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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

The Hottest Paint Colors of 2019

by Melissa Dierks

Living Coral: Paint company Pantone announced “Living Coral” as its 2019 Color of the Year. The orange shade with golden undertones embodies “warmth and comfort,” Pantone says. “Living Coral easily delivers a graphic pop to a space,” says Rebecca Snowden, an interior style adviser at Furniture Choice. “Introducing it through small elements will brighten up a room, creating a sense of coziness that’s also fresh and chic.” For example, the energetic tone can liven up cushions, throws, and rugs in a living room. In a dining area, color blocked plates and coasters in the peachy hue may add some spark to a table arrangement, she says. Read Furniture Choice’s guide to weaving in more Living Coral into your home design.

Blueprint / Photo credit: Behr

Blueprint: Behr has gone blue with its top color choice for the new year. Blueprint is a mid-tone blue that is described as warmer than denim but softer than navy. Behr is embracing a full range of blue, teal, and grays as key color choices in 2019. “Layer light and dark blues on walls, cabinets, furniture, and decor for impactful results,” Behr says.

Cavern Clay / Photo Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Cavern Clay: Sherwin-Williams has picked a warm terra-cotta color called Cavern Clay as its 2019 Color of the Year. The color embodies an American Southwest, modern desert aesthetic. “This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined,” Sherwin-Williams says. “It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone, and sculptural greenery.” It also compliments materials like leather and woodgrains.

Metropolitan Gray / Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore

Metropolitan Gray: Benjamin Moore expects the gray trend to continue in the new year, which is shown through its neutral pick with Metropolitan Gray. “It’s a color in the neutral spectrum that references a contemplative state of mind and design,” says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s director of strategic design intelligence. “Not arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous gray creates a soothing, impactful common ground.”

 

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

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

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

Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Year High

by Melissa Dierks

After mostly stagnant activity levels in recent weeks, mortgage rates are back on the move. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest level since January 2014 this week, also seeing its largest weekly increase since February of this year, Freddie Mac reports. 

Average mortgage rates were higher across the board too, posting weekly increases to not only the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage but also to 15-year and 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending April 19: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.47 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.42 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.87 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.23 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.67 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.61 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.10 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

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

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

by Melissa Dierks

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

 “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

 Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

 

Source: https://www.mykcm.com/2018/04/16/getting-pre-approved-should-always-be-your-first-step/

 

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 additional source links above

10 of the hottest interior trends for Spring Summer 2018

by Melissa Dierks
Spring/Summer 2018 trends

Yes, it's still dark and dingy, but we have so much colour and texture to look forward to this spring and summer. 

Ice-cream pastels, glittery golds, indigo blues and super zingy colour pops, these are all trends for this year. Below, we show you our favourites and how to put them together in your home. 

1. EMBELLISHMENTS

Global Traveller range, Sainsbury's Home
SAINSBURY'S HOME

Macrame, fringing, tufting, tassels and feathers – you name it, it's here for this season and you'll see it on cushions, wall hangings, throws, rugs and accessories. This trend will add a wonderful handmade quality to each room, beautiful tactile cushions on the sofa and a sumptuous throw with tassels on the bed, and a wall-hanging or two on plain walls to add interest. 

2. ICE CREAM COLOURS

Valspar, from B&Q
VALSPAR

Gelato colours are going to be a huge trend in both interiors and fashion this year, but there's no reason to wait until spring, start investing in key pieces now and get ahead of the crowd. 'Choosing your favourite flavour of ice cream can be a bit like choosing your favourite paint colour,' explains Kasia Wiktorowicz, marketing communications manager, Valspar. 'So why only choose one when you can have them all, in a perfect palette of ice cream colours. You can even mix up paint colours to suit your tastes and match accessories by using our in-store colour matching technology.' Introduce these pretty colours on a single wall or multiple if you feel brave, and accessorise with pastelhued vases, dining chairs and tableware.

3. GEOMETRICS

Wall&Deco Wet System 16 - Batik, £156 per sq m, West One Bathrooms
WEST ONE BATHROOMS

Although we did see geometrics in 2017, it was mainly on cushions and rugs. This year it's all about tiles, wallpaper and art. Seen here is a bold design being used to striking effect, no, it's not tiles, it's actually a specially designed decorative membrane that is so watertight it can also be used directly on the walls of a shower or as a kitchen splashback.

4. FOLIAGE AND MORE FOLIAGE

Green sofa and greenery - plants

With increasing news of health benefits, the humble houseplant is fast becoming the must-have buy for our homes. And it seems the more the merrier, so pop down to your local garden centre and invest in some stunning plants. Place them in each room, use hanging plants for shelves and mantelpieces and some lovely leafy beauties for bare corners and coffee/side tables. Team them with some lush green pieces like this charming armchair, stylish pendants, a textured rug and some stripy green cushions for added interest. 

