What to Repair Before You List

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When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are my top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you!

               

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on April 25, 2019 at 5:00 am
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

Home Value Appreciation Stops Falling, Begins to Stabilize

Home Value Appreciation Stops Falling, Begins to Stabilize | MyKCM

The percentage of home price appreciation on a year-over-year basis has decreased each month for over a year. The question was how far annual appreciation would fall. It seems we may now have the answer.

In a recent post on the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, it was revealed that Realtors are starting to sense that home values are beginning to stabilize and that we may see appreciation beginning to accelerate again:

“About 3,000 REALTORS® who responded to NAR’s February 2019 REALTORS Confidence Index Survey had more optimistic— although modest— home price growth expectations over the next 12 months. Respondents expect home prices to typically increase by 1.9 percent nationally, up from 1.4 percent in the January survey.”

The thinking that home appreciation has bottomed-out was also confirmed in two additional housing reports recently released:

CoreLogic Home Price Index – The analysts at CoreLogic increased their projection for home appreciation for the next twelve months to 4.7% as compared to the 4.6% they projected in their previous report.

The Home Price Expectation Survey – In the 2019 first quarter survey, the nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists increased their projection for home value growth in 2019 to 4.3% compared to the 3.8% increase they had projected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Bottom Line

Agents working the business every day, one of the premier data companies in the real estate space, and one hundred housing experts all agree: home price appreciation has ended its decline and looks to be stabilizing… and may even accelerate.

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on April 22, 2019 at 3:01 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

Last fall, some predicted that the 2019 residential real estate market would be a disaster. There was even belief we might experience a housing crash like the one that occurred during the last decade.

However, according to two separate reports*, buyer demand dramatically increased over the last three months, leading into this spring buyers’ market (the March data is not yet available).

Both the ShowingTime Showing Index and the National Association of REALTORS Buyer Traffic Index show that buyer demand has increased in each of the last three months.

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

Why the increase in demand? Increased buying power.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, purchasing a home has become more affordable, which has led to increased demand.

“Due to the combination of stabilizing home prices and falling mortgage rates, the income needed to make an affordable mortgage payment (mortgage no more than 25% of income) on a median-priced home with 10% down payment and 30-year fixed rate mortgage decreased from $60,425 in June 2018 to $53,783 as of February 2019, and the difference of $6,642 represents a gain in buying power because one can afford a home purchase at a lower level of income.”

Bottom Line

It appears the spring buyers’ market is going to be much stronger than many had projected. Whether you are selling or buying, this is important news.

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week!

This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this spring! Freddie Machad this to say,

“Mortgage interest rates have been steadily declining since the start of 2019. These lower mortgage interest rates combined with a strong labor market should attract prospective homebuyers this spring and could help the housing sector regain its momentum later in the year.”

To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019.

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you plan on buying a home this year, let’s get together to start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

Data Says April is the Best Month to List Your Home for Sale

Data Says April is the Best Month to List Your Home for Sale | MyKCM

The spring housing market is off to the races! The inventory of homes for sale is increasing, buyers are out in force, and interest rates have remained low, piquing the interest of buyers andsellers previously on the fence about making a move.

New research from realtor.com shows that the first week of April is actually the best time to list your house for sale! The report used “trends in median listing prices, views per property on realtor.com, home price drops, median days on market, and number of listings on the market over the last three years,” to determine a ranking for every week of the year.

Listing your home in the first week of April contributes 14x more property views, 5% less competition from other home sellers, and results in the home being sold 6 days faster!

Below is a graph indicating the average score for each month of the year.

Data Says April is the Best Month to List Your Home for Sale | MyKCM

It should come as no surprise that April and May dominate as the top months to sell. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, often leading to bidding wars.

However, there is one caveat worth mentioning. When broken down by metro, realtor.com noticed that while warmer climates share an overall trend, they have different top sales months. The best month to get the most exposure in Miami, FL, for instance, is August, while in Phoenix, AZ, June leads the charge.

If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area to get you the most exposure to the buyers ready and willing to make a move!

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

 

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 4:40 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House?

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House? | MyKCM

There are many misconceptions about the credit score needed to buy a house. Recently, it was reported that 24% of renters believe they need a 780-800 credit score to be considered for a mortgage. The reality is they are misinformed!

Only 25% of the Americans have a FICO® Score between 740 and 800. Here is the breakdown according to Experian:

  • 16% Very Poor (300-579)
  • 18% Fair (580-669)
  • 21% Good (670-739)
  • 25% Very Good (740-799)
  • 20% Exceptional (800-850)

Randy Hopper, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending for Navy Federal Credit Union said,

Just because you have a low credit score doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a home. There are a lot of options out there for consumers with low FICO® scores,”

There are many programs available with low or no credit score requirement. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now requires a minimum FICO® score of 580 if you want to qualify for the low down payment advantage. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not set a minimum credit score requirement, but most lenders require a score of at least 640Veterans Affairs (VA) loans have no credit score requirement.

As you can see, none of them are above 700!

