New Build Bargains

It is that time of year again. Summer sunshine turns a little cooler, the leaves start changing (up north) and people begin to come south to Arizona.

It is also that time of year when the builders are coming to the end of their fiscal year. That is a good thing for you!

Builders, always are building homes in anticipation that you may not want to wait 6 or 7 months to move into your new home. Earlier this year started building homes knowing the principle “Built it and they will come”.

There are currently lots of Spec Homes / Quick Move In Homes / Designer Homes – whatever you call them lots are waiting for you. Since it also is the end of their fiscal year, the builders are incentivized to get them sold. That means better value and bargains for you.

This is the best time of the year to purchase a brand new home. If you are looking for a new home, and don’t have the burning desire to pick out all of the design elements. Or you would really like to enjoy living in your new Arizona home this year. This is the time for you!

Call me, let us schedule a visit and together we will find you a beautiful new construction home that you can enjoy this winter!

New Trend in the 55+ Communities

There is a new trend happening in the 55+ communities.

Del Webb, the leader in building and creating the unique 55+, Active Adult lifestyle communities has always acquired a large parcel of land and over time built the homes, activities centers, more homes, additional activities facilities and more homes. Sun City West for example, the largest of the age restrictive communities in the greater Phoenix area, has 17,000 homes, It truly is a city. Del Webb started construction of the community in 1978 and completed the last homes in 1997 almost 20 years later.

As additional builders came into the Active Adult Community arena they too acquired large parcels of land and over time built all the homes within that community themselves; Shea Homes and most of their Trilogy Communities for example.

The new trend is to have one initial investor who created the Homeowners Association, establishes the community as a 55+, and then sells off sections to be built by many different builders.

This will have the community completed much faster. With 3 or 4 different builders all actively constructing homes, the number of homes completed increases exponentially.

This method has been the norm for many Master Planned Communities all over the Valley. It has only been a trend for the Active Adult Communities in the past 5 years.

There are benefits to the home buyer.

  • Neighborhood construction for a shorter time once you move in.
  • Diversity of floor plans and exterior elevations
  • Variety of price points
  • Social groups, clubs, and activities develop quickly

Identifying a disadvantage of this new trend: an Active Adult Community floor plan is not just a single level home. Builders new to the market have to recreate their floor plans to effectively provide the style of home this unique homebuyer is looking for.

I would classify the Active Adult floor plan as one with luxury features; wider halls, high ceilings, large master suites, gourmet kitchens, open great room, with a split plan for the guest room. The 55+ buyer looking at a 1700 square foot homes is not looking for the same thing as the first time homebuyer looking at the same sized house.

Enjoy the diversity and options available to you in these new trending communities, but also remember to consider the design and layout of the homes.

If you need help navigating all these communities, I am here for you.

Meritage Homes receives 2019 Avid Benchmark Award

The Avid Awards are based on customer reviews and are widely considered a trustworthy measure of exceptional customer service in the homebuilding industry. Recipients are chosen by real homeowners across North America who provide honest and independent customer feedback, making this distinction that much more humbling. Thank you to our homeowners for this award.

Meritage Homes builds in 3 Active Adult, 55+ Communities in Arizona. Just outside the Phoenix City is Province at Rancho el Dorado in Maricopa, they also build Mission Royal in Casa Grande and Canta Ranch in Green Valley.

For more information on Meritage Homes or any of their communities, Please give me a call or email.

It is all about Lifestyle

Recently I was back east in the Hilton Head area visiting my dad, while there we visited a new community in the area Margaritaville’s Latitude.  Taking its theme from Jimmy Buffett’s songs, and lifestyle.  The whole community will be like taking a day, or lifetime at the beach. 

The community truly understands that the shift from choosing a home because of its proximity to your employment, and the best school district shifts when you move to a 55 or greater community.  Now it is all about YOU! 

  • What do you desire for your retirement lifestyle?  
  • What do you enjoy doing? 
  • What have you always wanted to do, but didn’t take the time before now to accomplish?