5. INDIGO BLUES

Indigo blue flowers, vase and backdrop
MARKS & SPENCER

As an antidote to the pastel tones, another colour trend is inky blues. If painting a whole room in one of these shades seems overwhelming then simply accessorise instead with vases and flowers. Pick different shapes in a mixture of styles, so some coloured glass and others embossed stoneware, like these seen here. Vary the heights and widths to create an interesting display. 

6. OMBRE

Holly double bed frame in pumice soft textured weave, £975, Button & Sprung
BUTTON & SPRUNG

Meaning 'to shade', this season you're going to see ombre in many different ways, from fabrics to cushions, rugs to bedding, and in a painterly watercolour style on lampshades, artwork and furniture. If you don't feel brave enough to try it yourself on walls, then source a wallpaper instead. Once you have chosen your colourway, co-ordinate your accessories to complement the wall colours using a mix of plains and prints. 

              7. GLITTERY GOLD

Swoon Editions
SWOON EDITIONS

Last year the metallic trend started to filter through into paints and metal finishes, this year gold is the key colour. Softer than silver, it brings its own elegance together with a sense of decadence. You'll see gold detailing like door knobs and handles, gold lamp bases and picture frames. We love this sideboard, mirror and pendant, the dramatic dark walls show them off to perfection and the bold electric blue chair adds a classy pop of colour. Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon Editions, says: 'Mango wood furnishings with brass and gold leaf accents are an increasingly popular choice for the style-savvy customer. For a more subtle take, gold accessories are a sophisticated yet understated addition.'

8. COLOUR POPS

Colourful bedroom, Amara
AMARA

'Bold pops of colour is one of the strongest trends coming through for us this season. For A by Amara's SS18 collection we've focused heavily on a variety of strong shades that we feel will transform any living space and help reflect a personal style,' explains Sam Hood, founder and creative director of Amara. This trend is all about mixing bright colours together. It's strong, but easily manageable if you have one or two main colours to start with that 'ground' the rest of the look. For example, as shown here, it's the blue bedding and the neutral walls. The cushions, rug and curtains bring a zingy element to the scheme as well as the yellow light and the orange panel. Use textures to layer the look and don't be afraid to team patterns and stripes together. 

9. TROPICAL

House of Fraser - outdoor living, tropics
HOUSE OF FRASER

Punchy brights teamed with gold are the key to this happy trend. It will work both inside and out. To recreate this look layer different coloured linen tablecloths and use darker shades for the tableware. Choose tropical leaf print cushions to add a decorative touch. Jakki Pay, design director of fashion & home at House of Fraser, says: 'I love tropical prints – there's really no better way to create that summer party mood, and this season there are some brilliantly bold ones to choose from. Palm motifs are always popular and our in-house design team has scaled them up to create some really striking abstract prints. Pick out vibrant pinks and blues and you've created a tropical paradise in your back garden.

10. SHIMMERY FLOORS

Carpetright Westex Ultima Twist carpet in Scotch Mist, £41.99m2 (2)
CARPETRIGHT

A new concept for carpets – shimmer! Perfect for spring and summer, this new range has an iridescent finish that catches the light and can be teamed with shimmery wallpapers and decorative paint effects. This pretty blush rose colour is perfect for this new season and looks great with grey and pale blue. 'The trend for iridescence continues this spring and it's proving to be an adaptable decorating style. The combination of blush, grey and lilac tones with metallic and shimmering finishes offers a modern feel with the perfect balance between sophistication and vibrancy,' explains Jemma Dayman, buyer at Carpetright.

Source: housebeautiful.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


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

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

What to Do With All That Stuff

by Melissa Dierks

piles of household stuff
 

It seems everywhere you turn, there’s a new message on the many benefits of decluttering. One of the trend’s best-known spokespersons is Marie Kondo, whose first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,extolls the virtues of having fewer belongings and more space to showcase the things that spark joy.

A more sobering aspect of this movement has been revealed more recently in the form of “Swedish Death Cleaning,” which involves getting rid of anything you don’t need any more so as to relieve others of the task of discarding it after you’ve passed on. Margareta Magnusson, author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives More Pleasant, says the practice offers a soft underlying message of care for one’s heirs.

Truly effective—and lasting—decluttering is a multistep process. The elements will vary depending on each client’s situation, but here are tips on how you as a real estate pro can help them reduce the stress of the task. You may even find them helpful for your own space.

