals it is ok to state that.
Pet-Owning Renters Are Willing to Pay Deposits and Fees
People love their animals; they’re part of the family. This is why many renters are willing to pay an extra security deposit plus pet rent each month to ensure they can house their animals.
Most follow through with the required additional payments and are responsible for their pets.
Offering a refundable pet deposit could help ensure that the tenants help preserve the property and guard against pet damage, as well.
There is no incentive to prevent an animal from damaging a place if someone pays a non-refundable deposit up-front, however, if there are a few hundred dollars on the line, it’s safe to assume renters will put in the effort to fix any pet-related damage prior to move out or adjust said pet’s behavior.
What to Do If Pets Cause Damage
If upon move out, you sense pet odor, deploy an odor bomb in the venting system. This is usually less than $60 and very effective to destroy pet odor.
What about puppy chewing damage? If these damages exceed the pet deposit, try to bill the tenant for the remaining costs. Most of the time, they will not want to be taken to court and will settle up for fear of the cost coming up on their credit report.
Overall, accepting pets in your rentals can help you appeal to families that are not accepted in other properties. It is usually less frightening than it seems and there are ways to help undo pet damage caused by your tenants. The pros outweigh the cons in this case and help ensure that you are a flexible property owner who is easy to work with. Just make sure to cover your bases and protect your assets.
April home sales finished just 1.1% below a year ago as selling times shortened and tight inventory held steady, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Meanwhile, April’s median home price of $251,000 in the report’s 54 markets was up a mere 2.1% - the smallest year-over-year April increase in eight years.
April’s year-over-year sales decline of 1.1% marked the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year decreases, but April’s sales dip was the smallest during that time. At the same time, inventory increased 4.8% and marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth in number of homes for sale.
Compared to March, home sales in April sped up by a full week, taking an average of 52 days instead of 59. The average in April 2018 was 51 days. The Months Supply of Inventory in April decreased year-over-year from 3.0 to 2.6.
While the March-over-February increase in home sales of 28.8% was the smallest in five years, the April-over-March increase of 11.2% was an April-over-March record for the 10-year history of the report.
“April’s home sales blossomed, suggesting the typical seasonal jump in spring sales arrived later than usual this year,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Solid buyer interest and sellers with realistic price expectations advanced the market’s march toward equilibrium last month. That said, inventory remains constricted, and prices continue to climb, albeit at a slower rate. All in all, April’s results were encouraging, and we continue to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a healthy spring selling season.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in April 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 11.2% compared to March 2019, and down 1.1% compared to April 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Augusta, ME, at +30.4%, Des Moines, IA, at +23.6%, and Milwaukee, WI, at +22.9%.
In April 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $251,000, up 2.1% from March 2019, and up 2.1% from April 2018. Three metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA, at -1.4%, Seattle, WA, at -1.0%, and Anchorage, AK, at -0.3%. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest gains in Boise, ID, at +14.8% and Birmingham, AL, at +13.8%.
The average Days on Market for homes sold in April 2019 was 52, down seven days from the average in March 2019, and up one day from the April 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, at 27, and Denver, CO, and San Francisco, CA, both at 30. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME, at 116, Hartford, CT, at 89, and Miami, FL, at 86. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
The number of homes for sale in April 2019 was up 3.3% from March 2019 and up 4.8% from April 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in April 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.6 from 2.9 in March 2019, and decreased compared to 3.0 in April 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In April 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.3 reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID, Denver, CO, Manchester, NH, and Omaha, NE, all at 1.2.
Are you dreading retirement and no longer receiving a paycheck? Sure, you planned and knew this was coming, but it can still keep you up at night. How do you live within your means without this paycheck?
If you are struggling to live within your budget there are a few suggestions that might help bring your retirement expenses in line with a more modest retirement income.
