Listing Feature – 2201 Forest Hills Road

Breathtaking views including city lights and Thumb Butte are captured from this fabulous split-level home near the base of Thumb Butte in Country Club Park. Perfect for a family home or AirBnb investment, this home has been well loved and taken care of.

Complete with a raised hearth fireplace and wood floors, it also has large picture windows that give views in three directions. The main level is comprised of the master suite including bathroom and walk-in closet, office with built-in shelves and desks, a second bedroom, and guest bath. Also on the main level is the sunny kitchen and adjacent morning room. Nearly every window you look out from this home you are met with views and nature.

The lower level has a family room with a fireplace, two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room and a fabulous bonus space which has potential for a great lock-off Airbnb suite.

Nestled on a 1.29 acre tree and boulder studded home site, this house boasts 3168 square feet and a detached over-sized 2.5 car garage with shop. It opens to tiered decking and patios to extend living outdoors with the jaw-dropping views of Prescott we all love.

You don’t want to miss this amazing property with plenty of room for the whole family and land that is to die for!

Interested in seeing this home? Call us today for your showing appointment at 928-771-1111.

Homeowners Buying a New Home in the 2020’s

If you are currently a homeowner, there’s a 45% chance that you’re planning to sell your home and move to a new one within this decade according to lendingtree.com.

With a booming market there are plenty of reasons homeowners might be considering making a move in the next 10 years. Moving because you want a newer and nicer home, moving to cash out on the investment that is your home, changing cities or states, moving closer to kids or grand-kids, retiring, opting to go back to renting rather than owning, and so much more!

CLICK HERE to read this great article from lendingtree.com on how and why homeowners are making an address change in the 2020’s.

Listing Feature – 9560 N. Rincon Ridge Trail

Check out our gorgeous new listing in the desirable Legend Hills!

This home has breathtaking views of both the city lights and distant mountains, including Mingus Mountain as a backdrop.

Coming with its own gated entry and perimeter fencing, this single level home sits on 2.07 acres well-suited for dogs, horses, and kids (two hoofed animals per acre are allowed per the HOA – no pigs but goats are okay).

This warm and inviting home has 4 bedrooms, an office/den, and a great room with an open floor plan. The great room features a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling stacked-rock wood-burning fireplace and wood-look tile flooring runs throughout all living areas.

The master bedroom is roomy and inviting with its own entrance onto the back porch, a spacious walk-in closet, dual vanity sinks, a large walk-in shower, and a luxurious bathtub.

Other features include a walk-in pantry, 4-burner stove plus griddle, granite counter tops, a split bedroom floor plan, 8 foot doors, 9 foot ceilings, a separate laundry room with ample storage and utility sink, covered decks in the front and back of the house, a 3-car garage with a paver driveway, and a dog run.

There are also great wells in this area – pumping 30+ gpm at the time of drilling.

Interested in this amazing listing? Give us a call at 928-771-1111, we’d love to tell you more about it!

Which to Buy: Townhome or Condo?

Whether it’s your first time buying or you just want to purchase something smaller, townhouses and condos are both great options. Check out the differences between the two to help aid you in your search!

Condominiums

Condominiums are similar to apartments in that you purchase an individual unit inside of a larger building, but not the property it sits on. This generally includes access to the building’s amenities, such as the clubhouse, pool, and gym. However, condo owners are not responsible for the upkeep and repair of these common areas. Because of the number of shared spaces, living in a condo often allows for meeting new people and building a strong sense of community. There is a fairly similar vetting process for loan approval as for a full-sized home; however, the lender will also look at the health of the condo association.

Townhouses

Those who purchase a townhome are generally purchasing the complete unit, both inside and out, including the land it sits on. This might also include the driveway, yard, or roof. Traditionally, these units are two- or three-stories tall and may also include common areas like pools and parks. Townhome owners pay a fee to a homeowners association every month and the loan process is the same as buying a full-sized home.

Which is the best choice?

Both townhomes and condos offer less maintenance than a traditional home and generally offer great shared areas. Your decision ultimately comes down to you and your family’s needs and wants seeing as townhomes generally tend to be larger. Things you’ll want to take into consideration include location, lifestyle, family growth, and price. Another thing to consider is investment. Later on down the road once your family grows out of the condo or townhome, these properties can make great rentals. Checking on the HOA’s rules with renting is a good idea if this is something you’re interested in when buying.

How to Build Good Credit

Last week we posted a blog about why first-time home buyers are struggling to purchase. One of the main reasons was having bad credit. So, we wanted to touch on this subject further and find some ways the experts say you can build good credit.

