Father’s Day in Prescott, AZ!

This Sunday, June 16th is Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is a day for celebrating and honoring fathers. It celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in our society and in our very own lives.

Of course, living in Prescott and it being summertime, there is ALWAYS something to do on the weekends, and this weekend is no exception.

The biggest event taking place this weekend is the Mile High Balloon Festival. Here are some ideas, including this event, as well as other things in Prescott, to do to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend.

Mile High Balloon Festival:

Occurring on Saturday June 15th from 7pm to 11pm and taking place at Mile High Middle School’s Field, this might be a perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend with your dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers, and any other father figures in your life. This is Yavapai County’s largest hot air balloon festival, holding many festivities to keep you active. This festival will have many things present, including, but not limited to:

  • Distilleries, Wineries, and Breweries
  • Hot air balloon rides and a Night Balloon Glow Festival
  • Live Music
  • Food Vendors

Admission into the festival costs $30 (and includes 10 sample tickets); non-drinker admission costs $10. Day of event admission will increase, so pre-purchase your tickets today here: Balloon Fest Pre-Sale Tickets.

Food Vendors include Momo Korean Food, Papa Nachos, The Cleveland Corned Beef
Safari Samosas, Gringo’s Taco Truck, JJ’s BBQ, and Peddler’s Coffee

Live Music will be performed by Salt of Earth.

There will be no smoking, no animals, no outside food/drinks, and no canopies allowed. Wristbands will be non-transferable, and the event will take place rain or shine with no refunds.

It is encouraged that you bring blankets to sit on the lawn and enjoy the festival.

Other Great Father’s Day Ideas:

  • Get Outdoors: This weekend, the weather will have a high of 87 degrees and a low of 57 degrees. It will be sunny with some clouds and the perfect weather to get outdoors and enjoy our beautiful town for Father’s Day. Go for a hike, rent some kayaks at Watson Lake, walk around downtown… the possibilities are endless, and this is a great option for those dads who love the outdoors.
  • Go out for a meal: If you live in Prescott, you know there are plenty of places to dine and celebrate Father’s Day this way if you so choose. The Park Plaza Liquor and Deli, Bill’s Pizza, Bill’s Grill, Casa Alvarez, The Prescott Brewing Company, Gurley Street Grill, Murphey’s, Texas Roadhouse, and so many more! You will have no problem finding some good grub to eat as you sit around a table and celebrate the dads in your life.
  • See a movie: This weekend, the Picture Show at Frontier Village has plenty of family friendly, or action-packed movies for you to see. Options include Aladdin, Dark Phoenix (an X-Men film), Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International, Rocketman, Shaft, and The Secret Life of Pets 2.
  • Take a day trip: One of the great things about living in Prescott is how close we are to everything! Phoenix is only an hour and a half away, and the same goes for Flagstaff if you’re looking for a cooler escape. Phoenix offers more things to do and places to eat if you can brave the 100+ temperatures they’ll have this weekend. Flagstaff will give a breath of fresh air and offers great outdoor activities as well as restaurants. There are also fun recreational places to visit such as Slide Rock in Sedona and Lake Pleasant in Phoenix if you’re looking for a fun day trip for the family.

These are just a few ideas of how you could celebrate Father’s Day this weekend. We hope you find something fun to do in order to celebrate your dads, and to all you dads out there we say, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

House Hunting Online

In this day in age, it’s no surprise that most buyers begin the search for the next future home online. Whether you are just browsing, or looking more seriously, there are a ton of different sites to visit in order to look at currently listed homes in your town/ the town you are moving to. For this reason, hunting for a new home online can be a really great place to start your search, however, it should not be your end all be all.

When looking at home listings online, keep in mind that good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of a home, but there may also be more than meets the eye to the home you are looking at. To make the most of your time and efforts while online searching, and to also make sure you gather a well-rounded picture the homes you’re looking at online, it’s best to keep the following three things in mind.

Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. This ensures you are getting the most accurate information you can because many other online resources update far less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter. Imagine finding a home online you absolutely love only to find out it is already under contract, or even sold, contrary to what the online portal you were using said.

Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fish-eye lens, or wide-angle lens to make areas and rooms look larger than they actually are in real life. They also use creative editing to make colors and textures really pop, when the actual paint or flooring might be dull compared to the picture. Most of the time, listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms. Listing agents are not trying to be deceiving, they are just doing their job in representing their seller as best they can in making sure that the home is presented in the best possible light it can be to get buyers interested and walking through the home.

See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, make sure you call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing to go see the home in person. It’s important to take the opportunity to vet the home for yourself in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will also be able to help you cover all your bases and answer any questions you may have. They can perhaps point out any property flaws or concerns that the pictures didn’t show. And, seeing the home in person helps you see it for what it really is and if it is truly the place you can envision your family living and as being the next place you want to call home.

These are just a few tips to consider when you’re looking at homes to buy online. When in doubt, call your real estate agent! They are there to help and find out the answers to any questions you may have. They want you to find the best home for you!

