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August 2014 National Housing Report

by The Russo Team

August 2014 National Housing Report

The August 2014 National Housing Report is reflecting slower home sales for the month of July. In fact, July sales have decreased by 3.1 percent from the month of June. However, home prices are still rising showing an increase of 7.9 percent higher than July of 2013. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for thirty consecutive months. Because inventory is improving, home prices are not rising as rapidly as this time last year. Fortunately, home sales are continuing to follow the normal seasonal trends as the inventory environment continues to improve.

Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO states, “After a slow start to the year, 2014 home sales have been improving. Sales are following the expected seasonal pattern and are approaching the levels we saw last year. As inventory continues to build the recovery continues at a more stable and sustainable rate.”

For more information or to download a copy of the August 2014 National Housing Report please click here.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Phoenix area, please contact the Russo Team today. As experts in the Greater Phoenix real estate market, we can provide you detailed information on available homes, and we know this area inside out. - Frank 

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Move to the Wonderful Willo Historic District

by The Russo Team

Move to the Wonderful Willo Historic District

If you’re looking to live in one of the most revered neighborhoods in down town Phoenix, then look no further. The Willo Historic District is located in the heart of Phoenix from Thomas Road to McDowell Road from 1st and 7th Avenues. As one of downtown Phoenix’s largest historic districts, Willo has over beautiful 900 homes nestled in its four charming subdivisions. Here are some reasons you’ll want to move to the wonderful Willo Historic District.

Lovers of homes rich in architecture and culture will love these delightful homes built back in the 1930’s. There’s a variety of architecture from Bungalow Style, Ranch Style, Tudor, Greek Revival, American Colonial, Spanish Colonial, and Pueblo Revival which are a far cry from the southwest styled terra cotta roofed tract homes you typically see throughout Phoenix.

In addition to having a premier location just minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and near freeways, the Willo Historic District offers a bevy of culture filled activity and venues to enjoy. Willo is in proximity to everything from art museums and symphony halls to gourmet restaurants and sporting venues. If you love having a night out on the town or like to engage in active city life then the Willo Historic District is the charming neighborhood that you’ll want to call home.

If you are interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the Real Estate Market Update for Willo Historic District each month, please send an email to TheTeam@RussoTeam.com with your name and preferred mailing address. And if you would like to purchase a home in the wonderful Willo Historic district or any of the other exceptional Signs of Downtown Phoenix historical district homes, please contact the Russo Team today.

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New Credit Score Changes on the Horizon

by The Russo Team

New Credit Score Changes on the Horizon

In case you haven’t heard, there are new credit score changes on the horizon, which could affect millions of potential consumers in their loan approval process. The Fair Isaac Corp (FICO) credit score is used in ninety percent of U.S. consumer lending decisions and the new updates may mean higher credit scores for potential homebuyers. Higher scores better increase a borrower’s chance of receiving better terms on a home loan, which is wonderful news for those who may have been struggling in the past to obtain financing.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, thirty-five percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills reported to collection agencies. After the FICO credit score changes take place, debts that go to collection agencies and get repaid, will no longer count against a consumer’s score, and medical debts will have a smaller effect on the score. The FICO score will also no longer include failures to pay bills when calculating a score, if the issue has since been resolved, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Talks of these changes to the credit score reporting are supposedly going to take place sometime this fall. If this change takes effect, it could continue to stimulate the economy and allow many borrowers a possible chance for more financing opportunities.

For more information on the credit score changes, it is best to speak directly to a local, experienced mortgage company. If you would like a personal referral to a qualified loan consultant, please contact the Russo Team today. – Frank

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Russo Team Newsletter - July/August 2014

by The Russo Team

Russo Team Newsletter July/August 2014

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3 Space Saving Tips for Every Home

by The Russo Team

3 Space Saving Tips for Every Home

If you’re like most homeowners, you want to make the most of the space in your home. But after years of accumulating furniture, knick knacks, and junk it’s no wonder so many homes feel unorganized, cramped, and cluttered. Here are 3 space saving tips for every home that just might help you find the extra space and sanity you’ve been looking for in your home.