The most important thing you can do is to economize on legacy goods and services. Get rid of the things you're paying for that you don't really care about anymore. For example, maybe you're still paying for a membership to a swim-and-tennis club that your kids used to use, or a gym membership that you intended to use but never did. Or, if you have remarried, you can consolidate a lot of bills -- like insurance, phone, AAA membership -- to help your monthly budget.
It’s also a good idea to skip out on the warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s club now that the kids are grown and purchase only what you can eat each week or every other week.
Sure, this may only save a few dollars here and there but add them all up and you might be saving real money each month to help balance the lack of paycheck coming in.
If you downsize, you can sell some of the things you no longer use. You can think ahead and join in on some of the neighborhood tag sales or even hold a yard sale of your own.
You may even have bigger ticket items that you no longer use or need. What about that old boat you bought when your kids were teenagers? Is there an extra car that's rusting away in the driveway, or a vacation condo or timeshare you hardly ever use? Even if your unwanted items have greatly depreciated, it's still better to have the money now rather than the headache of getting rid of it later on.
Additionally, as you enter retirement you should be paying down debt not taking out more loans. There will be no more salary increases to cover those additional monthly payments and getting rid of those payments could free up a lot more monthly money. The credit card is the worst with high-interest rates high and penalties, so try to clear those as soon as possible. If you are running a balance, don't hesitate to call your credit company to try to negotiate a better rate.
However, the mortgage can be and should be the last debt to pay off. While there is no better security than having a safe home to live in free of debt, this is a normal payment to have as you enter retirement.
What about your grownup kids? Are you still footing their cell phone bills, car payments, rent? It’s understandable to want to help the ones we love or even shower them with gifts. But it’s time they understand that your monthly income is changing and that you can no longer add their monthly bills to your expenses.
Bottom line: you will be bringing in less money per month and it’s time to downsize in any way you can. This should be a freeing time with less worry and less hassle, not a time for fear. It is very possible to live within your means and have a fulfilling life, even in retirement.
Congratulations, you’re selling your home! If you haven’t yet, you should hire a real estate professional to help you through the process and from there, your agent will ask you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers. This is quite possibly one of the most important key factors in selling your home! You need to make sure your home is accessible and here’s how:
Check out these different levels of home access to decide which is right for you
Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.
With more competition coming to the market this summer, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.
Contact me today and I will walk you through the different options to set you up for success!
There are many reasons why a homeowner decides to sell their house and move. The latest Generational Trends Report from NAR asked recent home sellers to share their reason for moving.
The younger the respondents (ages 29 to 53), the more likely their top response centered around needing a larger home. Relocating for a job was the top reason for those ages 54 to 63 and the second most popular response for those under 53.
For homeowners over the age of 64, wanting to be closer to friends and family served as the top motivator to move. Downsizing to a smaller home or moving due to retirement came in as a close second and third.
Have you outgrown your current house? Are you a homeowner who can relate to wanting to be closer to family and friends? Is your house becoming a burden to clean now that the kids have moved out.
Contact my real estate office and I help set you on the path to selling your current house and finding the home that fits your needs, today!
New waves of first-time homebuyers hitting the market this summer have created a new and interesting statistic. A survey in move.com showed that nearly 60% of buyers searching for a home this spring said they are willing to consider buying a fixer-upper rather than endlessly searching for the home of their dreams. 95% of those said they believe the projects needed will increase their new home’s value.
As stated in several interviews and articles on Realtor.com’s, low-inventory for entry-level price ranged homes is to blame for the increase in willingness to renovate.
Just over half of all respondents who said they would be willing to buy a home in need of some TLC would also spend more than $20,000 to make the home fit their needs.
The most common ‘expected’ renovation is a kitchen remodel which can run anywhere from $22,000 for a minor remodel to $66,000 for a major remodel.
This isn’t a new trend by any means. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, “Americans spent $336.9 billion on remodeling projects, up 7.4% from the $313.6 billion a year earlier.”
Home renovation television shows have given many buyers hope that they could renovate a home they can afford into their dream home. Are you up for the task?