1. Consider the downsizers. Whether you’re helping them buy or sell, clients who are hoping to reduce the amount of living space they require may look to you as a cheerleader and adviser. They may find it tempting to put off those difficult decisions about what to keep and what to ditch until after the move, but if you can help them focus on what realistically can fit in their new home, that could save them significant money in moving costs, according to Barry Izsak, an organizer and moving expert based in Austin, Texas. This is an especially important factor for those moving long distances. Such clients may also need to be reminded to think about the climate they’re relocating to. Snowbirds are not likely to need an extensive winter wardrobe and should retain only a few items for visits back North or travel to cold-weather locations.


2. Know when to suggest professional help. Homeowners who can’t handle the task on their own should consider bringing on a certified member of the National Association of Professional Organizers or someone with many years of experience, says Izsak. As the former president of NAPO, he says the national hourly rate typically charged by members hovers between $50 and $100. Rhea Becker—who, as the Clutter Queen, offers organizing services for homes and offices in Boston—says many of her clients appreciate how professionals speed up the process by keeping them focused on maximizing profits and avoiding digressions over each object’s history. “With a professional, you have the best chance to cut the time and get some money on the table since they know what will sell,” she says.

3. Assemble a toolbox of local resources to share. Whether or not your clients decide to bring in a professional, it helps to categorize each item in a given area into one of five groupings: keep, store, sell, donate, or toss. Izsak says the litmus test he uses and shares with clients is to save an object only if it fits one of these three criteria: It’s useful, beautiful, or loved. Becker suggests homeowners snap photos of favorite items that are difficult to part with to give them a visual memory they can retain rather than keeping the item itself. Here’s specific help you can offer them for each pile:

  • Sell. Midcentury modern furniture and contemporary art both appeal widely to buyers of all ages, especially if they’re good quality and in decent condition. Create a list of estate sales specialists and consignment shops in your area that are known for fair dealing. However, be aware that many services that do the work of selling take a big cut, often half the sales price. If your clients are inclined to try to sell items themselves, suggest they try eBay for the best prices. However, if they’re not willing to go through the trouble of shipping sold items, encourage them to post goods on hyperlocal online sites, such as neighborhood Facebook groups or Craigslist.
  • Donate. Remember the adage, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Suggest to older clients that they first ask their children to claim beloved items from their childhood. Becker says it’s important to set a time limit for those who are interested to pick up what they want. Donations is another area where you can be a hero by compiling a list of trustworthy sources in your neighborhood for your clients. Take note of what charities will accept and when, and even which ones will pick up donations, saving your clients time and hassle. Some charities have gotten choosier about what they accept. For instance, many won’t take mattresses, box springs, pillow cases, or sheets. Real estate salesperson Christopher Flores with Keller Williams Larchmont in Los Angeles suggests a local halfway house that helps troubled young adults stabilize their lives as a great destination for used goods. “That way they provide furniture and clothing they don’t need to those who may have nothing,” he says. Remind sellers that they may be able to secure a tax donation from the IRS if they contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization. Because of recent changes in the tax code, it’s best for clients to keep detailed notes of what they donate and to consult their tax adviser for the exact percentages they will be able to write off.
  • Toss. While clients may be able to deposit a fair amount of stuff in their garbage cans for pick-up or take unwanted items directly to their local dump, they may save themselves some work by calling a local trash-hauling company or 1-800-GOT-JUNK, which operates nationwide. You can be a resource for clients by noting how much junk haulers charge and if there’s any products they won’t take. Homeowners can also consult HomeAdvisor’s list of trash-hauling service providers by ZIP code. Also, it’s important to be aware of laws governing trash. Some municipalities also allow homeowners to leave stuff by the curb with a sign “please take me,” while others levy fines for such activity. A more organized version of this idea comes in the form of local Freecycle chapters, part of a grassroots nonprofit where local people post stuff for free pickup in their own towns to help keep usable goods out of landfills.
  • Store off-site. It may be tempting to store certain household items off-site. Because the self-storage industry is growing, most neighborhoods or towns offer multiple choices. In fact, 84 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one self-storage facility, according to the Self-Storage Association. Suggest clients pick one that offers locked, insured, climate-controlled cubicles, which they can access whenever they want. Prices can vary widely. A storage facility in Staatsburg, N.Y. offers a 5-foot-square cubicle for $45 with a discount for college students. Michael McAlhany’s Units Moving and Portable Storage, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., charges an average of $140 a month for an 8-foot-by-16-foot unit in 14 states across the country. His company will bring a portable storage unit to a home or apartment, so owners can pack there rather than transport everything to the facility. However, remind clients that this isn’t a great long-term solution, as months can easily extend into years and even decades. “Often storage is a matter of postponing the inevitable. It’s better to get rid of whatever you don’t need,” Izsak says.

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 additional source links above


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Melissa Dierks
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Glendale AZ 85308
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