Real Estate Information

Phoenix Arizona Real Estate Blog

The Russo Team

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 213

FHA Finally Ends its Full Month Interest Policy

by The Russo Team

FHA Finally Ends its Full Month Interest Policy

Attention future homebuyers! Thanks to a regulatory mandate from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the highly debated Federal Housing Administration FHA policy that required buyers who prepaid their mortgage to still pay a full month’s interest comes to an end.

Homeowners and brokers have long disputed the controversial FHA interest payment policy for decades, because many sellers were unaware of being required to pay a full month of interest when they prepaid their mortgages no matter what day of the month they settled. That meant home sellers closing on the sale of their home on the first of the month were still charged interest through the end of the month, accumulating extra interest charges they had not anticipated.

This policy is not one practiced among many lenders in the real estate industry. Lenders like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) require that interest be collected only to the day of principal payoff.

This much anticipated mandate requires the FHA to make the switch by January 21st 2015 and will make many future FHA loan home buyers happy. If you’d like to find out how this new change could affect your FHA loan or to qualify for a home purchase using an FHA loan please contact the Russo Team today.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Margaret Kelly on CNBC Squawk Box March 2014

by The Russo Team

Margaret Kelly on CNBC Squawk Box March 2014

Where is the 2014 housing market headed? Margaret Kelly, CEO and Director of RE/MAX, provides insight during her appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box." in this informative video.

If you or someone you know is considering a home purchase or sale, please give the Russo Team a call today.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

3 Easy Ways to Maximize Your Work Day

by The Russo Team

3 Easy Ways to Maximize Your Work Day

If you’re like most of us, you’ve got a weekly workload that you have to surf daily. It can often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done without feeling absolutely zapped at the end of the day. Fortunately it is possible to get the most out of your work day and complete your tasks as well. It just takes a little preparation. Here are 3 easy ways to maximize your work day.

1.) Don’t skip breakfast

It’s so easy to start your day in such a hurry that you’re grabbing a cup of coffee and heading off to work just to make it on time. But not starting your day with good nutrition and a little brain fuel will only hurt you later. Hunger pangs are distracting and it’s hard to focus on tasks when you’re hungry and feeling foggy due to lack of nourishment. There’s a reason why they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s definitely worth it to wake up an extra fifteen to twenty minutes early to eat something that will help power you through your work day and keep you feeling more productive.

2.) Get to work on time

Getting caught up in a long morning routine happens to the best of us. Maybe you thought you had more time to get ready than you really had. Or maybe getting the kids off to school proved a bit more challenging than expected. Whatever the reason, arriving to work late has the ability to throw off your entire day. And when your routine is thrown out of work, it can be hard to recoup and feel productive. Remember this old adage: “If you plan to be on time, you will always be late. If you plan to be early, you will always be on time.” Allotting yourself a little extra time each morning for the unexpected can help you be prepared for anything!

3.) Beware of email time thieves

Most everyone can relate to wading through emails at the start of the work day. But depending how busy your inbox is, it can be extremely distracting trying to read and respond to them all. Before you know it, you’ve lost your entire morning surfing through your messages. Having the ability to prioritize urgent emails can save you tons of time. Most every email service has an option to organize your inbox to prioritize important messages and allows you to sift through the rest at a later time.

Losing valuable time at work happens to the best of us. But implementing even one of these three tips can help better maximize your work day. Best of all, the better you manage your day the sooner you can leave on time and enjoy the rest of your evening.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Why Buying is Still Cheaper than Renting

by The Russo Team

Why Buying is Still Cheaper than Renting

You may have heard around the block that more people are renting rather than buying. You may even think that renting is a much cheaper option over purchasing a home.  But believe it or not, buying a home cost less than renting. Here are a just few reasons why buying is still cheaper than renting.

According to the Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, buying costs less than renting in all 100 large U.S. metros. In fact, homeownership is thirty-eight percent cheaper than renting nationally according to Trulia Chief Economist, Jed Kolko. Low mortgage rates have made homeownership more affordable.

Rental rates have been rising for the last few years and are continuing to increase across the country. These sharply rising rates are steadily making renting a more expensive option than buying a home. That’s why you’ll notice that monthly rental payment costs are trumping monthly mortgage costs.

In addition to growing rent costs, owning a home give buyers an advantage of cost saving tax breaks that renters do not have access to.  Home owners can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, a percentage of energy efficient upgrades, and more.

