Sept. 11, 2018

Existing-Home Sales Continue to Slowdown

According to the National Association of Realtor's (NAR) July housing report, existing-home sales slowed for the 4th consecutive month in July.  This signifies the most sluggish pace in more than two years.  NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that rising home prices and rising interest rates may be causing would-be home buyers to pull away from purchasing a new home.  A lot of first time home buyers have been priced out of the market.  However, this slowdown could be a great opportunity for buyers, as sellers may be willing to lower their sales price.  

Aug. 22, 2018

What does a Realtor do? And do you need a Realtor to purchase a new home?

Why use a Realtor® to help you buy a new home?

Buying a home is a complex process involving the largest financial transaction you may ever undertake.  A Realtor does not just find people houses or help them with their home search, in today's world most buyers find the properties that they want to purchase online (unless it is a pocket or upcoming listing). 

A Realtor's main job is to be an advocate for buyers and help protect, as well as, guide them through the home buying process with the least amount of stress as possible.  It's important to note that there could be negative legal and financial implications involved in buying a home, so having a knowledgeable agent on your side is crucial.  It could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

What is a buyer's rep/buyer's agent?

A buyer's rep represents you and your interests, not the seller's, in a real estate transaction.  A buyer's agent who has earned the Accredited Buyer's Representation (ABR) designation has gone the extra mile and completed specialized training in delivering the best buyer representation services to their clients.  An agent who is an ABR is a trusted advocate whose training and experience helps them excel in helping clients search for homes, write and negotiate offers, and get the buyer to the closing table.  ABR's help clients find houses that become homes.

An ABR can help you:

  • Be an educated buyer.
  • Navigate the home buying process.
  • Find properties that reflect your specific needs and wants and help you keep your goals in mind.
  • Understand how much you can afford.
  • View available properties.
  • Write offers.
  • Negotiate your offer to your best advantage.
  • Provide a list of qualified vendors (such as lenders, movers, etc.)
  • Keep your best interests in mind throughout the transaction.
  • Guide you with investigating and inspecting the property before you take possession.
  • Protect your earnest money should you decide not to buy a property.
  • Coordinate every transaction detail -- to closing and beyond -- to keep you on track.

Thinking about buying a home in the next year?  I want to help!  I am proud to be an ABR Realtor and I am ready to help you experience success!  Contact me at 623-252-9350.   

ABR

 

Aug. 16, 2018

Litchfield Park Named Best City to Live in Arizona

Litchfield Park, AZ

The City of Litchfield Park, Arizona

The City of Litchfield Park was named the best city in Arizona in which to live by Movoto, a national online real-estate brokerage.  The Movoto Real Estate Blog, a blog that helps uncover the best places in the United States, set out to find the 10 best cities in Arizona.  Litchfield Park topped the list at #1.  Which is no surprise to its residents.  It's not uncommon to find people that have families that have lived in The Park for several generations.  They know Litchfield Park has always been a gem in the desert.  

To determine the 10 best cities in Arizona Movoto used seven criteria:  high population density, cost of living, crime rate, high school diploma attainment rate, median household income, median home value and sunny and warm temperatures.  Litchfield Park scored well in almost all of the criteria but scored really well in the categories of:

  • Low crime rate:  81% lower than the state average
  • High median income:  $73,996 which is 63% higher than the state average
  • High home values:  The average home value is $336,100, 88% higher than the state average
  • Some of the best high school diploma attainment rates in Arizona.  Litchfield Park's high school attainment rate is 96%, which is 27% greater than the state's average.

The City of Litchfield Park is located 16 miles west of downtown Phoenix and is known for its towering palm trees and orange trees lining the major streets and abundance of parks.  The I-10 freeway provides easy access to downtown from Litchfield Park.  In addition, the Loop 101 and the Loop 303 provide Litchfield Park with easy access to the entire valley.  Litchfield Park has a small town atmosphere with all of the amenities you need close by.  

Litchfield Park has been awarded other honors as well:

  • Phoenix New Times awarded Old Litchfield Road as "Best Street Time Forgot 2013"
  • Phoenix Magazine named Litchfield Park one of the top 8 cities to live in Arizona in 2009

Litchfield Park Community Events

Litchfield Park really does have a small town feel and it is a fun little community.  Residents can walk or ride their bikes up to the more than 20 special events throughout the year, some hosted in conjunction with The Wigwam.  Many of the events have received State awards:

  • Native American Arts Festival
  • Arts in the Parks Concert Series
  • Kiwanis Litchfield Park Winter Trout Fishing Derby
  • Wigwam Festival of Fine Art
  • Flavors of the West Festival
  • Spring Art & Culinary Festival
  • Kiwanis Sprint in the Park Triathlon
  • Wigwam Amateur Championship Golf Tournament
  • Memorial Day Ceremony
  • 4th of July Fireworks Celebration and Splash Bash
  • Oktoberfest,
  • Festival of Arts
  • Taste of the Park
  • Christmas in the Park
  • 10k, 5k, 1-mile Fun Run

Litchfield Park Community Amenities

Within the community of Litchfield Park you will find The Litchfield Park Recreation Center, a library, restaurants, two hair salons, a microbrewery, walking paths, six parks, a lake you can fish at, baseball fields, soccer fields and The Wigwam with three golf courses, four pools, restaurants and more.  

