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Natural Disasters Hit Real Estate Hard in 2018

by Melissa Dierks
 Natural disasters struck the United States with a vengeance in 2018, as floods, wildfires, and hurricanes damaged thousands of homes and businesses. Eleven events in 2018—the third year in a row with an above-average number of catastrophes—led to $11 billion or more in residential and commercial losses, according to the newly released Natural Hazard Report from CoreLogic. 
Road damaged by flood

© Howard County Government/Getty Images 

 

“In 2018, the U.S. continued to experience damaging weather and natural catastrophes in high exposure areas, and in some instances, in regions that had been impacted in less than a year prior,” says Howard Botts, chief scientist at CoreLogic. “Hazards will always pose a threat to homes and businesses and knowing exactly what that risk entails is critical in helping ensure sufficient protection from the financial catastrophes that so often follow natural disasters.”

In 2018, there were more than 1,600 significant flood events in the U.S. Residential and commercial flood damage in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from Hurricane Florence caused up to $28.5 billion in damages. Eighty-five percent of the residential flooding losses were not covered by insurance, the report showed. Texas, Maryland, and Wisconsin also saw 1,000-year floods last year, with some in areas that had experienced 1,000-year floods less than two years before.

Nationwide, 6 percent of properties are within the Special Flood Hazard Areas. But only about one-third of those properties have flood insurance policies.

In 2018, the Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, including eight that became hurricanes. Hurricane Florence (Category 1) and Michael (Category 4) caused massive damage when they struck the U.S. About 700,000 residential and commercial properties saw catastrophic flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Florence. Michael struck the Florida Panhandle and caused up to $4 billion in residential and commercial insured losses from the wind and storm surge, according to CoreLogic’s report.

Unprecedented wildfires also wiped out real estate in 2018. “The number of acres that burned in 2018 is the eighth highest in U.S. history,” as reported through Nov. 30, 2018, according to CoreLogic. Eleven western states saw at least one wildfire that burned more than 50,000 acres. California and Oregon saw the most.

Northern California’s Camp Fire in November 2018 turned nearly the entire city of Paradise into ash. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were damaged. The Woolsey wildfire in Malibu destroyed more than 1,600 structures. These two wildfires alone caused up to $19 billion in total insured and uninsured losses, CoreLogic estimates.

Source: magazine.realtor/

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Top 3 Safety Hacks for Holiday Shopping

by Melissa Dierks

Top 3 Safety Hacks for Holiday Shopping

According to the Arizona Division of Public Safety report, November has the highest rate of "pick pocketing" of any month of the year, while shoplifting crimes are highest in December. That being said, here are the top 3 safety hacks for holiday shopping.

  1. Stay alert to your surroundings when you’re out and about shopping. Thieves typically target people who look lost in thought or are struggling to carry shopping bags and seem distracted so avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  2. Never leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  3. Obviously if you’re traveling and away from home over the holidays you should lock your doors and windows. But also take additional precautions by having a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail. Want an extra level of safety? Leave your lights on an automatic timer.

You can never be too safe while you’re shopping for the season, and you can’t afford to be careless. Please share these tips with your loved ones and shop safe this holiday season. For more holiday safety hacks or if you’re ready to sell or buy a home in the Valley, please contact The Regal Team today!

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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BACK ON THE MARKET AND HOLDING AN OPEN HOUSE

by Melissa Dierks

Join Robert as he hosts another "Open House" event on Sunday, November 4th, from 12:00 to 3:00.

This beautiful home located in Glendale, AZ is nothing short of an entertainers delight! Just in time for the holidays, you will have the opportunity to host your guests in this amazing 4 bedroom / 3 bathroom home. A back yard that will provide countless hours of entertainment for your friends and family!

Don't miss this amazing opportunity to call this "HOME"..

 

 

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

Follow us on Facebook!

New Law Banning Cellphones While Driving Implemented

by Melissa Dierks

New Law Banning Cellphones While Driving Implemented

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes annually. Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol is. One out of every four traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. are caused by cell phone usage. This startling data may be one of many reasons why a new law banning the use of cellphones while driving went into effect in Surprise this month, making it the latest city to attempt regulation rather than wait for a state effort.

Surprise officials put an ordinance banning talking, texting or anything involving a handheld communication device into effect last week, the Arizona Republic reported. Police will generally issue warnings only for the first thirty days of the new law, said Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski. After that, the fines will begin. The fine is $250 on the first offense. The law prohibits talking on a cellphone, sending a text message or otherwise using a hand-held communications device while driving in the city, unless the device is in hands-free mode.

City leaders were cautious when enacting the outright ban, fearing that it could make the city a target of the state Legislature, which has been enacting local pre-emption laws on many subjects. But Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott said the Arizona League of Cities and Towns believed the law could be imposed.

