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More Than a Day: Happy Thanksgiving!

by The Russo Team

More Than a Day: Happy Thanksgiving!

More Than a Day

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,

But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,

We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,

And you'll make all your cares go away.

-By Karl Fuchs

 

May your day of thanks be filled with the riches of family, feast, and gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving from the Russo Team! –Frank

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November National Housing Report

by The Russo Team

November National Housing Report

It’s good to see that even with the holidays right around the corner that the normal fall seasonal trend for the real estate market is still on track. The RE/MAX November National Housing Report marks October as the second consecutive month in 2014 with home sales higher than one year ago. In fact, October 2014 home sales were 2.6 percent higher than the level of sales in October 2013, and the Median Sales Price of all homes sold in the fifty-three major metro areas was 7.4 percent higher than October of last year. Home prices in October followed the 2014 pattern of steady growth, but at a slower rate than the double-digit increases seen in 2013.

“Home sales in 2014 started the year slowly and then rose to equal the strong sales in 2013. They’ve now surpassed last year’s levels for two months in a row. Following usual seasonal trends and with prices rising at a reasonable rate, the market appears to be settling into a more sustainable growth pattern.”

Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX, LLC CEO

For more information, click here to download a copy of the November National Housing Report.

If you’re looking to sell your Arizona home or to purchase an Arizona home, please contact the Russo Team today and receive a complimentary analysis of your home’s approximate present value on the market today. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is always our number one priority. -Frank

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Super Bowl Returns to Phoenix in 2015

by The Russo Team

Super Bowl Returns to Phoenix in 2015

Arizona football fans valley-wide are in a buzz over the great news. Because the Super Bowl returns to Phoenix in 2015! That’s right, Super Bowl XLIX (49), one of the highest grossing annual sporting events in the United States, will be played right on our home turf.

More than one million people are expected to flock to downtown Phoenix for Super Bowl festivities next year, generating over a half-billion dollars in economic impact. No doubt the return of the Super Bowl to the valley will be a major touchdown for our Arizona economy. The NFL championship game will be played February 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. For those who have never been, the University of Phoenix Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility and is the home of the Arizona Cardinals.

The game will be televised around the world and has not been in Arizona since 2008. Super Bowl XLIX will be the third Super Bowl event held in the valley, with the first one being Super Bowl XXX back 1996 at A.S.U.'s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. For more details about the upcoming 2015 Arizona Super Bowl, click here.

Stay connected with the Russo Team blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates regarding accommodations, traffic, and more details on the return of the Super Bowl to Arizona in 2015. -Frank

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Russo Team Newsletter - November/December 2014

by The Russo Team

Russo Team Newsletter - November/December 2014

Breaking News for the Real Estate Market

by The Russo Team

Breaking News for the Real Estate Market

Breaking news for the real estate market has recently reported, and the news reflects much anticipated positive changes for homebuyers in the months to come.

Firstly, the final qualified residential mortgage, or QRM, rule eliminates the highly controversial requirement of a specific down payment amount, bringing the rule in line with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage, or QM, rule. The latter was created to protect borrowers from predatory lending practices.

Secondly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are releasing new guidelines that will allow borrowers with lackluster credit profiles to obtain loans with a down payment as low as three percent by considering “compensating factors.” Additionally, Fannie and Freddie also plan to loosen demands on lenders to buy back defaulted mortgages, creating more stability, confidence and clarity for the lending industry.

“This is great news for our industry, and it’s a welcomed change we’ve been advocating at RE/MAX. Taking a measured but less stringent approach to lending creates more stable housing conditions and, most importantly, opens the doors to homeownership for qualified, willing homebuyers who’ve been sidelined in the wake of the downturn.” - Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO

The breaking news from these real estate industry changes has been well received by many. These government plans are designed to help first-time homebuyers, as well as those who earn lower incomes, to more easily obtain government-backed loans. For more information about the upcoming housing industry modifications or to find out about qualifying for a home loan in the Phoenix area, please contact the Russo Team today. –Frank

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

3 Halloween Home Safety Tips for a “Spooktacular” and Safe Night

by The Russo Team

3 Halloween Home Safety Tips for a “Spooktacular” and Safe Night

Halloween is a time for little ghosts and goblins to rule the night seeking tricks and treats throughout the neighborhood. It’s even a time that adults can enjoy as well. Because of this increase of traffic on October 31st, it’s important to take precautions so that you and yours can enjoy the evening without anyone getting hurt. Here are 3 Halloween home safety tips for a “spook-tacular” and safe night.