Listing Feature – 3103 Mountain Lake Drive

This is our new listing of a quaint and charming manufactured home in Mountain Lake Estates. Within walking distance to Willow Lake, this home offers great near by trails to enjoy the outdoors, along with beautiful views of Willow Lake and the surrounding dells.

The home is a single level, 1392 square foot Cavco manufactured home that offers three carpeted bedrooms, two bathrooms, an AZ room, plenty of storage space, and a separate laundry room that leads to the garage complete with its own separate storage closet. Brand new wood laminate Pergola floors are throughout the main living areas. When you first walk in the front door, you are met with an open living room and dining space, making your entertaining areas spacious and welcoming, with plenty of light.

You will be delighted with this fresh and newly remodeled kitchen! With light tones of white and grey, the kitchen is up-to-date on the latest trends. The cabinets are soft-close dovetail drawers topped with granite counter tops. A giant stainless-steel farm sink and new appliances complete this kitchen with its modern flair.

The master bedroom is extremely spacious compared to other manufactured homes. It was recently painted a soft grey, has a large closet space, and its own bathroom with dual sinks and a linen closet.

The bonus Arizona room is 120 square feet, featuring panoramic windows and views of the surrounding lake and dells. It’s the perfect place to sit and have your morning coffee or tea, or go out and read a good book.

The fenced backyard rounds out the property making it suitable for just about every buyer’s needs. A small paved area for seating and grilling, and rocks to accommodate any furry friends you may have. The home has extremely minimal landscaping in both the front and backyard.

The home also comes with a nice 2-car garage and a great front porch for enjoying Prescott’s nearly year round good weather. And did we mention how close it is to Willow Lake? In this picture, you can see it just down the road!

Interested in this property, or wanting to learn more about it? Call us today at 928-771-1111. We’d love to answer any of your questions and even show you the home!

What to Negotiate When Buying a House

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful, and sometimes confusing on what all is up for negotiating when buying a home. That being said, however, you want to make sure that you are getting the best possible deal for your money and getting the best deal you possibly can. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.

2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.

3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.

4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.

5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

These are just some of the things a buyer can negotiate during a contract and in most cases, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Consult your real estate agent if there is some negotiating you want to do. See what they think about your ideas and what they think would be okay to ask for.

Refinancing Myths

For many, the word “refinancing” when it comes to your home can come with a lot of fear and a lot of questions, but that doesn’t need to be the case. What does refinancing look like? Will it even really save me any money?

Well, for many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in the long run. That being said, here are some myths about refinancing and what the actual truth to them is:

IT’S TOO LATE.

No, it is not too late to refinance. For years now, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise. Who wants to refinance when your interest rate will be higher than it is now, which would end up not saving you very much money at all. Although there have been some small increases, you’re still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate if you get in at the right time. The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.

IT’S GOING TO BE TOO TIME CONSUMING.

No it will not. If you find yourself a good lender, they will walk your through every step and help take the headache out of the entire process. Don’t brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process because this isn’t always the case. Once you find a good lender, it will only take a few minutes to have an informational call with them to see how rates compare and if refinancing is a good idea for you. On top of a good and knowledgeable lender, there are also some programs for streamlining the application process, which could make the time it takes to refinance seem like nothing. And besides, isn’t the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?

ARMS CAN’T BE REFINANCED.

This is just not true! Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they’re stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages. You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you’re planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.

If you have any more questions about refinancing, please don’t hesitate to call us at 928-771-1111. We’d love to help you out, or connect you with a great lender who can help answer your questions!

What Should I Repair Before I List?

As realtors who’ve been in the business for fifteen years, we have been asked this question a lot.

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. First impressions make a big impact on buyers looking to call your home their own and you don’t want something scaring them away that could have been easily fixed before you listed. Taking time to repair or spruce up some of your homes weaknesses – and in doing so, highlighting some of its strengths – can make a big difference in how fast it will sell. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Unless you’ve recently repainted, or the colors of your walls are in good shape and are colors that are trendy at the time, giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up your home. It makes everything fell clean and new, and generally it can be a do-it-yourself project. Repainting helps to cover up any scratches or chips on the walls, as well as the any other kinds of normal wear and tear walls sustain due to daily living.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, but walking into a room with scuffed and dull floors won’t make the good first impression you’re seeking. You want to ensure your floors look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas by getting the floors cleaned or buffed out. Likewise, if your carpet is worn or stained, consider paying a company to come shampoo them, or even replacing them altogether depending on how bad they are. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Cleaning off that brown grout that didn’t start out brown, or even completely re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

We all love that amazing curb appeal don’t we? It’s the first thing you notice when you pull up to a house and the thing that has buyers saying “OH!” in either glee, or disappointment. Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the inside. Clean your walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces, and fill in mulch and gravel. These things not only make your home look great from the outside, but they also show potential buyers that your home was well loved and taken care of.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small and simple fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. The great thing with these too is that all it takes is a little TLC and elbow grease to remedy the issues, and minimal cost on your part. Minor work for a great reward. Installing new faucets and sinks may also be worth the investment depending how dated or in disrepair they are.