If you’re ready to make the move from renting to buying, please contact the Russo Team today. We’ll help make your home buying experience the best it can be!

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Fit To Sell - Turning Family Home into Model Home

by The Russo Team

Fit To Sell - Turning Family Home into Model Home

Want to make purchasing your home as easy as possible on potential homebuyers? You have to take your personality out of the space. Turning your family home into a model home is a great way to appeal to buyers and sell your home quickly. Depersonalizing and de-cluttering your house makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves and their stuff in its place. It’s also important to make any necessary repairs and highlight your property’s best feature to attract the right buyer, because first impressions are lasting.

Check out this helpful video from RE/MAX to get your home Fit to Sell and help turn your home into a model home designed to move quickly in today’s market.

If you or someone you know is ready to make a move, please contact The Russo Team to help make your home Fit to Sell.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Baby Trenton Blood Drive Event

by The Russo Team

Baby Trenton Blood Drive Event

Sometimes it only takes a person a moment to impact lives forever. Baby Trenton was one of those people. Baby Trenton was born on May 29, 2013 and was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as Double Outlet Right Ventricle with a third of his heart blocked when he was just sixteen weeks old.

Baby Trenton’s mitral valve was causing blood to back-up into his heart which caused his heart to work even harder to keep the blood pumping throughout the rest of his body. Because his tiny body was using too much oxygen, Baby Trenton was rushed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Sadly, Baby Trenton passed away on October 7, 2013 despite his brave fight. His family has created a non-profit organization to honor him and to help other families who are struggling with similar medical challenges.

Remarkably, Baby Trenton has already managed to change hundreds of lives in less than five months touching lives through events such as food drives, blood drives, and a host of other positive community outlets. It’s his family’s hope that he will always be remembered and continue to touch the lives of many for years to come.

At RE/MAX Professionals, we are going to help his memory live on. Please join us and help raise awareness about congenital heart defects in newborns by attending the Blood Drive for Baby Trenton this Saturday, March 15th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at our RE/MAX Professionals Surprise office. Lunch will be provided for all our blood donors, and all monetary donations will go to Phoenix Children’s Hosptial in memory of Baby Trenton. To learn more details and to register for this event please visit our company Facebook events page.

Thank you in advance for your support in this very important event. –The Russo Team

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Spring Forward – Daylight Savings

by The Russo Team

Spring Forward – Daylight Savings 

On Sunday, March 9th clocks across the U.S. will “spring forward” for Daylight Savings Time. According to Rasmussen Reports, 27 percent of people surveyed shared that they were late because they didn’t change their clocks the night before – but lucky for us in Arizona, we don’t have to worry about changing our clocks.

Keep in mind, that although we may not change time zones during Daylight Savings, we do change the time zones that our clocks follow. On March 9th, we will be the same time as the Pacific Time Zone. Keep in mind, some smart phones and apps that we use for scheduling, may have a glitch due to the Daylight Savings change and specifically because we don’t change time in Arizona. Be sure you check your phone and apps to make sure you are on time for important meetings! Frank

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Do You Have Good Buyer Etiquette?

by The Russo Team

Do You Have Good Buyer Etiquette?

Believe it or not, good etiquette doesn’t just apply to practicing polite behavior at parties and other social settings. It can also apply to home buying as well, especially when you’re house hunting with a REALTOR®. If you’ve ever been a seller, hosted an open house, or worked with an agent, then you’ve been in situations that require a certain social civility. Do you have good buyer etiquette? Ask yourself the questions below to find out:

Do you know what you’re looking for?

If you’re looking to buy, but have absolutely no idea what you want, you’re going to waste a lot of time viewing spaces that may not fit your needs. Take the time to identify exactly what you want before you and your agent hoof it to view properties. How many bedrooms do you want? Do you want a single story or a two-story? Having a list of what you’re looking for will save everyone time.

Do you criticize while you browse?

If you walk into a seller’s house that you’re not crazy about, hold your tongue. They still call it their home and definitely won’t appreciate you calling their look dated or complaining about the lack of space. Criticizing a property during the tour is in bad taste and you never know who could be listening. If you end up in a multiple offer situation, you don’t want the seller to choose another buyer because they heard you badmouth their home.

Do you take pictures while you tour?