It was fun to see the model homes, with palm trees cut out of the shutters, the island colors and model names like Coconut, Aruba, and Jamaica.  The interiors were all decorated in beachy tones that conveyed a feeling of vacations casual elegance somewhere in the tropics.  

Golf carts with Shark Fins (to the left, fins to the right…) it is the perfect location for any Parrot Head.

I wish I could say they were headed to AZ the builder; Minto’s is only building in Florida and South Carolina at this time.  

Termites – If your home doesn’t have them now, it will have them at some point.

Termites are a wood eating/destroying insect.  Here in Arizona we don’t often see the little critters.  They live underground, and are often called subterranean termites.  

How to identify if you have termites?  

The easiest way is to have a Termite inspector look at your home. Usually that only happens if you suspect termites, hear your neighbor had termites or are purchasing a home… 

Termite tube on stem wall

To do it yourself is easy. You need to know what you are looking for! Take a flashlight, and carefully look all along the stem wall of your home.  Behind bushes especially.  If you see mud tubes going from the ground up to the home, call out a professional.  Finished walking the exterior, you’re not done yet.  Again, with your flashlight take a close look at all of your walls, and ceilings.  Get in your closets and look for any small brown mud tubes.  You may find honeycombed appearance to the drywall or wood beams, this is also possibly termites, call in a professional.  

If you find anything that could be termites, call in the professionals show them what you found and have them do a full inspection DO NOT BRUSH AWAY THE MUD TUBES! The inspector will need to see them.  

Treatment:

The good news is we don’t have to tent our homes to get rid of them.  Instead, we drill along the foundation and inject chemicals below the surface to kill them where they live.  If you are in a single-family home fully separate from other structures, they can treat the full perimeter of your home.  

If termites are found inside the walls, and those walls are not close the perimeter of your home, they may suggest treating the interior walls as well.  

If you live in a connected patio home or townhome, you can’t access the full perimeter of your home, and interior treatment may also be suggested.  

I recently found termites in the center of my home, and I live in a Patio Home with connected walls. Treatment of the interior was needed. The treatment specialist brought in an infrared camera and carefully looked at all of the walls in my home. They made a small hole the diameter of a finishing nail in the walls above the termite tubes and injected a chemical in form of a foam that drips down the interior of the drywall, killing all the termites in their tracks.   They only treat where the bugs are.  One of the walls that was infested with the little buggers was the adjoining wall with my neighbors.  I gave them a call and they are getting their home inspected and treated as well. 

This interior treatment is a bit more service intensive, and is pricier as well, but when you need to get the job done right, you do the right job.  

Not all termite companies do the interior work – I used 

Protection Termite 
602-569-3111
ProtectionTermtie@gmail.com
License #8362

Ask for David to do your interior treatment.

Moving Day Essentials

Your fist day in your new home there are a few essentials that you will be glad you have.  The biggest essential is Toilet Paper!  

Am I right or am I right? 

To go with that, hand soap & paper towels.  Let’s add some hand lotion, those boxes are drying and so is Arizona.  

Most sellers do their best to leave a, somewhat cleaned out home.  You are going to find places that are most likely not cleaned to your satisfaction. Be prepared with some all-purpose cleaner and a few rags.  

Box cutter to get into and break down boxes.  Trash bags, as you unpack all the packing paper seems to multiply.

A case of water, and other bottled drinks.  Protein bars or some snack that will keep you going till someone orders a pizza or does a sandwich run.  A jar of nut-butter and a spoon or maybe some crackers if you have to share.  

Before you stop and drop for the night, be sure to have a few personal basics ready to go too. Soap, Shampoo, toothbrush/paste, towels, and sheets and blankets for your beds. Oh and lets remember a shower curtain!  A change of clothes and any medication.    

