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Russo Team Newsletter May 2015

by The Russo Team

Russo Team Newsletter May 2015

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6th Annual Earth Day Phoenix 2015

by The Russo Team

6th Annual Earth Day Phoenix 2015

Looking for a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day and Earth Week? Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a non-profit organization that promotes the preservation and protection of our environment, will host the 6th Annual Earth Day Festival this Saturday, April 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This fantastic event takes place at PHX Renews located at 4221 N Central Ave. in Phoenix on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road

Come celebrate Earth Day at this free family friendly festival in Downtown Phoenix. Hosted by Republic Services, an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste, will be offering composting samples and a sunflower in a jar giveaway at Earth Day Phoenix. PHX Renews will be filled with many other local exhibitors as well. There will be nonprofits, businesses, and city, state and county departments. Exhibitors will be providing information and relevant giveaways with a core message of sustainability. From solar energy, recycling, to gardening our exhibitors are on site to provide resources and information on how you can live sustainably.

The Earth Day Phoenix Festival will also feature a SunUp Brewing Beer Garden, along with food trucks from Naturally Sweet, Emerson Fry Bread, and Island Loco. Attendees will have access to short educational composting seminars throughout the day, rain barrel construction and giveaways from Coco-Cola Co. and Watershed Management Group, as well as tours of the SHADE solar exhibit home built by Arizona State University students.

Arrive early to watch the ceremonial tree planting with the Arizona Super Bowl Team and NFL Environment at 11:00 a.m. with Mayor Greg Stanton followed by the Rhythm is Life Steel Drum Band. Want to reduce your carbon footprint even more? Alternative modes of transportation such as light rail and biking are available and highly recommended for this fantastic Earth Day event.
 

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5 Fantastic Ways to Design Your Home for Resale

by The Russo Team

5 Fantastic Ways to Design Your Home for Resale

Springtime in Arizona is one of the most popular home-buying seasons in the Valley. And with temperatures like these and beautiful desert landscape in full bloom, it’s easy to see why. So if you’re selling your Arizona home this season, you may be surprised to find you’re not the only listing in your neighborhood. What can you do to make sure to add pizzazz to your home, make it stand out, and help it sell? Here are 5 fantastic ways to design your home for resale to appeal to new buyers. 

1.) Let the curb appeal speak for itself: Your front yard is the first thing that buyers will see, and first impressions are lasting. Lawns should be clean and free of weeds and clutter. Remove any dead plants and add a homey touch that helps visually appeal to home buyers like colorful desert blooms or a cozy bistro table near the entry way.

2.) A little color can do wonders: Plain white walls are a thing of the past. Now buyers expect to see pops of color and accent walls. Adding a fresh coat of paint to boring walls will not only help tie the furniture in your home together, but it will also help your location stay fresh in a buyers mind. Chose neutral colors that work with a range of decors. Try to stay away from colors that are too bright or hard to paint over. 

3.) Revamp your kitchen and bath: Kitchens and bathrooms are often the first thing buyers gravitate to. If you can afford new cabinets, go for it! Small budget? Just add new cabinet hardware to dress up existing cabinetry. Refinish your tile flooring or your countertops if they need a new look. Take it a step further and add new plumbing fixtures or matching sleek appliances.

4.) Give buyers more space: Most home buyers want large spaces for their belongings. Remove clutter and allow plenty of room to walk around furniture. Open window coverings let in natural sunlight and visually provide more space. A few decorative mirrors can also help provide the illusion of a more spacious room.

5.) You can’t sell it if you can smell it: Next to sight, the sense of smell is the top sense buyers used when selecting a home. Pet odors, cigarette smoke, and moldy odors will turn a buyer off quickly, even if a house is nicely designed. Make sure you home smells fresh. If lighting candles or using sprays, don’t use heavy perfume scents.

If you’re looking to sell your Arizona home this spring or looking to purchase a new home, please contact the Russo Team today and receive a complimentary analysis of your home’s approximate present value on the market today – Frank

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Tips Boost Your Credit Score for Home Buying

by The Russo Team

Tips Boost Your Credit Score for Home Buying

Trying to boost your credit score for home buying this year? You’re not alone. With the recent news of the three largest credit-reporting firms – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion –overhauling their reporting and error resolution practices more potential homebuyers are working on dusting off their credit reports to obtain financing for a home loan. Many of these new credit reporting changes will be implemented on a national basis roughly over the next three years. So here are tips to boost your credit score for home buying.

  • Don’t close your credit card accounts, because then you’ll be using a higher percentage of your overall credit limit.
  • Pay off the balance of your high interest rate credit cards and hide the card from yourself to avoid the temptation to use it.
  • If you have any collections or judgments against you, pay them off as quickly as possible.
  • Pay all your bills on time by utilizing payment reminders or automatic bill pay options.
  • Try to reduce your credit card debt to twenty-five percent or less of your credit line on each card.
  • Bring your over-the-limit and past-due accounts up-to-date.
  • Pull your credit report at least once a year to review any discrepancies

The sooner you start implementing positive steps towards improving your credit score, the easier it may be when it’s time to find financing for a home loan. If you’re looking to buy an Arizona home, please contact the Russo Team today to assist you with your home buying needs. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is always our number one priority! -Frank

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January 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

by The Russo Team

January 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

It looks like the New Year is already off to a good start for the real estate market. According to the January 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report, home sales in December defied normal trends and rose above the number of November sales by a significant 14.4 percent.  Sales were also 3.9 percent above those of last December. Home prices in December were also higher than one year ago, rising 5.9 percent. Because inventory has generally moved in a positive direction this year and demand has been slightly below 2013 levels, home prices have not been rising as rapidly as last year.