If you are one of the many Americans considering buying a home this spring, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find a house with the potential to be your dream home.
Kicking off the spring homebuying season, March sales climbed almost 29% over February, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. But this remains the slowest start in five years, with March sales 8.6% lower than March 2018.
March was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines and the sixth straight month of year-over-year inventory growth, with a 5.3% gain. Housing activity in the report’s 54 markets nationwide also saw the Median Sales price grow by 3.4% year-over-year – notably smaller than the year-over-year increases in February (5.5%) and January (4.6%). However, the median sales price has risen by more than 3% year-over-year in 17 of the last 18 months.
From 2015 to 2018, the housing market’s spring sprang to life with an increase in sales from February to March averaging 37.0%. March 2019’s month-over-month increase of 28.8% was the smallest since 24.6% in 2014.
Days on Market increased to 59 from 57 last March, while Months Supply of Inventory declined year-over-year to 2.7 from 3.0.
“It was encouraging to see month-over-month sales improve during March,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although the seasonal bounce that typically ends the first quarter wasn’t as strong as in the past few years, conditions are in place for a healthy spring selling season. Falling interest rates, rising inventory and moderating price increases against the backdrop of a healthy overall economy are cause for optimism for buyers and sellers alike.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in March 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up
28.8% compared to February 2019, and down 8.6% compared to March 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Burlington, VT, at +48.3%, Wichita, KS, at +46.8%, and San Francisco, CA, at +44.3%.
In March 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $246,000, up 2.5% from February 2019, and up 3.4% from March 2018. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA, at -3.8% and Hartford, CT, at -1.4%. Three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages – Manchester, NH, at +12.2%, Omaha, NE, at +11.8%, and Wichita, KS, at +10.7%.
The average Days on Market for homes sold in March 2019 was 59, down three days from the average in February 2019, and up two days from the March 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, and San Francisco, CA, both at 31, and Denver, CO, at 35. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME, at 122, and Burlington, VT, and Hartford, CT, both at 97. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
The number of homes for sale in March 2019 was up 0.3% from February 2019 and up 5.3% from March 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in March 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.7 from 3.7 in February 2019, and from 3.0 in March 2018. A six-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In March 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.5 reported a supply at or over six months, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Denver, CO, at 1.2, and four metros at 1.3 – San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Boise, ID, and Manchester, NH.
A lot of homebuyers are interested in buying pet-friendly homes so that they can finally settle with their ‘furever’ friend. Pointing out the aspects of your home that appeals to owning a pet can help you attract these buyers over other homes. That’s 68% of the market that’s looking for a pet-friendly home!
As a homeowner looking to list their home, how do you stand out among the rest of the listings to get your home noticed and sold?
These pet owners are looking to treat their pet like family and want them to be safe and comfortable. This means that the community also needs to be pet-friendly, not just the home.
Most aspects of buying, selling and owning a home, come down to pet-friendly variables, which is of no surprise since $72 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2018.
Pet Stats Matter in Choosing a Home
12% percent have moved for their pet
19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet
89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
81% of Americans say their pets play a role in their housing situation
31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals
Even new home builders are taking new strides to make their homes marketable to pet owners. Some have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck inside door jams to attract new pet owners and home buyers.
What can you do to stand out in this pet-friendly market? Make sure to point out the features of your home that will attract these pet owners:
Fully fenced in backyard – (91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)
Sectioned off or split floor plan homes. These make it easier to gate certain areas
Tile and wood flooring compared to carpet that holds dander, allergens, hair and shows dirt
A backyard big enough for the pet to do their business and still have room to play and run
Take advantage of the fact that many Americans love their pets and will do anything they can to find a home that includes these valuable features by showing how your home can meet these needs.
Head Back to College, Are You Crazy?
Regardless of your age, it’s a safe bet to say that you are not ready for that rocking chair, whether it be physical or metaphorical. Whether you’re still working or have already retired, it’s becoming common practice to take advantage of local college classes.