The Litchfield Park Recreation Center has an outdoor 15-yard heated lap pool, a therapy spa, a baby pool, a weight room, tennis courts and basketball courts.  In addition, the Litchfield Park Recreation offers numerous recreation programs for youth and adults such as swim lessons, tennis lessons, water aerobics, water polo, preschool programs, basketball, T-Ball, flag football, soccer and pickleball (for adults).  Litchfield Park also has a senior program, the Litchfield Park Senior Citizen programs meet at least once a month for various activities and events.  

Located next to the Rec Center is Florence Brinton Litchfield Memorial Library, a branch of the Maricopa Public Library.  The Florence Brinton Litchfield Memorial Library offers a variety of resources beyond books, such as computers for public use, Wi-Fi, audio books and storytelling hours for the kids.  

There are 6 parks in Litchfield offering residents multiple plays to play with the family within walking distance of their home.  These parks can be reserved for special events:

  • Staggs Park:  A 3.74-acre park with a soccer field, baseball field with backstop and dugouts, restrooms, water fountain, picnic tables, ramada and a large covered tot lot with play structure, slides, and swings.
  • Tierra Verde Lake Park:  3.15 acres of land surrounding a 4.5-acre lake across the street from Staggs Park.  A path goes around the perimeter of the lake offering a great place for walking, jogging or biking.  Fishing is allowed in the lake and there is a boat ramp and dock.  There are benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park and it's the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch and feed the ducks.
  • Turtle Park:  5.05 acres with a soccer field, baseball field with backstop, large sand playground area with slide and swings.  This park also has 2 picnic tables and restrooms.
  • Camelback Park:  4.3 acres with a soccer field, sand playground area with slide, climbing feature, and swings.
  • Memorial Park:  1-acre park with a small gazebo with benches and a drinking fountain located in downtown.
  • Scout Park:

Just "outside the walls" of Old Litchfield are the closely tied areas of Litchfield Greens and the Villages at Litchfield Park.  There are 4 additional parks for residents to enjoy, Rose Park, Aleppo Park, Little Park and Kiwanis Park.  

Litchfield Park Restaurants and Businesses

Litchfield Park has a small quaint downtown area with a southwestern feel.  Enjoy breakfast, a specialty coffee or lunch at the Park Cafe.  Next door is Lazy Palm, with a large menu available for lunch or dinner.  Another popular place is Old Pueblo Cafe, a Mexican food restaurant with indoor or patio seating as well as an indoor bar area with flat screen TV's and karaoke.  Around the corner is a micro-brewery called Peoria Artisan Brewery which brews in-house several varieties of beer.  They also offer a small menu consisting of comfort food like brats, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers or you can build your own ham, turkey or roast beef sandwich.  The brewery also has a meat and cheese tray perfect for munching on while enjoying their beers.  Also located on Honeysuckle is Ribbons Tea House that offers over 40 different kinds of loose tea, specialty drinks, smoothies, ice cream and assorted desserts.  It has been a great addition to the Park.

The downtown area also has two salons, Haircutters in the Park, a full-service Aveda hair salon and Fringe Salon.  Other businesses include a law firm, a dentist, a karate studio and an Edward Jones financial planner.  

The Wigwam 

In the heart of Litchfield Park is The Wigwam.  The resort was built in 1918 by Goodyear Tire & Rubber as a retreat for the Ohio-based executives.  Due to its popularity, in 1929 The Wigwam opened as a full-service resort with accommodations for 24 people.  The Wigwam now features 331 guestrooms, including 70 luxurious suites and 2 presidential suites. 

In 2011 The Wigwam completed a $7 million rejuvenation.  The main lodge and accommodations were all updated.  Also, the resort now has four pools, the main pool has a 25-foot waterslide, separate kids and adult zones, a poolside cafe, and luxury cabanas.  The Wigwam also has a new great patio just off the main lodge and close to the pool which is perfect for relaxing and socializing.   This outdoor plaza area offers dining, an indoor/outdoor bar, lounge areas with fire pits, bocce ball courts and live entertainment.  This resort is also well equipped for meetings, events, and weddings.  The Wigwam has over 43,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.  The Wigwam Ballroom is 10,800 square feet, offering a great space for large groups.   The ballrooms, as well as the beautiful lush grounds, provide the perfect place for a wedding ceremony and reception.