I don’t know about you, but for me if I have a Band-Aid available I won’t ever need it.  A handful of Tylenol for the end of the day’s sore muscles, a tool box with a collection of tools is always a good idea.   If you have animals, remember all of their food and their bed, so they have someplace familiar and safe.

Happy Moving Day!

PS Remember your phone charging cords!

  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand Soap
  • Paper Towels
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Rags
  • Box cutter
  • Trash Bags
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Tooth brush and paste
  • Towels
  • Sheets and Blankets
  • Shower Curtain
  • Change of clothes 
  • Medications
  • Band-aids
  • Pet ‘stuff’
  • Pain Meds
  • Tool Box
  • *** Your Phone Charging Cords!!!

Being Social and your Mental Health

Today there was a great piece done on the Today Show about how to prevent Alzheimers. Surprisingly it may not be just your genetics but other environmental factors.  The food you eat, your activity level, the stress you experience, and how social you are.

The modern lifestyle may make you miss something else that keeps the brain sharp: Enjoying the company of other people. Your ancestors never had to try to be social, it just came with the territory — they’d just bump into others all the time in the village and talk, he pointed out. So one of the most powerful things people can do is to move to an area with sidewalks, bike lanes and nearby shops so they’re more likely to meet their neighbors and make friends.

Location, Location, Location

Still the most important thing about real estate.  When it comes to your mental well being, have a community where you can easily make and see your friends daily.  Like an Active Adult Community!

Contact me to assist you in finding the right community for you!

Click here for the entire article and videos

Does Solar Add Value To Your Home?

Does Solar Add Value To Your Home?

Yes, No, Maybe

My favorite answer. Frustrating at times but it is true.

Let’s dig down…

Leasing Solar- No

If you are leasing a solar system you don’t own it so it is not adding value to the home.  Even if the solar lease has been pre-paid. The savings you may see on utilities is a bonus to the resident.  But the solar panels when leased do not add value.

Purchased Solar – Yes and Maybe

If you own the solar, it does add value to the home.  You own it and it conveys with the property.  YEAH!

If you purchase Solar and pay the solar off up front, most definitely the solar adds value to your home.  If you paid $30,000 for your solar, don’t expect to get $30,000 back in value.  Remember you also got about 10% back in tax credits, reducing what your out of pocket really was to around $20,000.  Depending on the age of the system, and the KW production of the system the value added will be something around or more likely below the $20,000.

If you purchased Solar with a loan, and you are still paying on that loan, the value added is different.  Like above, you still received your tax credits and may have used them to reduce the loan balance, also reducing your payment.  That is delightful on your wallet, especially over time.  Until you have paid down the loan, and have more equity in the system, the value it gives your home is significantly less.  And as the system ages your equity increases… you are not likely to reach the same value given to the homeowner who pays for the system up front until the loan has been paid off.

See, Yes, No, Maybe

If you are considering Solar, give me a call I am happy to share my knowledge with you.

Irene 480-788-0171

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera

Do you remember that show?  The funny things people did when they didn’t know a camera was aimed their direction.

Today, there are cameras everywhere!  Even in homes you are looking at to purchase.

Home security systems are so reasonably priced, and the wifi cameras you can watch live on your smartphone.  It makes it very tempting for sellers to watch you as you peruse their home.

What does this mean for you, the buyer?

Fist – Be aware! You could be being recorded at any moment.

Second – Pay attention to what you say while you are in the home.  Saying too much could give negotiating power over to the seller. Saying you love it and must have it at any cost…. you could reveal more than you think.

Third – Avoid being too animated. Even if you whisper what you love about the home, your body language can give away how you truly feel as well.

So hold your cards close to your vest! This is a bit of a Poker Game.

With the world watching every moment camera in hand, why should home buying be different?

 

Living in an Active Adult Community could qualify you for Insurance discounts

Talking with a Farmers Insurance Agent, I discovered there are discounts for most of the Active Adult Communities in the Greater Phoenix Valley. Call your agent, or Barb for more information on getting your discounts.

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