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The Regal Team Home Inspection Series 4- Roof

by Melissa Dierks

The Regal Team Home Inspection Series 4- Roof

The Regal Team is excited to present part five of our five-part series on residential home inspection. Hear from a licensed home inspector on the various things they are looking for when it comes to inspecting your home.

With the various types of roofs in the Phoenix area, there are several things to look for during an inspection. A roof inspection is a way of determining the level of wear and tear on a roof, how much life it has left in it, and if there is a need for repair currently or soon in the future. Roof inspections involve looking for signs that indicate the wear on shingles and other roofing materials. A roof inspector does not need to remove any part of your roof.

In this episode, Kris Hauser with Insight Real Estate Inspection Service shares his expertise that will help you have a better understanding of our roofs here in the Valley of the Sun!

Kris can be contacted at (623)594-8131 or (623)297-1584 for additional questions you may have related to home inspection services. We hope this interview between Kris Houser with Insight Real Estate Inspection Service and Robert Dierks with The Regal Team will enlighten you a little more on what you need to know about inspecting your roof.

As always, please contact The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals for ALL your residential home purchase and selling needs!

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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RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

by Melissa Dierks

RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 showed the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6 percent year-over-year drop in home sales. At the same time, the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. It is the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

The decline in home sales year-over-year was the largest since May of 2011, as September became the seventh month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017. Even so, year-to-date 2018 home sales resemble 2017’s.

“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”

Active inventory dropped for the 119th consecutive month, the decline of 4.7 percent from September 2017 was the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the September year-over-year inventory drop was the fifth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen over the previous three years.

“It’s a little surprising to see prices staying so strong, but it’s hardly shocking in such a tight market,” said Contos. “The headwinds of rising prices and interest rates amid already tight inventory levels have been crimping affordability and slowing sales for most of the year, but it varies by geography.  In circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent – a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”

Home prices rose by 5.6 percent over September 2017, more than twice the year-over-year price increase of 2.3 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. That reversed a trend seen in the previous three months, when year-over-year price increases trailed 2017’s rate of growth.

Months Supply of Inventory totaled 3.7, which is the second-lowest for September in report history, second only to 3.6 months in September 2017. Days on Market of 46 was a September record for the report – three days less than September 2017. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in September 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down 1.1percent compared to August 2018, and down 11.6 percent compared to September 2017.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact the Regal Team today! We offer unparalleled service to all clients in the Phoenix real estate market. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority!

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!

5 Percent Mortgage Rates Are Back!

by Melissa Dierks

5 Percent Mortgage Rates Are Back!

The average rate on the 30-year fixed sat just below 4 percent a year ago, after dropping below 3.5 percent in 2016. It just crossed the 5 percent mark, according to Mortgage News Daily.

The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate spiked fifteen basis points to 5.04 percent from 4.89 percent in the previous week, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. Meanwhile, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate surged 15 basis points to 4.41 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose 7 basis points to 4.42 percent.

Mortgage borrowers are taking note of soaring rates. Total mortgage applications fell 1.7 percent from the previous week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly applications survey for the week ending Oct. 5. That’s down nearly 15 percent from a year ago.

Refinances, which are more sensitive to rate changes, dipped 3 percent from a week ago, the MBA reported. Overall, refinance activity sank to 39 percent of total applications from 39.4 percent the previous week and is down about 32 percent from a year ago.

Rising home prices and tight inventories for starter homes won’t abate in the year ahead, says Joel Kan, an MBA economist. And although year-over-year growth in purchase applications is expected, the movement will be gradual, Kan says.  “With the economy doing well and job market still strong, we’re starting to see the fruits of that and opportunities will be there,” Kan says of homebuying demand.

Higher mortgage rates mean now is a good time to buy a home as higher home prices are likely to become more affordable and homebuyers will have a better chance of finding a home in their price range and more likely to have an offer accepted. Its important to note that while higher rates may drive prices down, a higher interest rate does impact your buying power. What does buying power mean? Simple put, what you can afford to buy at an interest rate of 5 percent will be less than what you can afford to buy at an interest rate of 3 percent.

So, if you’re in the market to buy a home, now is the perfect time take advantage before rates go up more, and your buying power goes down. Contact the Regal Team today for more information about the new mortgage rates and get prequalified to buy a home in Phoenix.

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!

 

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. RE/MAX Professionals or The Regal Team are not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a qualified mortgage broker directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

5 Hacks to Dodge Home Improvement Scams

by Melissa Dierks

5 Hacks to Dodge Home Improvement Scams

Each summer, professional home improvement scammers roam the U.S. in search of victims. Scams include everything from offering unbelievable deals that end up with hidden fees to using low-quality materials and not doing quality work. If you’re in the market for making big repairs to your home, here’s 5 ways to dodge home improvement scams according to Consumer Reports, Inc.

1.) Get recommendations. Avoid contractors that contact you unsolicited. Don’t hire a contractor based solely on an ad in a local newspaper, even if you’re offered a big discount or another incentive. Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives.

2.) See what others are saying. Before hiring a contractor, check his or her work history with your state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Search the Web using the company or individual’s name and such words as “reviews” and “complaints.”