Believe it or not, bad credit doesn’t always mean having made poor financial decisions. For a lot of people, they have bad credit because they have NO credit. They have avoided debt like the plague, having been instructed by parents and elders to not get themselves into debt. Ironically, it turns out that some debt is good. Why? Because it helps you build credit, and without credit, you can’t make any large purchase from a car to a house, or even a little “purchase” such as getting a credit card. One might stop there and ask, “Wait, how can I build credit if I can’t even get a credit card?”

According to thebalance.com, “having good credit means you’ve demonstrated that you can handle credit responsibly – that you’ve managed your credit obligations and have paid on time.” So, like we said, the first step in doing this is to first get credit (assuming you don’t already have credit). Here’s some ways to do this:

  • Apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires you to make a security deposit against the credit limit before you can be approved for the credit card. The security deposit is used as collateral for the amount you charge on the card, which makes credit card issuers more likely to approve your credit card because there is less credit risk.
  • Get a retail store credit card. These are easier to get because the store will most likely have less strict credit requirements. However, beware because retail credit cards typically have low credit limits and high interest rates, and they can only be used at a specific store. So, if you choose this route, get a card at a store you frequent often, like Target, and remember you’re getting the card to build GOOD credit, not go on a shopping spree and get into bad debt.
  • Get a co-signer for a credit card or loan. This is when you get someone with good credit to co-sign on a credit card or loan in order to help you qualify. A co-signer would share liability on the card with you, which means that if you failed to make payments, it wouldn’t just affect your credit, but the co-signers as well. As long as you are reliable, then you’ll soon build enough credit to qualify for a loan or credit card on your own.
  • Make Your Payments on Time. Late payments are a huge factor on your credit score, if not the biggest of all. In order to build a good credit score, you need to make all your debt payments on time. The more on-time payments you have, the more your credit score will improve.
  • Watch How Much You Borrow. Just because you have a higher credit limit, doesn’t mean you need to spend all the way up to it. A good rule of thumb is to never borrow more than you can actually afford to pay each month. Not only does this make you look financially responsible to creditors and lenders, it also helps you not get yourself into any real debt. This same principle could be said for loans. No matter what a lender might say you qualify for, be careful not to take out more than you can afford to repay, otherwise you’ll dig yourself into a hole of debt that is hard to climb back out of.

These are just some of the main ways to help you build good credit, but there are so much more! If you’re still wanting to learn more about how to build your credit, you can do some research online, or visit your bank today to get some tips and tricks from the horses mouth.

iSquatters: When iBuyer self-tours go wrong

Today’s Real Estate game is changing and that includes new companies buying homes and turning around to re-sell them, commonly known as iBuyers. However, in places like Arizona where this type of Real Estate model is growing, there are some scary risks for agents and their clients whom go to see these iBuyer homes. Check out this article below from inman.com detailing just how serious and real some of these risks are.

Invasion of the iSquatters: What happens when iBuyer self-tours go wrong? Some iBuyers have drawn tech-savvy squatters who gain access to homes through company apps in a bid to find shelter or abuse drugs.

by Veronika Bondarenko

October 23, 2019

Mrgudich had been planning on touring a home listed on Opendoor with a buyer when he noticed something strange through a window. A child was running around the dining room while a woman looked on. Instead of buzzing the door open through an app on his phone, Mrgudich knocked — and promptly heard the sound of the lock clicking shut from the inside.

“I put one and two and three together and I go, ‘Alright we have a squatter here,’” Mrgudich, who works at West USA Realty in Peoria, Arizona, told Inman. “So I turn to my buyer and explain the safety issue briefly and suggest that we move on.”

The iBuyer model, which has grown in popularity for its convenience, has also posed new risks regarding squatters and people who enter the home to use drugs, party or engage in activities other than touring the home. Ever since Arizona police arrested a couple found squatting inside an Opendoor home with two children and a cache of drug paraphernalia in September, agents have been discussing safety issue they see with iBuyer homes.

Over the past four years, iBuyers have exploded in markets nationwide. Startups like Opendoor and Offerpad allow homeowners to unload their properties for an all-cash offer in exchange for a seller’s fee of approximately 7 percent.

Opendoor, which recently acquired a Georgia-based title and escrow company, currently operates in 20 cities and recently began providing home loans. Offerpad, meanwhile, has raised nearly $1 billion in equity and debt capital and hopes to operate in 30 cities by the end of 2020. Traditional real estate companies including Keller Williams and eXp Realty have also all launched their own instant-offer platforms.

Zillow Offers, another iBuyer platform, also operates nationwide and allows buyers to tour homes on their own through an app.

The iBuyer model has been particularly popular in states like Georgia and Arizona, where all of the major iBuyers have a presence.

With Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow Offers, in particular, interested buyers can find for-sale homes near them through the companies’ apps and enter the property with or without an agent — either by entering a code on a front-door keypad or unlocking the home directly through a phone.

All Offerpad homes currently have traditional lockboxes but some also have instant access through a phone code.