Educational pursuits of some Boomers center around taking courses for a new career, or even to finish up a degree started once upon a time. However, the vast majority are taking classes for fun and personal enrichment. Often times, these enrichment classes can cost little or close to nothing.
Degree and Certificate Programs
When walking along campus at night, you will find a lot of teens and mid-twenties but surprisingly there also seems to be a large number of older adults who have gone back to school to become dental hygienists, x-ray technicians, medical assistants or to pursue similar careers.
There has also been an increase in Baby Boomers who decided to go back to school to get advanced degrees in their current field to keep up with new educational demands of the times or even to get the necessary training to start a brand new career. Some examples are those who enrolled in programs to become chefs, computer technicians, and tax consultants, often as second career choices.
If you have not retired yet, and you are looking to start a new career or you are hoping to advance in your current job, going back to college is a smart first step towards reaching your goals.
You can expect to pay tuition for these types of classes and will have additional expenses for books and materials. However, if this is to improve your skills for your current job, your employer may help cover some of these costs. If you are going back to school in order to change career, you should be eligible for a student loan through Sallie Mae that will help you cover all or most of the costs.
Enrichment Programs for Fun and Enlightenment
A large number of Baby Boomers are also signing up for free or low-cost Emeritus programs through the colleges in their communities. Many community colleges and private universities, as well as online universities, offer local senior citizens the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of educational experiences. These classes are offered free or for a very low fee. The choices available may include sitting in on lectures, auditing classes, or participating in programs that have been specifically designed for senior citizens.
For example, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University offers university-quality, non-credit courses for students 50+ years old. There are no tests, no grades, and no educational requirements for these classes. Better yet, it’s only $20 per semester fee and only $10 in the summer! The classes range from history to art, Philosophy to travel, current events and more. In addition to these classes, you receive many member benefits like discounted admission to museums, venues, centers for the arts, ballet performances and more across the state. You can certainly find something that will appeal to your unique interests that’s also kind to your pocketbook.
Advantages of Going Back to College
Whether you are going back to school in order to improve your job opportunities or to enhance your health and enjoyment of life, remember that you are never too old to become a student. People have been known to continue to take college classes well into their 90's.
Those of you who choose to take a free or low-cost community course will discover that these programs are a great way to meet new people with common interests, stay physically fit, and keep your mind functioning at its best.
In addition, it is healthy for everyone to pursue their own interests after they retire. Taking a few classes will prevent you from becoming too bored, too much of a recluse, or from driving your family crazy with expectations of entertaining you. It’s never too late to grow your mind.
Not from Arizona originally? Missing the great tastes of your hometown food? There’s a great chance that if you are from another state, your favorite food is most likely already here in Arizona. If it’s not, it is surely on its way.
Arizona has been listed as one of the top places for migration across the US. So whether you’re from the West Coast or the East Coast or somewhere in the middle, chances are you will find a taste of home here.
New York, Maryland, Michigan?
Chicago has a large number of its restaurants here but before we dive into that, let’s take a look at places from across the US.
From New York, we feature Times Square an Italian restaurant, Lorenzo’s Pizza and Pasta and Chompies.
Craving a hoagie or Philly cheesesteak? Then we’ve got you covered at Corleone’s in Phoenix or Scottsdale. For you Marylanders, Ernie’s Karaoke and Sports Bar serves up some authentic Maryland crab. Die-hard Steelers fan? You can find a club with your name on it and Iron City Beer at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek.
Let’s not forget about Michigan and California. You can find those fares at Detroit Coney Grill, Cornish Pasty and Ono Hawaiian BBQ and can find several locations across the valley.
If you’re from the Buffalo, New York area, there is no doubt that you may be missing a dog right about now. To fix that craving, simply check out Ted’s Hot Dogs in Tempe. You won’t be disappointed. They offer cheese sauce and all the fixings your heart desires!