It is true that the average FICO® score for all closed loans in January was 726, but there are plenty of people taking advantage of the low credit score requirements. Here is the average FICO® Score of closed FHA Loans since April 2012 according to Ellie Mae:What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House? | MyKCMAs you can see, that number has been dropping for the last seven years. As a matter of fact, the average FHA Purchase FICO® Score reported in January 2019 was 675!

One of the challenges is that Americans are unsure about their credit score. They just assume that it is too low to qualify and do not double check. Credit.com confirmed that only 57% of individuals sought out their credit score at least once last year.

FICO® reported,

Since October 2009, the average year-over-year FICO®Score has steadily and consistently increased, from a low of 686 in 2009 to the latest high of 704 as of 2018.”

Here is the increase in the average US FICO® Score over the same period of time as the graph earlier.

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

At least 84% of Americans have a score that will allow them to buy a house. If you are unsure what your score is or would like to improve your score in order to become a homeowner, let’s get together to help you set a path to reach your dream!

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Click here for my mobile app:

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on March 21, 2019 at 8:26 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

Do you need a 20% down payment?

One More Time... You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy a Home | MyKCM

The largest obstacle renters face when planning to buy a home is saving for a down payment. This challenge is amplified by rising rents, which has eaten into the amount of money renters have leftover for savings each month after paying expenses.

In combination with higher rents, survey after survey has shown that non-homeowners (renters and those living rent-free with family or friends) believe they need to save upwards of 20% for their down payment!

According to the “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership” study commissioned in partnership between the Urban Institute, Down Payment Resource, and Freddie Mac, 39% of non-homeowners and 30% of those who already own a home believe they need more than a 20% down payment.

The percentage of those who are aware of low down payment programs (those under 5%) is surprisingly low at 12% for non-homeowners and 13% for homeowners.

In a recent Convergys Analytics report, they found that 49% of renters believe they need at least a 20% down payment.

The median down payment on loans approved in 2018 was only 5%! Those waiting until they have over 20% may already have enough saved to buy now!

There are over 45 million millennials (33%) who are mortgage ready right now, meaning their income, debt, and credit scores would all allow them to qualify for a mortgage today!

Bottom Line

If your five-year plan includes buying a home, let’s get together to determine what it will take to make that plan a reality. You may be closer to your dream than you realize!

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Click here to sign up for free
monthly market report of your neighborhood

Click here for my mobile app:

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on February 8, 2019 at 4:25 am
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Blog |

Whose Mortgage Do You Want to Pay? Yours or Your Landlord’s?

Whose Mortgage Do You Want to Pay? Yours or Your Landlord’s? | MyKCM

There are some people who haven’t purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. However, everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at MBAexplained:

“The spring homebuying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings,’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.

As mentioned before, interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest reportshows that rates across the country were at 4.46% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Click here to sign up for free
monthly market report of your neighborhood

Click here for my mobile app:

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on February 4, 2019 at 3:32 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market | MyKCM

Whether you are thinking of selling your house or buying a home, today’s real estate headlines can be confusing – perhaps even concerning. What is actually happening with mortgage rates? Are home values dropping or are they just rising at a slower pace? What impact will the economy have on the housing market?

If you are either a buyer or seller (or both), you need to know what it will mean to your family if you go ahead with the move. You need to understand three things:

1. What is happening in the housing market right now?

Consumers must get past those fear-mongering headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening. How strong is buyer demand right now? How much competition do listings have today compared to what they will have in the spring? People want to make an educated decision on what is probably their family’s greatest financial asset.

2. Why is it happening?

Understanding the individual pieces that impact the sale or purchase of real estate is important. Understanding how those pieces impact each other is critical. How does the amount of a down payment impact the mortgage rate a buyer will be offered? Can you still price your house a ‘little ahead’ of the market and still be sure it will sell?

3. How do the first two affect your local market?

Basically, you want an understanding of the overall housing market and a simple and effective explanation of how it will impact your personal real estate goals.

Bottom Line

The best way to get all three is to work with a professional who understands this shifting real estate market and can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals. Let’s get together to discuss what today’s market means for you.

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Click here to sign up for free
monthly market report of your neighborhood

Click here for my mobile app:

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on January 29, 2019 at 1:22 pm
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Blog |

The Difference Having a Professional on Your Side Makes

The Difference Having a Professional on Your Side Makes | MyKCM

In today’s fast-paced world, where answers are a Google search away, there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The truth is, with the addition of more information, comes more confusion.

Shows like Property BrothersFixer Upper and the dozens more on HGTV have given many a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home.

Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying and/or selling a home is definitely not something you want to DIY (Do It Yourself)!

Here are just some of the reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner:

There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online!

There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?

 You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

What is the home you’re buying or selling worth in today’s market?

There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Having a professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage!

Buying or selling, I’m here to serve you. Call or text me at (602) 300-0423, or connect at any of the social media sites below and put me to work for you today!

               

Click here to sign up for free
monthly info in your neighborhood

Click here for my mobile app:

Ben Zallaha

Ben Zallaha
Realtor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert
www.bensellsarizona.com
(928) 277-8685
Buying or selling, my primary focus to make the transaction as smooth and hassle free as possible. How can I serve you?

Posted on January 23, 2019 at 3:28 am
Ben Zallaha | Posted in Uncategorized |

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