For dining options, The Wigwam features Litchfield's, Red's Bar & Grill, the Wigwam Bar and the Tower Pool Bar & Grill.  Litchfield's offers a farm-to-table menu from local farms.  Red's Bar & Grill offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner either indoors or on the patio overlooking the golf courses.  The Wigwam Bar offers a great indoor or outdoor gathering place to enjoy cocktails or signature Wigwam cuisine.  The Tower Pool Bar & Grill offers fun food poolside along with refreshing drinks and cocktails. 

From November to April The Wigwam hosts The Wigwam Farmer's Market on the Front Lawn of the resort.  A wide variety of locally produced food including fruits, vegetables, cheese, preserves, bread, cooking oils and bottles of vinegar, wine, tamales and much more.  There's even a booth with gluten-free food.  The Wigwam Farmer's Market is definitely a popular spot on Sundays.  

In 2018 the Wigwam opened the new Lemonds Aveda Salon and Spa.  This serene and welcoming spa features facials, massages, waxing, eyelash extensions and makeup applications.  The salon offers a full menu of hair services including haircuts, blowouts, up-dos & style and numerous color options.  In addition, the salon features manicures and pedicures.  

The Wigwam provides Litchfield Park and it's residents the beauty of three well manicured 18-hole championship golf courses.  The Gold, Patriot and Heritage courses provide a diverse golf experience for golfers of all abilities.  The Wigwam Country Club is available for hotel guests and the public, but also offers memberships.  The premier membership allows for all that the golf club as well as what the resort have to offer.  The Wigwam Country Club offers other memberships as well, such as the tennis and fitness membership which gives members the use of the fitness center, tennis courts, and the resort pool areas.  

Search for Litchfield Park Homes For Sale

 

July 26, 2018

All Your Moving Needs In One Place! Personal Moving Concierge

Buy or sell a house with me and I will provide you access to your own

Personal Moving Concierge! 

All of the things you need for moving in one convenient place.  

 

 

 

 

Contact me today for your free phone call to help you get a game plan together to achieve your real estate goals!  Even if you aren't ready to buy right away, it's important to build a relationship with a Realtor that will be your advocate throughout the process.  Call or text to 623-252-9350 or email me at cinda@wvhometeam.com, I'd love to connect to see if I can assist you when you are ready to buy a home.

 

June 23, 2018

Buyer FAQ: How Do I Find Crime Reports and Statistics

 

Neighborhood Crime Rates and Property value

Unfortunately, crime is everywhere.  When you are ready to buy a home it is important to do some research about the area's crime rates and more since your Realtor will not be able to provide that information to you due to regulations.  Where can you find crime reports or other information about a neighborhood or city?  There are several websites that offer crime statistics, neighborhood stats, information about schools and more. 

Here are four websites that can help you research a neighborhood before you buy or sell: 

CrimeReports.com

According to their website, "CrimeReports is the nation's largest collection of law enforcement agencies committed to transparency, public access, and citizen engagement."  At CrimeReports.com, you can search over 1000 departments by name, region or zip code.  You can utilize the typical search box or you can explore areas by on a map.  

NeighborhoodScout.com

On NeighborhoodScout.com, you can "Know the neighborhood. Intimately." Before you buy a home in an area.  They provide data for future homeowners as well as investors.  They provide "Custom analytics to invest, appraise or finance real estate."  In fact, they have several tools for an investor to keep an eye on a neighborhood and pick the best one to invest in.  Investors, lenders, brokers, agents, property managers and home buyers and sellers can utilize their neighborhood data to make better decisions. 

City_Data.com

Find out the crime rate in Arizona's cities and small towns via a map search.  You can also research schools, neighborhoods, and restaurants.  This website also provides information about registered sex offenders.  

Bestplaces.net

Sperling's Best Places provides info on cost of living, schools, crime rates, and more.  Search by city, town or zip.  

 

 

Does the neighborhood participate in a Neighborhood Watch?

 

 

 

June 11, 2018

The Tax Difference in Second Homes

The Tax Difference in Second Homes

A principal residence and a second home have some similar benefits, but they have some key tax differences. A principal residence is the primary home where you live and a second home is used mainly for personal enjoyment while limiting possible rental activity to a maximum of 14 days per year.