The Windy City
Last but not least, we have a wide selection of restaurants serving up great eats from Chicago scattered all across the valley of the sun.
Fixing for a classic deep dish? Then you’ll want to stop by Oregano’s, Guido’s and Chicago Hamburger Company with several locations in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. Craving other great Chicagoan fares? You can get your hands on some great pizza, beef, burgers, and dogs at Lou Malnati’s, Portillo’s and Giordano’s all without having to hop on a plane.
It’s safe to say you can find fare from just about anywhere across the US in Arizona and more restaurants are popping up each day!
Sharon Mason, Associate BrokerRE/MAX Professionals623email@example.com www.RetireArizonaStyle.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter!
For Sale in Sun City West, Arizona
Just listed in the beautiful adult community of Sun City West, Arizona! This lovely move-in ready retirement home is two bedrooms, two baths with 1,160 square feet. Popular Del Webb Woodbury floor plan has a large living room, dining room and updated kitchen.
Tile flooring in the kitchens, bathrooms and hallways! Kitchen features include white appliances, updated cabinets and counters, and a cozy eat-in nook. Well-appointed master suite with a walk-n shower, spacious walk-in closet, and updated bathroom vanity.
Amazing laundry room that doubles as a hobby room or workshop! Approximately 204 additional square footage in this very usable space. Great curb appeal with easy maintenance desert landscaping and an extended tile patio with a walled in area which is great for pets.
Retirement in Sun City West, Arizona includes activities for all walks of life, golf, hiking, biking, hobbies, crafts, entertainment and so much more. This home is move-in ready and priced to sell. Click here to see the full listing information. For a private tour, contact me today!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason - Associate Broker RE/MAX Professionals 623-810-9988
National Housing Report
A sixth consecutive month of declining home sales in January
contributed to the largest year-over-year inventory increase in at least ten
years, according to the RE/MAX National
While year-over-year home sales dropped eleven percent – extending
a streak that began in August – inventory grew year-over-year by an average of
6.4 percent across the report’s fifty-four U.S. metro areas. January marked the
fourth consecutive month of year-over-year inventory growth – further reversing
a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. December 2018’s year-over-year
inventory growth of 4.7 percent was the previous record in the report’s
“The winter chill extended to the housing market in January, as
home sales remained cool,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The good news is that
inventory levels in January continued to rise on a year-over-year basis,
providing incremental improvement in what’s been a multi-year shortage of
for-sale homes. This is a positive for homebuyers, as the market continues to
swing their way.”
The median sales price of $234,000 was a report record for
January, increasing 4.6 percent over January 2018. But the rate of sales price
increase was considerably less than the 6.7 percent posted from January 2017 to
January 2018. December 2018 was the only month since January 2012 to show a
year-over-year decline in median sales price. Fifty-nine days on market was a
record low for January sold listings – averaging one day less than the 60
posted in January 2018. January’s 3.9-month supply of inventory was higher than
the 3.4-month supply of January 2018.
“Underlying demand remains solid overall, as evidenced by
widespread price increases,” said Contos. “So the housing market, while not
markedly busy in January, remains relatively healthy. Furthermore, with
interest rates stabilizing and home-price increases slowing, the spring selling
season shapes up to be as interesting as any we have seen in years.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in January 2019, the overall
average number of home sales was down 26.1 percent compared to December 2018,
and down 11.0 percent compared to January 2018. In January 2019, the median of
all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $234,000, down 2.5 percent from December
2018, and up 4.6 percent from January 2018. The average Days on Market for
homes sold in January 2019 was fifty-nine, up four days from the average in
December 2018, and down one day from the January 2018 average. For more info,
please click here
to download your copy of the RE/MAX
National Housing Report for January 2019.