3.) Check credentials. Verify with your state that the contractor has the required license or registration. Some states have funds that reimburse consumers who obtain judgments against licensed contractors.

4.) Know your rights. Some states give consumers three days or so to cancel home-improvement contracts. Under federal law you have three days to cancel most contracts that are signed in your home or outside the contractor’s regular place of business.

5.) Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on spoken promises. Demand a written contract, and get all warranties in writing, too.

Even the most seasoned home buyer is at risk of home improvement fraud so please be on the alert and share with friends and family.  If you’d like more information about how to dodge home improvement scams or if you’re ready to sell or buy a home in Phoenix, please contact The Regal Team today. We’ll help you navigate through each step of the process to assist you with making the best real estate investment decisions and find the perfect home for you!

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!

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

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

Home-Buying Millennials Face Fresh Set of Struggles

by Melissa Dierks

An astounding 98 percent of home-buying millennials surveyed for the report are being kept out of the market, with barriers including credit (cited by 26 percent of millennials), a down payment (31 percent) and prices (40 percent).

Given the hurdles, millennials are compromising on their wants: 84 percent, for example, would give up a feature in their home so that they could buy in their desired location, the report reveals. (The No. 1 do-without feature? A garage, followed by a kitchen that has been updated.) By comparison, just 25 percent of boomer buyers and 35 percent of Generation X buyers would do the same. Strikingly, 24 percent of millennials would accept a higher crime rate in exchange for their ideal property.

The majority of millennials (89 percent), similarly, would give up a feature of their neighborhood so that they could buy their desired home, like activities (e.g., block parties), good schools and proximity to restaurants and shops. Only 15 percent of boomers and 22 percent of Gen Xers would follow suit.

“For millennials, the dream of homeownership is alive and well, but with prices going up and inventory continuing to shrink, this new generation of buyers are facing more obstacles than any other demographic,” says Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “With tight budgets and fewer choices on the market, most millennials are forced to make trade-offs, and are more willing than other generations to give up home and neighborhood features in order to find their ideal home.”

Aside from the concessions, many millennials are having to put off their search, the report shows. More than three-quarters (79 percent) have delayed their plans to purchase—a higher rate than both boomers (48 percent) and Generation Xers (64 percent). Across generations, however, the obstacles overlap: a not-so-distant 32 percent of Gen Xers and 36 percent of millennials delayed due to the down payment, and an almost-identical 26 percent of Gen Xers and 27 percent of millennials held off due to prices.

Beyond costs, millennials are postponing a purchase for fear of “not having a stable job”—a byproduct of coming up in the recession. Debt, however, is less of a roadblock; just 9 percent of millennials say student loans are stopping them.

Despite the hurdles, 86 percent of millennials are planning to purchase, and, of those, 35 percent are aiming to do so in the next year, and 57 percent are hoping to in the next two years, according to the report.

“In markets where the economy and job growth are thriving, we may see some of these financial challenges start to dissipate as millennials mature into their careers,” Young says. “If anything, millennials can hold out hope that the encouraging housing starts we saw in 2017 can lead to some relief in the starter home segment.”

Source: 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

Which Remodeling Personality Type Are You?

by Melissa Dierks

What’s your home improvement persona: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, or the Extrovert? View this infographic from the Home Projects Council to learn the five main home remodeling personality types.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org

 

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

Zen Design Takes Over Luxury Listings

by Melissa Dierks

More luxury buildings are trying to lure buyers by touting amenities focused on finding inner peace and lowering stress. The homes are touting everything from meditation courtyards with silken hammocks to open-air yoga studios and herbal gardens filled with calming plants. 

The rising popularity of wellness in real estate suggests that it’s working in attracting upscale home buyers. Luxury developers are offering morning yoga, mindfulness coaches, and meditation chambers. 

“It’s not just about physical health; people are also thinking of how our space affects us emotionally,” Katherine Johnson, senior research fellow at the Global Wellness Institute, told The Wall Street Journal. The Global Wellness Institute has studied the expansion of the wellness industry into the real estate market.  

In Palm Beach, Fla., the Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences will offer heated reflexology floors, circadian lighting systems, and vitamin C-infused showers once it opens in 2019. Each homeowner will be matched with a personal wellness consultant to advise them on mindfulness, sleep, fitness, and nutrition, says Dilip Barot, CEO and founder of the Creative Choice Group. The units will be priced from $700,000 to more than $4 million. 

A wellness-focused neighborhood in Serenbe, Ga., will feature a medicinal garden with edible native plants. Also, a naturalist will soon be leading workshops for residents on how to use plants for homeopathic remedies and tonics. 

“Being able to see green from every window—it’s fascinating to me how that really does impact your mood and well-being,” says Jeny Mathis, a homeowner who also teaches aerial yoga. In constructing her home, she and her husband Gil, a real estate agent, consulted Wellness With Your Walls, an organization that offers guidelines on building practices to reduce contaminants and toxins in the home. Mathis’ home also features soothing paint colors on the walls and avoids contrasting paint shades to create a sense of continuity and openness. 

Source: “Luxury Homes That Promise to Reduce Stress—for $4 Million,” The Wall Street Journal (April 19, 2018).

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

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Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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