Although home sales in 2014 have generally been lower than those in 2013, during the last four months of the year, three have seen more sales than the same month last year. In fact, a total of forty-two metro areas reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis and twelve reported double-digit increases. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for thirty-five consecutive months.

“After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see the year end on a positive note. Even though we’re well into the winter months, homebuyers felt confident enough to enter the market in greater numbers than just one month ago. And with prices rising at a much slower rate than last year, sellers continue to increase their equity, while buyers don’t feel priced out of the market.” -Dave Liniger, RE/MAX, LLC CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder

For more information, click here to download a copy of the January 2015 National Housing Report.

If you’re looking to sell your Arizona home or to purchase an Arizona home this year, 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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Breaking News: FHA Reducing Annual Premiums for Homeowners

by The Russo Team

Breaking News: FHA Reducing Annual Premiums for Homeowners

As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro recently announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by half of a percent. This act is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and spur 250,000 new homebuyers to purchase their first home over the next three years.

This new change, which is effective January 26th of this year, states that all case numbers pulled on FHA loans will receive .85 percent MI versus the current 1.3 percent. This action also reflects the improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).  FHA’s recent annual report to Congress demonstrates the economic condition of the agency’s single-family insurance fund continues to improve, adding $21 billion in value over the past two years. The reduction will also significantly expand access to mortgage credit for these families and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 800,000 households who use FHA annually. Click here to read a copy of the FHA’s Mortgagee Letter.

For more information about the upcoming FHA loan changes 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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Check out The Russo Team's open house this Saturday, 1/17 from 11am to 2pm. Watch the video for more information!

The Russo Team Newsletter January 2015

by The Russo Team

The Russo Team Newsletter January 2015

http://www.russoteam.com/agent_files/The%20Russo%20Team%20Newslette%202015.pdf

www.RussoTeam.com
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3 Real Estate Forecasts for 2015

by The Russo Team

3 Real Estate Forecasts for 2015

The New Year is here and various real estate experts are already sharing their 2015 real estate forecasts. Based on the past trends for 2014, the real estate industry looks like it’s continuing to move in a positive direction due to slowly rising mortgage rates and growing housing inventory. Here are 3 real estate forecasts for 2015.

1.) Millenials are movin’ on up: For years, many Millennials have postponed homeownership in favor of renting, but that may change this year as a growing number of Gen Yers start families and seek more stability. "By the end of 2015, millennial buyers will represent the largest group of homebuyers, taking over from Generation X," states Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow.com. "They prefer smaller units closer to the urban core, so it will be interesting to see whether they follow the time-honored path towards the periphery of the metro."

2.) Mortgage availability rising: While mortgage rates may not remain at the historic lows seen recently, more people may qualify for home loans as issues like foreclosures or short sales age out of their credit reports and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ease mortgage eligibility. Freddie and Fannie recently announced a new mortgage program for buyers with a down payment as low as three percent. Nela Richardson, Redfin.com's chief economist states, "Freddie and Fannie have always been the industry leaders, and they're saying, 'It's okay to lend to people who don't have five percent down. It's OK to extend credit in a reasonable and safe manner."

3.) Hello Tract Homes: Some real estate experts expect to see more new tract home developments throughout the U.S. This predicted 2015 real estate trend will likely see an eighteen to twenty percent increase in home starts compared to 2014. This robust activity means lots of sales, with many homes at the "starter" level being constructed. This development could attract the demographic of Millennials ready to buy or Baby Boomers ready to downsize.

Though no one can accurately predict the 2015 real estate forecast, experts are still optimistic for the coming market trends. Looking to sell your AZ home? Contact the Russo Team for a complimentary analysis of your home's approximate present value on the market today or contact us to help you find the right home for 2015. – Frank

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3 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

by The Russo Team

3 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

The New Year begins tomorrow and with the celebration of welcoming 2015 comes a list of personal resolutions. Go to the gym. Stop smoking. Be on time. But what kind of resolutions are you making for your home? Having the type of environment that helps you complete your personal goals is a win-win for everyone. With that being said, here are 3 New Year’s resolutions for your home.

Resolution #1- Get smart, get safe: Why not ring in the New Year by getting smart and making your home safe? Make home safety the number one New Year’s resolution for your home in 2015 by eliminating potential health hazards and fire risks. If you haven’t already, make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and that all smoke detector batteries have been replaced. Also, check your home for radon with a test kit from your local hardware store. This colorless, odorless gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to the EPA and one in every fifteen homes has elevated levels.

Resolution #2- Bid clutter adieu: As we say goodbye to 2014, say goodbye to clutter too! The chaos of a cluttered home eats into your space, makes things harder to find, and dirties up your home. If you don’t want to keep spending your free time constantly organizing a mountain of stuff you don’t need, go room-by-room clearing out what you don’t need. You can have a garage sale and get some extra cash, pass it on to a friend or family member who needs it, or donate it to a local charity. You’d be surprised how much more the energy in your home changes for the better when you simply simplify.

Resolution #3- Go green, save green: Cutting back on the energy usage in your home helps you save green and go green too. And this doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, expensive process. Little things like dialing your heater down to fifty-five degrees at night, turning off your A/C when you leave the house, only running the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load, upgrading to energy efficient bulbs and keeping those bulbs off when not in use can save hundreds of dollars a year and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.

Even if you’re not the kind of person who makes resolutions, we could all stand to benefit from making our environments a little safer, a little simpler, and a little greener. From all of us at the Russo Team, we hope you AND your home have a safe and Happy New Year. - Frank

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 260