In an age where most everyone has a smart phone, it may seem like no big deal to snap a photo or make a quick video to show your friends how your home search is going. But in many cases, the homes you are viewing are still someone’s private residence and they may not appreciate having it photographed or shared. Always ask permission to take photos or video of the house. 

Do you rummage through closets and drawers?

Ample storage space is one of the top features buyers look for and with good reason. It’s important to make sure a home will accommodate all your stuff. It’s okay to briefly look in closets, pantries, and cabinets to get a feel for the space, but it’s impolite to rummage through someone else’s private belongings. Sellers probably wouldn’t appreciate you handling their personal items.

Do you make yourself at home?

House hunting can be exhausting! Certainly a seller won’t mind if you grab a bottle of water from their fridge. Or plop down on their couch after a tour to rest your feet. And they definitely shouldn’t mind if you track in a little dirt from outside, right? Wrong. Whether you’re viewing a seller’s home or an open house, it’s bad etiquette to make yourself at home, even if you’re certain you’re going to buy the place. Treat seller and their homes with respect. Don’t take items from their fridge or snoop through medicine cabinets. And it’s always good practice to wipe your feet before you go in.

Extending good buyer etiquette towards sellers, their agents, and your REALTOR® is easy. It’s simply being respectful, practicing common courtesy, and treating others the way you want to be treated. So if you’re ready to put that good buyer etiquette to work and purchase your Arizona home, please contact the Russo Team today.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

Fit To Sell - Pre-Packing

by The Russo Team

Fit To Sell - Pre-Packing

Buyers want to envision themselves in your home, but they won't be able to if clutter is in the way. In this helpful Re/Max Fit to Sell video, you will learn the importance of pre-packing the non-essential items in your home and clearing out the clutter to help potential buyers see the possibilities.

The Russo Team is always here to help you make sure your home is fit to sell. Please call us today for a free market analysis when you are ready to sell your Arizona home.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join The Russo Team on Facebook! Or Twitter!

6 Successful Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Today

by The Russo Team

6 Successful Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Today

If you’re like most homeowners trying to sell your home you’ll find you’re competing with lots of other listings, sometimes even in your own neighborhood. One of the best actions you can take before you show your home is to implement home staging. Staging is the art of making your home look more appealing to potential buyers and can be the beneficial extra touch that moves buyers to strike now. Here are 6 successful staging tips to help sell your home today.

1.) Cut Clutter: Clutter is a home’s worst enemy. It makes a space seem smaller and can distract homebuyers from nice features. Anything from too many pictures on the wall to stacks of mail can turn potential buyers off. Start small by going room to room removing unnecessary items from view and storing them away. A tidy, de-cluttered home can help a potential buyer better visualize their own furniture in the space.

2.) Wonderful Windows: Nothing opens up a room more than beautiful, natural lighting. If you take the time to clean the windows in your home, you’ll allow more light in which makes rooms seem brighter and more open. As an added bonus, clean windows can show off a beautiful desert or mountain view.

3.) Spruce up Curb Appeal: The outside of your property is the first thing buyers will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. You’ll want to make certain your walkways are well lit and free of debris and spider webs.  Spraying for weeds is also important, especially if your home features a desert landscape or a nicely maintained lawn. If you don’t have time to focus on the outdoors, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of an affordable landscaper.

4.) Clear Counters: Want kitchens and bathrooms to look their tidiest? Keeping accessories and objects off the counters is a must. When it comes to countertops and furniture surfaces, less is definitely more.

5.) Sweet Sounds & Smells: Every noticed how retail stores play music or have yummy smells throughout? It’s because psychologically, music puts people in a better mood and good smells make a space seem more inviting.  A soft background tune and the scent of something light such as cinnamon make a nice pairing when you’re showing your home to sell.

6.) Powerful Paint: If these walls could talk, they should definitely have good things to say about your home. Patching, repairing, and touching up scrapes is crucial, and a fresh coat of paint can make the difference between your home selling or sitting on the market. Peeling paint outdoors should absolutely be addressed. Want to make a statement the moment a buyer pull ups to the curb? Try adding a new coat of paint to the front door and adding a new welcome mat to invite would be buyers into their new prospective home.

Implementing these successful staging tips to your home can help give you a great edge over other listings. If you are looking to sell your home or would like more information about what it takes to sell your property, contact the Russo Team today.

www.RussoTeam.com
602-864-1200

Join us on Facebook or Twitter

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 213