Scale back: That grandiose china cabinet. Your massive California King bed. Or the dining table that seats twelve even though only four people live at home. Those huge furniture pieces that once seemed to fit so well in your rooms are eating up much needed space. Don’t be afraid to scale back and incorporate smaller furniture pieces where you can to open up your rooms and get your space back.

Get practical: We all love art and furniture that expresses our style and looks good in our home, but chances are those pieces don’t serve much of a purpose. Thankfully these days, it’s easy to find stylish furniture and accessories that serve a dual purpose. Think comfy ottomans with storage inside, coffee tables with niches for magazines and coasters, and dining room tables with built-in drawers.  Even books with hollow cores are making a comeback on shelves serving as stylish organizers for odds and ends that don’t have a place.

Bedroom boosters: The bedroom is one of the top places where homeowners complain about not having enough space. But thinking outside the box and adding dual purpose pieces will give back. The space under your bed can make the perfect little nook for plastic storage containers for out of season clothes or shoes. Low beds can be transformed for this purpose simply by adding bed risers. Headboards are stylish, but generally don’t serve a purpose other than looking nice. Creating a headboard out of shallow shelves is a modern look that buys you extra space. If you’re feeling artistic, you can arrange box shelves or floating shelves in a fun design above your bed to display art, books, and DVDs as well as store essentials.

Got a space saving tip of your own to share? Connect with us and share your tip on the Russo Team Facebook page! –Frank

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National Housing Report – June 2014

by The Russo Team

National Housing Report – June 2014

Home sales are seeing a positive upswing for the third month in a row this year with forty-nine out of fifty-two of the metro areas reporting higher sales than the previous month.  May became the sixth consecutive month with fewer year-over-year inventory losses than the previous month despite tight credit availability and inventory.

“The usually strong spring selling months appear to be following traditional growth patterns. We’ve now seen three straight months of increased sales over the previous month - although we may not match the growth rates we saw last year, we are seeing significant increases in both sales and prices and that’s a positive sign,” states Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO

 

The average Days on Market for all homes sold in May was sixty-six which is eight days lower than the average seen in April and four days lower than the average in May last year. The low Days on Market average continues to be the result of a low inventory of homes for sale.

You can view the video below for additional housing report details or click here to read the RE/MAX National Housing Report for June 2014.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Phoenix area, please contact the Russo Team today. As experts in the Greater Phoenix real estate market, we can provide you detailed information on available homes and we know this area inside out. - Frank 

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Fall in Love with FQ Story Neighborhood

by The Russo Team

Fall in Love with FQ Story Neighborhood

Imagine a neighborhood rich with culture and a diverse architectural style that rivals the days of old. That place exists and it’s located right in scenic downtown Phoenix! The FQ Story Neighborhood Historic District is one of Phoenix’s first historic districts. The form of the neighborhood, the placement of the buildings and its distinctive landscaping all contribute to its charming character. Here are just a few reasons you’ll fall in love with the FQ Story Neighborhood.

The Architecture: The gorgeous cluster of homes spans a variety of architectural styles including Spanish Colonial Revival, English Tudor, Craftsman bungalows, and transitional ranch. And in a city known more for its southwest style and desert landscape, these homes stand out as a refreshing rarity to the senses.

The Location: The FQ Story Neighborhood is located in central Phoenix, spanning from McDowell Road south to Roosevelt Street and from Grand Avenue. Neighbors enjoy proximity to downtown with a slew of amenities nearby including Chase Field ballpark, Symphony Hall, art galleries, restaurants, and several other cultural venues to indulge in. Neighbors also have the ability to utilize the light rail if they want to venture out of town to Mesa and Tempe.

The History: The eclectic range of historic styles date back from the 1920s through the 1940s. It’s because of this that the neighborhood is proudly governed by the Story Preservation Association, a non-profit group consisting of Story Residents. Their mission is to preserve the history and integrity of this enchanting neighborhood which features over 600 homes. The thriving FQ Story Neighborhood also has many prominent homes that are represented on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). 