Heather Gearhart, an agent in Chandler, Arizona, recalled in a recent Facebook post seeing a key left inside the front door of an Offerpad home. Bob Hertzog, another agent in Arizona, said numerous agents across the state have been discussing the problems they encountered when trying to tour iBuyer properties.

In August, Hertzog entered an Opendoor-listed home with a buyer when a man with disheveled hair ran past them while incoherently mumbling something about wanting to buy the property. They toured the home anyway but, upon coming in, noticed that the protection preventing the air conditioner from being tampered with had been torn off.

“In Phoenix, it gets so hot that people living on the streets or people who don’t have a home definitely look at this like an opportunity to shack up for a while,” Hertzog told Inman, adding that he tried to call Opendoor to report the problem but gave up after sitting on hold for nearly 30 minutes. “We’re starting to see it more and more.”

iBuyers acknowledge that their homes pose a risk of attracting squatters. An Opendoor spokesperson told Inman that, upon receiving reports of someone in a home, the company will “immediately engage with any impacted customers, investigate and regularly refer matters to local law enforcement.” It also said it has home monitoring systems, security patrols and customer-vetting systems in place to minimize risk.

Offerpad, meanwhile, told Inman that “home sellers have always encountered the unfortunate risk of becoming a victim to vandalization or breaking and entering” but that the company is working on a new security system that, once in effect, will improve safety at its homes.

Nonetheless, agents who have encountered problems at these homes believe the companies’ screening systems aren’t comprehensive enough considering that anybody with a smartphone can claim to be an interested buyer in a bid to gain access. Hertzog said that without the traditional high-security lockbox agents use to enter an open house, no security system can deter people with bad intentions from seeking out the homes.

“It takes seconds to kill somebody or hurt somebody really badly,” Hertzog said. “They can sit there and say all day long that they have monitoring systems and things like that but it didn’t work in my case.”

Robert Siciliano, a cybersecurity analyst and chief security architect at ProtectNow, told Inman there is no such thing as a 100 percent secure empty home — but the text-to-open-home model has attracted a new type of squatter that is specifically looking for homes with full amenities that are easy to open.

“When you can get a code online and walk into a house, you’re going to see a whole new stream of squatters take advantage of the situation,” Siciliano told Inman. “What you’re going to see is serial squatters with full knowledge of how to game the system.”

At the same time, Siciliano advises agents who are entering any open house alone not to “trust that the company is managing that risk” but rather take their own precautions every time they enter a home, iBuyer or not. This includes doing a full scan of the property before going inside, having alarms and easy access to law enforcement ready on one’s phone and getting trained in basic self-defense skills.

Given iBuyers’ young age (Opendoor launched in 2013 and Offerpad launched in 2015), the high risk of squatters may be part of the growing pains they need to get through as the companies work out more sophisticated systems and learn how to weigh easy access against security. But, at least in areas where iBuyers are most prominent, some agents are only now figuring out how to keep themselves safe while touring the homes.

“We’re just holding our breath, quite frankly, and hoping that there’s no worst case scenario,” Mrgudich said.

How to Cut Costs When Moving

As we get ready for the Holidays, cutting costs wherever we can is probably something that is on all of our minds. This is especially true if you’re in the middle of a move, or about to move.

If you’ve ever moved before in your adult life, you know that it can get really expensive really fast. So, in a time when you’re trying to save money for Thanksgiving and Christmas,  and all the gifts and travel costs that come with it, how can you minimize your moving costs?

Well, we’ve got some tips to help you do just that! Brought to you by our friends over at A & C Brothers Moving and Storage, here is some of their expert advice on how to best cut costs during your next move.

Here’s How You Can Cut Costs When Moving

Regardless of whether you’re just moving to the next town or all the way across the country, moving between homes can be a pretty expensive process. Despite the unavoidable expenses, though, it’s not impossible to move on a budget. From collecting boxes to hiring moving services, there are smart ways to keep your costs down when moving.

These tips will require plenty of extra work from you, but they’ll help you relocate successfully without breaking the bank.

Get rid of stuff you don’t need.

Most people are guilty of wanting to keep stuff they hardly use or probably won’t use anymore. Unless the items hold great sentimental value for you, now should be the perfect time to get rid of them.

When we say rid, we don’t mean throwing them in the trash. You can either arrange a garage sale, give them away, or donate them to charity. Surely, you can find a good use for the extra money you’ll earn at the garage sale. The possible tax deduction from donating your stuff isn’t so bad either.

By purging your stuff, you’ll have lesser things to pack and worry about. More importantly, you’ll end up with lower mover’s fees because there’s fewer stuff to move on the big day.

Use Improvised moving supplies.

You may not notice it, but moving supplies can eat up a good chunk of your moving budget. The great news is, it’s relatively easy to cut costs on moving supplies if you plan things ahead of time.