Are you considering a retirement
home in Arizona? Or want to upgrade your current retirement home? Please contact me today for a full market analysis. I can help you successfully navigate any
Mason - Associate Broker
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3 Healthy Tips for National Heart Health Month
February is National Heart Health Month and the perfect time to be good to your heart and get a checkup. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. Also, more than sixty-seven million Americans have high blood pressure which unfortunately makes them four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure according to data from the CDC. Here are 3 healthy tips for National Heart Health Month to help keep your heart in tip-top ticking shape.
1.) Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is high in fiber, including fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid foods high in sodium and trans-fat.
2.) Exercise for 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. If 30 minutes is too much, start with 10-minute intervals of physical activity. Please talk to a health care professional before starting a new fitness routine.
3.) According to the American Heart Association (AHA) chronic stress can also increase your risk for heart disease. Make time to reduce stress and relax more by taking time to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and think of peaceful things. Whenever possible, try to avoid triggering or negative situations and focus on positive thinking and solutions.
In addition, the AHA is sponsors a free online support program available to residents living in the Northwest Valley. Registration is free, simple and fast, and for people with limited mobility, going online may be the perfect way to connect in a safe, cost-free environment for interaction, encouragement and advice. This AHA online support group is a community of people who have been diagnosed with heart disease, a congenital heart defect or stroke, and their caregivers. Click here to join the free online community.
Throughout the year, be heart smart by making small, positive changes toward a healthy lifestyle so that you can enjoy retirement. spread the word and help those you love take measures to care for their heart too!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018
December’s declining home sales and growing inventory solidified 2018 as the year the red-hot seller’s market moved toward a balanced market. Price growth also moderated, though December was the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report, which includes fifty-three metro areas.
“December’s inventory gain, continuing the three-month growth trend, is welcome news,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The market remains choppy and there’s still a long way to go, but these gains represent steps toward a balanced market, which in the long run is healthy for both buyers and sellers.”
Most telling was December’s 4.6 percent growth in inventory, which was also a report record. December’s year-over-year inventory increase marked the third consecutive month of growth – a trend reversing a decade-long streak of year-over-year inventory declines.
While fifty-four Days on Market was a record low for December sold listings, the 4.1 Months Supply of Inventory was higher than December 2017’s 3.7 months and ahead of November 2018’s 3.9 months’ supply.
Home buyers paid record amounts throughout 2018 as prices grew year-over-year in every month last year, led by June’s Median Sold Price of $258,500 – an all-time report high. Even so, December’s year-over-year increase of 2.1% was 2018’s smallest, and far lower than the 8.1 percent price growth from December 2016 to December 2017.
“Home sales have cooled, especially during the second half of 2018, but that was inevitable given the strong seller’s market that has persisted for nearly a decade,” Contos said. “We believe sales activity can pick back up if the pace of price escalation continues to moderate, interest rates tick further downward, and wage growth continues.”
Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018. Are you considering a retirement home in Arizona? Or want to upgrade your current retirement home? Please contact me today for a full market analysis. I can help you successfully navigate any market condition!
West Valley Hearing Loss Association to Host Presentation in Sun City
Did you know? Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has difficulty hearing according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Hearing loss is a common problem for older adults and those with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms. Studies have also shown that aging adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing.
Sun City is aware of the impact of hearing loss on it’s aging active adults and is seeking to help. The Hearing Loss Association of America’s West Valley Chapter will welcome Keri Reynolds, a bilateral cochlear implant recipient and an Outreach Manager with Med El, for a presentation on dementia and hearing loss on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 12225 N. 103rd Ave., in Sun City.
Ms. Reynolds will talk about the link between dementia and hearing loss. This is a particularly important topic for individuals with hearing loss. Older people who can’t hear well may become depressed, or they may withdraw from others because they feel frustrated or embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. Sometimes, older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative because they don’t hear well. Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse but thankfully there are options such as hearing aids, special training, certain medicines, and surgery.
The Chapter will continue its meeting with a presentation about InnoCaption by Matt Goncalves and Cristina Duarte, founders of InnoCaption. InnoCaption is a free mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones, which provide real-time captioning on incoming and outgoing phone calls, for the oral deaf and the hard of hearing. Please bring questions and concerns, and family and friends to join the discussion.