Lawmakers have gone back and forth on cellphone bans in cars for more than a decade. Earlier this year, legislation banning drivers’ cellphone usage was shot down gained approval in the Senate but died in the House.

The lack of a state law has led to a mishmash of different ordinances across jurisdictions. Tucson, Sedona and Oro Valley currently prohibit handheld cellphone use while behind the wheel. Meanwhile, Phoenix, Flagstaff and Fountain Hills only prohibit texting while driving.

Drivers, please make sure your cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits, and as always, please drive safe!

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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Don’t Fall for Package Delivery Notification Scam

by Melissa Dierks

Don’t Fall for Package Delivery Notification Scam

Jae Herron, a Valley homeowner says she recently found a notice on her front door, implying she had missed a delivery. Like a lot of consumers, Herron likes to shop and buy online. She says getting packages dropped off at her home happens fairly frequently. So, when she came out of her front door and found a notice saying, "Sorry we missed you" from a company called "Valley Delivery," it got her attention.

But when she called the number on the notice and that's when felt something wasn't quite right. They proceeded to ask her for her date of birth and she said no. Herron says she then grew even more suspicious as the representative kept asking more personal questions, so she hung up and reported the fraud. According to the Better Business Bureau, a company by a similar name, Nu Home Promotions, was told to "modify misleading advertising practices.” Herron says she’s not surprised and wants others to be aware.

This isn’t the first time this package delivery notification scam has happened in the Valley. Earlier this year, Dave Sollis, a homeowner in Surprise said fake delivery people had been hounding him from the same company that's not actually delivering packages, but rather delivery notices aimed at data mining, according to the company's fine print. Sollis said a fake delivery man visited his home at around 5 a.m. one day, leaving a fake delivery notice. Sollis looked up Valley Delivery online and decided it wasn't a legitimate delivery company.

Valley Delivery has done business under several different names. They have a bad record with the Better Business Bureau and have been the target of past investigations looking into their shady marketing practices. 

The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers often impersonate well-known shippers or steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate. If you really did miss a delivery, the driver will leave a ticket at your door to arrange for a later delivery or for you to pick up the package. If you or someone you know has been a victim of delivery notice fraud please report the incident to the Attorney General, Better Business Bureau or contact the local, state or Federal regulators most likely to have answers to your questions here.

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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JUST REDUCED!!! Beautiful Upgraded Home in the Heart of Glendale for Sale

Beautiful upgraded home in the heart of Glendale with no HOA and appraised at $520,000! As you walk through the custom iron gate with the saltillo tile entryway, you'll find this 4 bedroom, 2.5 half bath home upgraded throughout. It has been freshly painted both inside and out. When you walk in through the front door, the gorgeous planter is there to great you with vivid colors and water feature! The kitchen is fully remodeled with new cabinets, granite countertops, and Samsung stainless steel appliances. The breakfast nook is nestled in a bay window with built-in custom bench seating and views of the backyard. The spacious master bedroom has a walk-in closet with built-ins and remodeled bathroom which has custom mirrors, upgraded vanity, granite counters, travertine floors and shower.

Don't miss the added game/bonus room which has cabinets for storage, wine bar and plenty of room to create the perfect entertainment area. This would also make a great office should you have a need for it! The backyard is an entertainers dream with a saltillo tile covered patio, pebble-tec diving pool with rock waterfall, above ground acrylic spa, second sitting area with fireplace, built-in BBQ, firepit, sink, burners, mini-refrigerator and lighting for the perfect evening.

The detached 30 x 40 (1,200 square foot) garage / workshop is equipped with a high ceiling, roll-up RV height door, cabinets, wired for 220 and 110, and is piped for water. Holds three cars easily! There is also RV covered parking in the back of it. Additional upgrades include plantation shutters, new carpet throughout, wine rack/bar, Game/bonus room, keyed security gates and so much more.

If you’d like to make this beautiful upgraded home in the heart of Glendale yours, please contact the Regal Team today and schedule a viewing appointment to see 6034 W Michelle Dr. Glendale, AZ 85308 or any of our current featured listings.

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

Follow us on Facebook!

RE/MAX Professionals Celebrates August as the Month of Miracles

by Melissa Dierks

RE/MAX Professionals Celebrates August as the Month of Miracles 

Giving back is a priority in the RE/MAX culture. All over the world, RE/MAX agents make a difference in their communities - volunteering, donating money, contributing time and ultimately changing lives.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) raises funds and awareness for 170-member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.

We are excited to announce that our offices will be participating in our fourth annual “Month of Miracles” throughout the month of August. This is a month-long fundraising event is designed to raise much-need money to support our local Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as raise awareness in our community.

“Children’s hospitals depend on local donations — like those from RE/MAX agents participating in Miracle Home and Miracle Property programs — to provide the top-of-class care kids deserve,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “On behalf of the millions of families impacted by RE/MAX donations, we appreciate each agent’s efforts and thank them for truly making miracles happen in their communities all year long.”