If you would like more information about the FQ Story Neighborhood or any of the beautiful historic districts in the Signs of Downtown Phoenix area, please contact the Russo Team today.

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New Tax on Phoenix Water Bills

by The Russo Team

New Tax on Phoenix Water Bills

Don’t be surprised if you notice an increase on your water bill soon. As of June 18th, Phoenix City Council members voted to create a new tax on Phoenix water bills and to increase some of the service fees.

Though many Valley residents and business owners are complaining about the new rates, the increase and changes are estimated to bring in about $11 million dollars in revenue to help close a $37.7 million dollar budget deficit. Phoenix’s deficit is attributed to expenses growing faster than revenues. Quickly rising employee costs, such as pensions and health care, have created the largest strain on its budget.

What does this mean for you? This means Phoenix will base the tax on meter size rather than water usage. The tax on city utility bills will affect hundreds of thousands of residents, costing an average homeowner an extra $1.50 per month. Commercial users and others with larger meters would pay between $1.50 and $75 more per month, depending on the size. This change alone would raise $9.5 million annually.

Please click here if you’d like to know more about the Phoenix utility and service fee increases designed to close the city deficit. For more local valley news and information about what’s happening in your Phoenix neighborhood, please contact the Russo Team. - Frank

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Remembering Why We Celebrate the Fourth of July

by The Russo Team

Remembering Why We Celebrate the Fourth of July

Independence Day is once again nearly upon us, and Arizonans everywhere will brave the triple digit heat to celebrate with friends and family. So as we gather around campsites, barbeques, parks, and fireworks let’s all take the time to remember why we’re celebrating the Fourth of July.

For over 200 years, Independence Day has been the celebration of the day we declared our independence from Great Britain. Since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence it has been a symbol of freedom known worldwide.

July 4th is a day to celebrate our freedom, specifically the freedom to govern ourselves. Americans have always known that Independence Day is the day we celebrate our freedoms that the Founders fought and died for. As a country dealing with everything from unemployment to political distress, we all need to pull together and unite to remember the extreme sacrifices that have been made to protect our country and our rights.

Please enjoy this wonderful occasion and remember those who have given their lives for this great country. Happy 4th of July! – Frank

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Roosevelt Historic District: A Presidentially Beautiful Area to Call Home

If you envision homes with shady porches for reading and attics just like at grandma’s house, then you won’t be able to resist falling in love with the Roosevelt History District. As one of Phoenix’s original neighborhoods, the Roosevelt Historical District is known for its large elite homes that date back to the turn of the century. You’ll find an eclectic mix of architectural delights throughout the neighborhood including Bungalows, Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Italian Villa Revival, French Provincial Revival, and English Cottage Revival.

The homes featured in the Roosevelt Historic District are anything but cookie-cutter as each home as unique and timeless as the last. You’ll find distinct properties ranging from 1800 square feet to more than 3000 square feet. Comfort and efficiency were important in the design of these homes, along with quality of construction and workmanship.  Architecturally, the Roosevelt neighborhood has some of the finest streetscapes of early twentieth century residential, religious, and school architecture in the City of Phoenix. People have often compared the style of the homes in Roosevelt to homes built in the Midwest or “back east.”

Roosevelt Historic District is probably the ultimate “downtown neighborhood” in Phoenix. Residents and visitors alike can walk to the famers market, to the Dodge Theatre or Puppet Theatre, or catch the light rail and go to a ballgame at Chase Field. Art lovers will especially appreciate the Roosevelt Row Arts District, a walkable, creative district in the urban core of downtown Phoenix that is nationally known for its arts and cultural events, award-winning restaurants, galleries, boutiques and live music.

Sound like your kind of place? If you would like more information about the presidentially beautiful Roosevelt Historic District or any of the beautiful historic districts in the Signs of Downtown Phoenix area, please contact the Russo Team today.

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 232