For more things to do in Sun City or for information about available homes for sale in Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today! As full-service, full-time REALTOR© for RE/MAX Professionals, I specialize in Arizona retirement communities, Surprise Arizona and surrounding areas. I bring a strong combination of customer service, sales, market knowledge and marketing to benefit my clients and follow the highest standards of customer service and ethics to conduct business on your behalf!
Is it Time to Sell Your Home?
Retirement communities are my specialty in Arizona, including the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand, Sun Village, Arizona Traditions Sun City Festival, Trillogy at Vistancia and many others.
As a professional real estate consultant, I have made a commitment to learn about various floor plans built in the retirement communities, asset preservation fees and the amenities offered at our beautiful recreation centers.
In today’s market, pricing your home correctly is very important as we begin to see an increase in inventory of homes on the market in the coming months. The spring market is an excellent time for both home buyers and homeowners who are ready to sell their properties.
Is it time to sell? I can help you find out by providing a free, quick, no obligation comparative market analysis on your home. Simply click here and fill in the details. I will email or mail a copy of what your home could sell for in today’s market.
I look forward to assisting you with your retirement needs in Arizona.
Winter Safety Tips for Seniors
While the winter weather is fairly mild in the Valley of the Sun, there are still some days that the desert temps drop, making us feel like it is winter in Arizona! Here are a few winter safety tips for seniors.
Dress for the weather: keep your indoor temperatures set at a comfortable level and plan to dress in layers. If you are leaving the house, put on a pair of warm socks, a jacket, hat, scarf and perhaps gloves for a little extra coverage. Your body temperature should never drop below 95 degrees.
Check for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: if you are using a gas fireplace or have a gas heater in your home, make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Replace the batteries if they have not been changed out recently.
Get your car serviced: if you are just returning to the Valley of the Sun, it is a good idea to take your vehicle for service (especially if you sorted it while you were away for the summer months). Have the brakes checked, battery, oil, and tires.
Avoid wintertime depression: during the colder months, some seniors may find themselves staying at home more. This time alone can lead to wintertime depression. To help avoid this happening, plan to make a few extra phone calls to family and friends, and try a varied diet that includes Vitamin D foods.
If you find yourself in need this winter, please give me a call. I am happy to help you arrange car service, bring your lunch or batteries for your carbon monoxide detectors!
Sharon Mason - Associate Broker
3 Nifty New Year’s Resolutions for Retirees in 2019
Can you believe 2019 is here? I’m certainly looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year for my family, friends, and myself. Seeing how this is the time for New Year’s resolutions and hopes for the New Year, here are 3 nifty New Year’s resolutions for retirees in 2019.
1.) Finalize a Financial Plan: Whether you’re drawing social security, working part-time, or making investments, having a strong financial plan is key to fully enjoying retired living. Creating a budget plan and actively tracking your spending habits can also help you create a budget to live within your means. Since you basically have two options; make more money or spend less money here’s what to do. To make more, consider when annuitizing your savings to guarantee an income stream or manage your own money in the market. To spend less, consider downsizing to an area where the cost of living is lower and mortgage payments are reduced.
2.) Healthy Aging: In 2019, focus on making your health a top priority so you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Make sure to get an annual physical exam from your doctor and create a health plan to maintain your health. Enjoy nutritious eating by preparing healthy meals with fresh ingredients from your local Arizona farmers markets. Stay active and seek out senior-friendly exercise programs that help improve vitality such as swimming, walking, qigong, and yoga. And keep your brain sharp with memory improving exercises like Sudoku puzzles or consider becoming more tech savvy and take a free computer class in your area.