Last year our Month of Miracles event raised over $15,000 and our office made a total contribution to Phoenix Children’s Hospital of $44,160.20! We were recognized by RE/MAX LLC for being the highest contributing office in the Southwest Region (Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico) to the Children’s Miracle Network, and our local Phoenix Children's Hospital!

Each donation helps fund pediatric medical equipment, treatments, charitable care and other healthcare services for local CMN hospitals. As the contributions continue to grow, we are able to aid a larger number of sick and injured children – which is something we take great pride in being able to do for our community.

Please help us reach out goal of ONE MILLION PENNIES for the “Month of Miracles” in August, 2018. You can drop by any one of our four offices to participate in our fundraising efforts, or contact the Regal Team and we’ll be happy to pick up your donation.

On behalf of all the kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we thank you in advance for your support in helping us achieve this goal for our community!

Sincerely,

Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101

Glendale, AZ 85308

(623) 229-0154

www.theregalteam.com

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10 Ways to Save on Utility Bills This Summer

by Melissa Dierks

Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save on utility bills and energy costs before you’re shocked by your first big bill this summer. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prepare your home (and your wallet) for the summer heat without sacrificing comfort. So, before you crank up the AC, take a look at our top ways to save on utility bills this summer. Your budget will thank you!

1. Get Your HVAC System Ready

Is there anything worse than a broken HVAC system in the summer? The good news is you can avoid this nightmare by taking precautions and getting your HVAC ready for summer. First, you’ll want to clean or change the air filters as dirty or clogged filters force your air conditioning system to work much harder, which in turn causes more wear and tear in the long-run. You’ll also want to inspect your outdoor unit for any visible signs of damage such as warped panels, torn insulation or rust. In the colder months, small animals may nest inside the insulation so you’ll want to inspect the inside as well. Taking these steps to ensure your AC unit is working efficiently will help keep your energy bills low this summer.

2. Clean Air Filters and Vents

Many homeowners make the mistake of closing off vents in rooms that are not being used, but closing vents causes more pressure in the ducts causing your air conditioner to work much harder. Before you turn the AC on this summer, open all the vents and give them a nice cleaning.

3. Keep Blinds Closed

Did you know that keeping your blinds closed during the day can drastically reduce the heat in your home? Keeping them open causes a greenhouse like effect—sunlight and heat pour in all day and can’t get out, making your home much warmer and causing your air conditioning to work over-time, which in turn will spike up your power bill.

4. Lower Your Utility Rates

Do you live in a deregulated energy region? If so, you have the power to choose your energy provider and can shop around for the lowest energy rates. If you haven’t researched your options in a while, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your current energy provider and find out if there is a cheaper rate out there. Many deregulated energy providers offer special promotions in the summer, like “free nights,” so you should definitely check out what else is out there. To see if you live in a deregulated area, just enter your address here.

5. Time Your Thermostat

If you want to be cost conscious this summer, you shouldn’t blast your air conditioning at all hours of the day. A lower temperature setting at night and a higher setting during the day is recommended for optimal cost savings. If you’re forgetful or aren’t always around to change it, we recommend installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule your temperature changes even when you aren’t home.

6. Switch to LED Bulbs

While incandescent light bulbs are cheap, they use more energy and produce quite a bit of heat compared to LED bulbs. LED bulbs tend to be a little more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last longer, produce less heat and create great energy savings in the long run. So, consider making the switch the LED lights, at least in the rooms you use most, to help lower your utility bills this summer.

7. Buy a Water Cistern

If you don’t know, a water cistern is a device that captures rain water and stores it for you to use to water your garden or lawn, to wash your car, etc. Your water bill can get out of hand in the summer as you spend more time outdoors, so a water cistern is a great investment if you want to keep your garden and lawn green all summer long without paying for extra water use.

8. Use Your Ceiling Fan

In the warmer months, you should run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise. Since heat rises, the counter-clockwise motion will help pull the cold air up toward the ceiling. Running your ceiling fan efficiently will help cool your rooms, allowing you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature, ultimately reducing your power bill.

9. Invest in Smart Power Strips

Connecting multiple appliances to a smart power strip that can be turned off with only one flip of a switch at night when the devices aren’t being used is a quick and easy way to help reduce energy waste. When you don’t have to unplug all your devices individually, saving energy suddenly becomes much easier!

10. Don’t Use an Irrigation Schedule

Irrigation schedules or timers that you can set to schedule when your garden or lawn will be watered sound nice in theory, but they actually produce quite a bit of water waste. You can’t control when it rains, and you may not be home to stop your irrigation system from going off when it does. Watering manually may seem like a chore, but when you think about all the money you can save from reducing water waste, manual watering becomes more appealing.