Remember that you don’t need to go too crazy in getting your home ready to be listed and show well for buyers, but listen to your real estate agent who ultimately just wants to help you sell your home, and maybe take a few of the above tips into consideration.

If you have any more questions, you can call us at 928-771-111, or leave a comment below.

What’s the Difference Between Foreclosures and Short Sales?

If you’ve been looking to buy in the Prescott area, you know that the real estate market right now is a little crazy.

For sellers, it’s good news because we are at the top of our market and you can sell your home for top market value, capitalizing on your investment.

For buyer’s, the booming market can make it difficult to afford the house you require to accommodate you and your family, and not have to sacrifice some of your living needs.

This has led to many buyer’s looking into and considering short sale purchases, or foreclosure purchases. However, this also leads to the question: What’s the difference? If you aren’t familiar with these types of sales and purchases, they can seem similar, but there’s actually a pretty big difference.

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures aren’t just good for buyers, but also provide sellers options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.

Short Sales:

A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.

On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.

Foreclosures:

On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner. After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction.

In Sum:

Short sales are better for both seller and buyer, leaving the seller more financially sound and giving the buyer the chance to make a good deal on a home. Foreclosures, on the other hand, are usually worse for sellers and buyers than short sales. For sellers, it damages them financially and for buyers it’s a riskier purchase because homes are often bought sight unseen with no inspection or warranty.

Summer Is Almost Here!

With most of the Prescott and Quad city area schools ending the school year tomorrow (you heard right… TOMORROW!), summer is almost officially here for everyone!

Though it might not feel like it with the turn of cold weather we’ve had this past week, summer is upon us. The year has flown by and we find ourselves at the cusp of many people’s favorite season in Prescott that brings beautiful sunshine, fun filled festivities, and glorious monsoons. What’s not to love?

Filled with festivals, art shows, farmer’s markets, live music, the world’s oldest rodeo, and more, you’re sure to find something to do in Prescott, Arizona this summer to have fun and keep busy.

Every weekend the downtown square is packed with booths selling art and clothes – among other things depending on the festival – not to mention the great food that comes along with all these things. Kettle corn, funnel cakes, candied almonds, BBQs, and more. If none of those sounds good, there are plenty of restaurants downtown with mouth watering food for your summer fixes. Burgers, pizza, sandwiches, tacos, French fries, ice cream, frozen yogurt, coffee and tea, pastries, delicious beers and wines… you name it and the downtown area has it!

If festivals aren’t your thing and you’d rather have a little peace and quiet in nature, don’t fret, the coming of warmer months provides the use of our great outdoors in the Prescott and surrounding areas.

With miles on top of miles of beautiful trails, you will never be bored exploring the fast wilderness we call home. You can visit the City of Prescott’s website here for some recreational areas to enjoy this summer including the Circle Trail, Watson Lake, the Willow Creek Dog Park for your furry friends, Aspen Creek Trail, Goldwater Lake, and Heritage Park to name a few. Mountain biking, kayaking, trail running, fishing, playgrounds for the kids… there is a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy and get yourself some much needed Vitamin D after a long winter. While some of these places have free parking, be aware that some do charge a $5 parking fee, except for free day which is every Wednesday.

To get a better idea of some of the events going on in Prescott this summer, you can visit the city’s event page by clicking here.

Negotiating Tactics That Will Kill A Sale

Bargaining is a subtle art in real estate and the way you handle the back and forth that happens during contract negotiations can make or break a sale. Skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties and helps close a home smoothly, but if you’re not careful, a wrong move could cause a deal to crumble for the seller or buyer.

Here are some negotiation tactics buyers and real estate professionals should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.  This can leave a bad taste in their mouths in regards to you as a buyer and cause them to not want to accept any other offers you may make. Keep this in mind when you want to make a low ball offer and your agent advises otherwise. They have seen the downfalls of this tactic many times and are just looking out for you best interest.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). Fighting over a small dollar amount makes you look bad and makes the seller think you will be a difficult buyer to work with. The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it. People do not like to be given ultimatums and will not feel happy if they feel you are painting them into a corner.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if the inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. Buyers must understand that unless they are buying a newly built home, every house has it’s little quirks of wear and tear from years of use. Combing the house with a magnifying glass and demanding it be in perfect condition could lead to the seller refusing to do ANY repairs, therefore leaving you as the buyer to do them all yourself, or walk away from the home that you possibly really like.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy. There should be realistic give and take on both sides of the contract to help foster a good relationship during your escrow, and help make everything go smoothly.

These are just a few things you want to avoid while negotiating a contract in order to not kill the sale. Remember that if your agent advises against these tactics, they are speaking from experience and out of their best interest for you.