1.) Light the way for trick or treaters: Passing out candy this year? Be sure your front yard and walkway are free and clear to avoid tripping hazards. Having your porch light on or well-lit decorations will help it so that every little boy and ghoul can make it to your front door hazard free. And if you’re planning n using real candles inside a jack-o-lantern or to light your walk-way consider safer options. The National Fire Protection Association warns this type of lighting causes a fire hazard to your home. Instead of real candles, opt for LED tea lights or wind a string of orange lights around your front porch.

2.) Protect your pets and partiers: Got a furry friend who normally loves company? On a night filled with masked arrivers and excessive doorbell ringing, all the noise and activity could frighten your favorite feline or Fido and causing them to get underfoot or worse, accidently bite a trick or treater. It’s best to keep your pets safely locked up to keep them and your guests safe.

3.) Indoor safety isn’t scary: If you’re hosting a party or an open haunted house, be sure to check your fire alarms to make sure they’re operating effectively. Also, keep decorations like crepe paper away from carved pumpkins and open flames. The U.S. Fire Administration also recommends making sure any decorative lights you plan to use have sockets, wires and connectors that are in good working order before use.

Have more safety tips? Please feel free to share them on our Facebook page. The Russo Team wishes you and safe and spook-tacular Happy Halloween! – Frank

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Move to the Engaging Encanto Manor Historical Neighborhood

by The Russo Team

Move to the Engaging Encanto Manor Historical Neighborhood

Taking a single stroll or a drive on a sunny day through the Encanto Manor neighborhood will instantly charm you. The vast front lawns that hold well-loved historical homes paint a picture of pride and beauty that makes it clear as to why so many want to move to the engaging Encanto Manor Historical Neighborhood.

There are countless reasons as to why so many fall in love with the Encanto Manor Neighborhood at first sight. Some love it for the beautifully maintained Encanto Nine Golf Course at the heart of the city. Some love the rich stories that the walls of these post WWII subdivisions could tell. And others are enchanted by the 1940’s and 1950’s ranch style architecture many of which feature solid red brick homes, shutters, and large lush lawns that are as pretty as a postcard.

The Encanto Manor Historic District resides just south of Thomas Road between 7th and 15th Avenue. There are eighty-three homes that average 2,000 square feet and feature large lots with ample front yards that rival that of homes in the east coast. The neighborhood’s amazing location in downtown phoenix is near many city amenities, dining, shopping, and cultural venues.

Want to make your move to the engaging Encanto Manor Historical Neighborhood? Contact the Russo team today to receive a complimentary copy of the Real Estate Market Update for Encanto Manor Historic District each month.

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September National Housing Report Reflects Slow and Steady Pace

by The Russo Team

September National Housing Report Reflects Slow and Steady Pace

The temperatures are dropping and with it the market is seeing slower price increases and few home sales. The September National Housing Report reflects a slow and steady pace for the season so far, but experts are not deterred.

 “Although 2014 home sales may not reach the levels seen in 2013, the market has performed much stronger than many had predicted early in the year. This year’s market may have started off slowly, but it bounced back and slower price growth is keeping housing from becoming less affordable.”

Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX, LLC CEO

In August, the Median Sales Price of all homes sold was $202,500. This was 0.5 percent lower than the median price in July, but 7.5 percent above the median price seen in August 2013. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for thirty-one consecutive months. Because inventory is moving in the right direction, home prices are not rising as rapidly as last year, when the August Median Sales Price rose 12.9 percent. While home prices continue to rise in 2014, they’re rising at a much slower rate than in 2013. The inventory of homes for sale was 4.4 percent lower than last year. Click here to download a copy of the September National Housing Report.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Arizona community, please contact the Russo Team today and receive a complimentary analysis of your home’s approximate present value on the market today. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority. -Frank

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3 Ways to Sell Your Home this Fall!

by The Russo Team

3 Ways to Sell Your Home this Fall!

There’s something about the drop in temperature and clear, crisp days of the Arizona autumn that makes outdoor activities just that much more enjoyable. Fall is also a wonderful time to sell your home. In fact, fall is the second most popular time to sell homes. Maybe it’s the reinvigorating cooler temperatures of football season or the awesome local events, but buyers seem just that more motivated to close around this time. So if you’re listing your home this season, here are 3 ways to sell your home this fall.

Move-in Ready: When potential buyers are looking to purchase a home this time of year, they typically want to be in their new home before the holidays. Making your home move-in ready helps make that transition just that much easier for your buyer, and can help set you apart from the competition. Taking care of repairs so buyers don’t have to makes a great first impression, so be sure to highlight the upgrades and improvements.

Staging Success: Whether you’ve got a designers eye or hire a professional, the process of staging a home has repeatedly proven to help sellers receive offers more frequently and faster than an un-staged home. Because buyers want to visualize themselves and their possessions in your home, staging help makes that easier for them to do. Clearing clutter, keeping windows clean and bright to let in the natural light, and emphasizing the positives your home offers can help sell your home this fall faster than you expect. Don’t be afraid to play with the décor of the season and add some cozy, tasteful accents and colors to help buyers feel a more warm welcome in your space.

Up your Curb Appeal: We all know the Arizona monsoons from summer can do a number on our exteriors leaving behind filthy windows, dust, dirt, debris, and dead plants. Seeing how this doesn’t exactly scream “warm and inviting” it’s in your best interest to make sure the outside of your home looks just as clean and inviting as the inside. Power wash those windows ‘til they shine, rid your landscape of unsightly summer weeds, and make sure you have no burnt out exterior bulbs. The goal is to not only make your home look inviting, but to also help sell it online. A clean home brimming with charming fall curb appeal will take much better listing photos than one without. A clean welcome mat and a decorative autumn themed wreath on the door can do wonders!

If you’re looking to sell your home this fall or looking to purchase a home before the holidays, please contact the Russo Team today. Happy Fall! – Frank

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What You Need to Know about the FHA Prepayment Penalty Elimination

by The Russo Team

What You Need to Know about the FHA Prepayment Penalty Elimination

News that the Federal Housing Association (FHA) will permanently end their prepayment penalty next year has been widely reported and well received by FHA loan homeowners everywhere. FHA loans have served as a major source of financing for moderate-income first-time buyers and thanks to the policy switch made final last week, borrowers will no longer have a prepayment penalty at closing. Here’s what you need to know about the FHA prepayment penalty elimination.

For years, FHA borrowers have had to pay interest rate costs on their loans regardless of the closing date. This means buyers who paid off their loan on January 1st would still be required to pay interest payments for the entire month of January. This practice, which has been affect for years, has cost consumers hundreds of dollars in punitive interest rate charges. It’s estimated that borrowers have paid prepayment penalty charges that range in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year especially during periods when mortgage rates were high. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that during 2003 alone, sellers and refinancers were forced to pay nearly $690 million in extra interest charges.

However, beginning January 21, 2015 new FHA mortgages will require lenders to collect interest only on the balance remaining on the date of closing for a home sale or refinancing. Under the revised policy, if you’re selling your home and you have a $150,000 balance left on your FHA loan, the lender will have to stop charging you interest on the date of the closing, not compute the interest charges that would be due through the end of the month and roll them into your bottom line.

If you are closing on a home prior to this FHA prepayment penalty elimination borrowers should try to schedule an early payoff or closing as late in the month as possible to avoid extra interest charges.

If you’d like more information about the FHA prepayment penalty elimination or would like to know how to qualify for a home loan in your area, please contact the Russo Team today. - Frank

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 245