Don’t let the first utility bills of summer sneak up on you. Be proactive and implement our tips, we promise they’ll help you save big on your utility bills this summer!

Source: blog.rismedia.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%.

Homeownership: "A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House" | MyKCM

Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context:

“The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter households has fallen for four consecutive quarters. Owner-occupied households grew by 1.345 million from a year ago, while the number of renters actually fell by 286,000 households. 

The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renter households fell is a strong sign households are making a switch from renting to buying. This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.” 

 In a separate article comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, Realtor.com also concluded that the gap is now shrinking:

“The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households, the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined from the same quarter a year earlier. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades.” 

 America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a survey conducted by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”

 The results:

 

  • 43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

 

Bottom Line

Homeownership has been, is, and always will be a crucial part of the American Dream.

Source: Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, the prospect of rising mortgage rates had buyers even more frenzied in March, according to a report out Friday. 

The monthly survey of real estate agents from Credit Suisse showed that an index of buyer traffic around the country rose 2 points to 50, on a scale where 50 indicates a neutral reading. As always, there was great regional variety, but as Credit Suisse put it, agents’ commentary “remains centered on pent-up demand, especially in more affordable price points, given the persistent inventory shortage.”

The threat of rising mortgage rates is also starting to be felt. That “got many buyers off the fence,” as one survey respondent in Houston said. In 36 metro areas Credit Suisse surveys, 23 said incoming rate increases were motivating buyers. Still, as one Seattle real estate agent put it, “Rate increases are causing a sense of urgency, but there is not enough inventory to sell.”

And Credit Suisse also made note of a theme that’s starting to gain as much traction as the notion of scarce inventory: “In several markets spanning the Southern U.S., agents noted in-migration – driven by employment and lifestyle changes – is supporting ongoing gains in traffic as we move into spring.” That’s a theme MarketWatch has covered recently. 

ReadAmerica’s new great migration in search of lower property taxes

And for buyers who can’t move across the country for more reasonable prices, Credit Suisse’s survey found more house-hunters going back to a tried-and-true way of landing more affordable housing. What they call “a greater willingness among buyers to move further out to the periphery” was known as “driving until you qualify” a decade ago. 

Here are some selected local highlights from the March survey, along with Credit Suisse’s proprietary traffic index data for each.

City Traffic index Comments
Boston 36

“Continued shortage of available inventory is leading some buyers to abandon their search.” 

“Rising prices and the uptick in interest rates are pushing the bottom tier out of the marketplace.” “Buyers looking at homes in further out areas in order to compete with rising rates.” 

Chicago 38 “First-time and move-up buyers are coming on strong while the luxury buyers are languishing.” 

“Buyer optimism amidst low levels of inventory.” 

Denver 46

“Prices being bid up well beyond the list price.”

Fort Myers 50

“Clients appear to feel more confident in the economy.” 

“Colder weather in the Northeast states driving more snowbirds to the area.”

Houston 54

“Continued corporate relocations to the area.”

Inland Empire, California 25

“Rates causing buyers to purchase smaller or older homes, or move further out.” 

“Buyers will purchase what they can afford given rising rates; homes will be smaller and locations outside of previously considered areas.”

Jacksonville 75

“Good economy and still affordable price points.” 

“Corporate growth in the area.”

Las Vegas 38

“Open house traffic much higher than last year and more interest in entry level homes.” 

“People moving to the county in droves!” 

“Higher prices and shortage of available inventory.”

Miami 30

“Lenders tight on buyer qualifications and property conditions.”  

“First-time buyers concerned over rising rates although higher end buyers more motivated to purchase.”

Minneapolis 63

“Clients that have been dragging their feet now cannot afford as much.”

Nashville 21

“More people moving into the area.” 

“Seeing an increase in seller paid closing costs and additional financial assistance on behalf of buyers.”

New York-Northern New Jersey 47

“Many buyers interested in purchasing homes outside the state, in places like North Carolina.”

Phoenix 71

“Buyers willing to go further out to get a larger home.”

Raleigh 67

Lack of inventory and frenzied buying.” 

“Some buyers moving towards variable rate mortgage products offered by credit unions.”

Sacramento 77

“More people and companies moving to the area.” 

“Buyers are lowering their expectations, sacrificing either square footage or location to meet price points.”

San Antonio 60

“Retirees looking to move to the area due to the climate and the fairly low cost of living.” 

“Buyers qualifying for lower amounts.”

San Diego 46

“Buyers more concerned with HOA fees than rates.” 

“Seeing movement to lower priced areas if anything is available.” 

“Buyers willing to move further from the city.”

Virginia Beach 50

“Large influx of low quality new construction which is outperforming the sales of existing homes.” 

“Buyers having sticker shock over rising home prices.”

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Source:  Keeping Current Matters and all references above

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Melissa Dierks
Keller Williams Professional Partners
7025 W Bell Road, Suite 10
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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