10213246-250.jpg

Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Mortgage Interest Deduction allows a taxpayer to deduct the qualified interest on a principal residence and a second home. The interest is reduced from a maximum of $1,000,000 combined acquisition debt to a maximum of $750,000 combined acquisition debt for both the first and second homes.

Property taxes on first and second homes are deductible but limited to a combined maximum of $10,000 together with other state and local taxes paid.

The gain on a principal residence retained the exclusion of $250,000/$500,000 for single/married taxpayers meeting the requirements. Unchanged by the new tax law, the gains on second homes must be recognized when sold or disposed of.

Tax-deferred exchanges are not allowed for property used for personal purposes such as second homes. Gain on second homes owned for more than 12 months is taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate.

This article is intended for informational purposes. Advice from a tax professional for your specific situation should be obtained prior to making a decision that can have tax implications.

June 3, 2018

Home for Sale in Desirable Litchfield Park!

Don't miss out on the opportunity to live in The Park!  Great location close to walking paths, parks, golf, The Wigwam resort, restaurants, shopping and more!  Enjoy the relaxed small town lifestyle that Old Litchfield's residents have been enjoying for generations! 

Posted in Featured Listings
April 26, 2018

2 Bedroom Plus Den Townhome in Litchfield Park!

Posted in Featured Listings
April 10, 2018

Just how hot is the Arizona housing market?

The Arizona housing market has entered the peak selling season that typically starts in April each year.  Will the pace continue in 2018? 

First, let's take a look at last year.  It was a great year for the housing market in Arizona.  Housing sales and housing prices increased.  In December of 2017, 7% more homes sold than in December of 2016.  In addition, the sales price increased 8.6% during the year.  That is a great increase for homeowners that are considering selling their home this year.  

Will the market continue to be hot in 2018?  All indications point to continued market growth.  In March of this year the average sales price was up 2.9% from February and 9.1% from March of last year.  Inventory remains low and is down 15.4% from last year yet the demand from buyers is still strong.  Limited housing inventory means properties sell faster, in fact, the average days on market in March of this year is down 4.1% from last month and 6.6% from March of 2017.  And of course, the low inventory continues to push the sales price of homes up.

The new home sales industry appears to be confident about growth, they are gearing up for a strong 2018 by purchasing new land and developing new subdivisions.  They are also filling in some of the subdivisions that were never completed.  New construction homes help offset the low inventory and provide options for buyers.  It's great for neighborhoods with vacant lots, it helps complete the community.  With the current incentives available buying a new home could be a great choice for buyers.  Often builders have move-in ready homes available for buyers that don't want to wait to build a house.  Several new home communities are selling out quickly in the West Valley.

Although prices continue to increase, competition is still fierce among buyers.  Multiple offers on properties is a common situation that today's buyer's face.  With the rising cost of renting a home, along with the rising interest rates, buyers are out in full force searching for their dream home.

If you are wanting 2018 to be the year you make a move and purchase a home then call or email me!  I help you position yourself to be a strong buyer in this hot market.  You will most likely run into competition from other buyers so it is important to have a game plan together before you start looking at homes.  It's never too early to get started.  Please contact me to schedule a phone consultation to help you make the process smoother. 

If you are looking to sell your home I'd love to schedule a phone consultation to help you determine if this is the right time for you.  If it is, I can help you get your property market ready so it shines above the competition and I can also help you bulletproof the sales transaction to ensure a successful sale of your property.   

 

Search for Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale and Buckeye homes for sale.

Search for New Construction homes for sale.  

April 5, 2018

Phoenix Metro Area Real Estate Market Report March 2018

How's the real estate market in the Phoenix Metro Area?  The market is starting to gain momentum!  Here's a Market Snapshot for March 2018.  

 March 2018 Real Estate Market Snapshot Statistics

Important stats:

  • Active listings are down 3% from February and down 15.4% since last year. 
  • Pending and Sold Listings both increased from last month.   
  • The average days on market have decreased 4.1% from February. 
  • The average sales price has increased 2.9% since last month and 9.1% from 2017.

What Sellers and Buyers Need to Know

Sellers

As expected, the market is starting to pick up for our peak season. Average sales prices increased slightly after taking a dip last month.  With interest rates on the rise, the buyer pool will start to decrease.  Remember, "pretty homes" sell faster and for more money...have your home in tip-top shape to secure the best offer(s) from potential buyers.  My home selling process helps you get your home ready for the market, ask me how!  

Buyers

Active inventory hit a 5-year low last month, and multiple offers are common.  It is still considered a seller's market, so you will often get a good price or good terms but rarely both.  Be prepared to write your offer accordingly to ensure you secure the home you want!  

 

 

 

 

Posted in Market Statistics