For starters, you can collect boxes from friends and family instead of buying them. If you can’t have them for free, try purchasing some from your neighborhood grocery stores. Don’t get brand new moving boxes, if possible. They’re quite expensive for something that you might end up using just the one time.

If you need packing supplies to protect your fragile belongings, make use of common household materials like blankets, towels, clothes, and newspapers as alternatives. They’re just as effective, but they won’t cost you a single penny!

Hunt for reliable moving companies with great deals.

If you want to score a good deal, ask for quotes, and get as much information from different movers before making a decision. However, never hire a moving company just because they’re offering you the lowest price. You’ll want reliable movers who can move your belongings from your old house to the new one without even a scratch.

When looking for the right movers to hire, always check online reviews – both on their website and social media platforms. These sources should provide you valuable insight into their quality of moving services.

Avoid moving on busier days and months.

As with most things, timing is everything. The schedule of your move has a significant impact on how cheap or expensive your relocation could be. Moving on weekdays is generally cheaper than moving on weekends, while the spring and summer are the busiest and most expensive seasons to relocate.

Most moving companies offer discounts for moves scheduled during the slower months of the year. If saving money is what you’re really after, you might want to move during the fall season or early winter.

While it’s so much easier to pay and have other people take care of the entire moving process for you, this will cost you a fortune. Like we said, moving on a budget is possible, but it will require a lot of effort and planning on your part. Anything that you can do on your own saves you from paying other people to do it.

Good luck!

How to Sell Your Home This “Off” Season

Although we love the Fall season, in the Real Estate business, it does start a downturn in our industry. The market slows with less people out looking to buy a home as they prepare for the holiday season with their family. Even though Prescott has a great housing market, we are not immune to this slower season.

So, what can you as a seller do then to help sell your home if you are trying to sell during this time? Well, check out this great article below from HomeLight about just that. They have some great tips on things you can do to sell your home this season, as well as some great advice to help with this process as well.

Tasks To Complete Before Moving Into Your New Home

Moving into a new home is an exciting time! You look through the pictures of your soon to be new home over and over again, daydreaming about decor and paint schemes, planning out all you want to do. Maybe you even get to do things such as buy new furniture, put in new floors, or do some immediate updating to a few rooms.

But, before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics things you should consider doing first before you start moving into the home and fully making it your own.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money if it’s something you just don’t have the time to do yourself.

Steam clean the carpets

If you aren’t replacing the carpets, it might be a good idea to get a fresh start with your floors and have them cleaned before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. The point is, you can never be certain, and wouldn’t you rather KNOW the carpets are clean of as much dander, hair, and dirt they possibly can be? Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available – or there is most likely a professional carpet cleaning company in your area.

Call an exterminator

If you didn’t get a Pest Inspection prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in or around the house to get a view of any pests or rodent issues there may be. Pest and rodents are fairly common in Prescott, Arizona, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them in your house! Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be lurking about.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skimp on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Think about it, in your own home, how often did you really wipe down the inside of cabinets or clean out the refrigerator? Things like this as well as things like cleaning out the oven and cleaning in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances are projects that maybe make your yearly spring-cleaning list, but generally aren’t a part of your general weekly house cleaning. Take the time to clean these things before you move in. It’s a lot easier to do them right off the bat than to say “I’ll do that later” and then the project becomes twice as time consuming because you have to empty cabinets and pull everything out of your fridge, etc.

 

These are just a few things that – after years of experience in the Real Estate business – we’ve learned make your new move in that much smoother! After these tasks are complete, paint and decorate to your hearts content!

 

Listing Feature – 1579 Eagle Mountain Drive

Curious about what makes this home so special? Everything!

Upon the tile entry, you will be drawn into the great room featuring a high vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace with stacked-stone surround. This is the perfect space for sitting and relaxing with your family around the fireplace or as you watch TV.

The spacious kitchen features plenty of cabinet and storage space and is open to both the formal and informal dining areas. This way whomever is cooking can still be involved in the parties going on around them.

Relax in the master suite that offers a spacious room, vaulted ceiling, a separate French door exit out onto the deck, a walk-in closet, and master bath with double vanities and dressing table.

Two more large bedrooms, a full bathroom with dual sinks and linen closet, a powder room, and the laundry room are also on the main level.

The lower level has a game/family room with a wet bar, which could be perfect for multi-generational living. It also has a lot of storage space, a full bathroom, and the 4th bedroom with walls lined with windows.

The deck comes out from the living room and overlooks the lush green view of the back yard.

An oasis in itself, the yard features a pond and water feature, mature trees, turf grass areas, and paver patios that are also accessible from the lower level living.

If that weren’t enough, the home also includes a three-car garage, plus separate side parking for a small RV.

This is a house you are going to want to see in person! For a showing appointment, call our office today at 928-771-1111.