3.) Master Your SSN Benefits: For many Arizona retirees, Social Security retirement benefits are an important income source. Nine out of ten people age sixty-five and over claim Social Security benefits and they average nearly forty percent of total income of people in this age bracket. And how you claim Social Security and greatly impact your benefit amount. Your Social Security increase by eight percent per year, so the longer you wait to claim the more you’ll be able to claim. To find out the best option for you, speak to a financial advisor.
Which of these 3 nifty New Year’s resolutions are you planning for? What other goals do you have for the New Year to better enjoy retirement? If selling or buying a home in an Arizona retirement community is on your list of resolutions, please contact Sharon Mason today! Here’s to a healthy, happy, and financially abundant New Year for you all in 2019!
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New Year’s Eve Party at Lakeview Lanes
According to The Bowling Foundation, more than twenty-five percent of Americans bowl each year, making it the nation’s largest participation sport. Today, bowling is a $4 billion industry with nearly 3,000 bowling centers in the United States. Besides being a fun and competitive game, bowling also offers you numerous health benefits for older adults such as muscle toning and strengthening, hand-eye coordination and stress relief. Plus, bowling is fun for the whole family!
So whether you love bowling or just love ringing in the New Year with friends, you’ll definitely want to come to the New Year’s Eve Party at Lakeview Lanes this Monday, December 31st at 8pm at 10502 W Thunderbird Blvd, Sun City, AZ 85351.
The annual New Year’s Eve Bowling Party at Lakeview Lanes kicks off with a potluck, bowling and prize drawings and the night will end with a champagne toast to the New Year! Everyone is welcome to the event even if you are not a bowler.
The Recreation Centers of Sun City (RCSC) owns and operates two first-class bowling centers in Sun City AZ which are open to RCSC Cardholders and their guests. Both RCSC Bowling Centers have full service café/restaurants (leased), offering breakfast, lunch and dinner selections seven days a week. Adjacent to the Lakeview Recreation Center, Lakeview Lanes offers twenty-four lanes of bowling as well as Billiards, Pool and Snooker.
If you’re interested in attending this New Year’s Eve Party, stop by Lakeview Lanes or Bell Lanes to reserve your spot as availability is limited. Click here for more information or call 623-876-3050. If you’d like more information about fun things to do in Sun City, or if you’re in the market to buy a home in one of the many Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today. Happy New Year!
RE/MAX National Housing Report November 2018
Years of shrinking inventory gave way in November to a second consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the number of homes for sale, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. The apparent reason: Home sales declined for the fourth consecutive month when compared to the same months in 2017. Even so, home prices remained strong.
Across the 53 metro areas surveyed, inventory rose 3.0 percent – the highest monthly year-over-year gain in the 10-year history of the report, following October’s 1.0 percent increase that ended a streak of 119 months of year-over-year declines dating back to November 2008. The Months Supply of Inventory rose to 3.9, the highest for any month since 4.2 in December 2016.
November home sales, meanwhile, declined 6.9 percent, which was the second-largest year-over-year decline of 2018 and the biggest year-over-year sales decline for November in five years. This year only April and July sales exceeded 2017 totals for the corresponding months.
“The road to market normalization can be bumpy,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It’s good to see the small uptick in inventory, and the drop in November sales isn’t too surprising – given the recent trends, the mid-term elections, and the earlier-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday. As we near year-end, three main themes appear clear – buyers are grappling with affordability issues and tight inventory; sellers are unsure how to react to the cooling market; and homes priced properly are still selling rather quickly. All three underscore the fact that the guidance of a professional agent is even more critical in times like these.”
November’s Median Sales Price of $235,000 was 4.0 percent higher than November 2017 and was the highest November price in the report’s history. It marked the 32nd consecutive month of year over-year price increases. Comparing the first 11 months of 2018 to 2017, home prices are up 6.0 percent. Even with declining sales, homes sold at record speed for November. Homes spent an average of 51 Days on Market, compared to the previous November low of 54 days set last year.
Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2018. If you would like to sell your home or find the perfect home for sale in one of the many Arizona retirement communities please contact Sharon Mason today!