Getting Scottsdale homeowners insurance is not considered a dumb buy, but some forms of insurance do qualify as a dumb insurance. Some insurance is a total waste of your money, as outlined in this short video…

Some insurers offer discounts on Scottsdale homeowners insurance if you cover both your home and your automobiles with the same company. Ask your insurance agent if such discounts are offered for your Scottsdale homeowners insurance coverage.
Get more insurance information by clicking the Scottsdale Insurance link to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.

Scottsdale home warranties are not recommended by Consumer Reports

We've featured articles here on our site in the past about the pro's and con's of getting Scottsdale home warranties. But just recently, Consumer Reports released an article discussing why you should avoid Scottsdale home warranties, since even the best ones typically aren't worth the cost, and they advise putting your money in the bank instead.

The state of New Jersey recently filed a lawsuit against a home warranty company stating that warranty claims are denied because the company says the problem was pre-existing. Or, the claim is denied because the consumer can't prove that a broken item was properly maintained. They say they've seen consumers raise these issues in the past in connection with home warranties and other types of service contracts.

The state said the company, which sold coverage in at least 25 states, denied claims even when technicians said covered products had been property maintained or that a problem wasn't pre-existing or caused by a lack of maintenance. For some claims, the state said, the company demanded that customers provide years of maintenance records.

While the coverage required the company to replace products that couldn't be repaired, the state said the company offered consumers cash "buyouts" for hundreds of dollars less than it would cost to replace the item. And in some cases, local technicians dispatched to handle claims refused to respond, saying the company failed to pay them for their previous service.

Scottsdale Home Warranties Not Recommended By CR

Consumer Reports now recommends avoiding Scottsdale home warranties and service contracts, even those provided by companies with no record of engaging in any shenanigans. The reason is that coverage for contracts that cover homes and cars, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars.

Instead, CR suggests putting the money you otherwise would use to buy that service contract into a savings account or product repair-and-replacement fund.

Many credit card issuers automatically extend the manufacturer's warranty for an extra year or so for most products you buy using their card. Many companies also have goodwill programs and service campaigns that provide free or low-cost repairs or product replacement for items that fail in an unreasonably short time.

If an item falls under a safety-related defect, manufacturers generally must initiate recalls and provide free repairs, which are not even covered under Scottsdale home warranties.

Consumer Reports offers an "Extended Warranty Buying Guide" here.

While we don't necessarily endorse Consumer Reports in their stand against Scottsdale home warranties or companies, we felt obligated to advise you of their recommendation, and let you make your own intelligent decision in this matter.

Stay abreast of all the news affecting Scottsdale housing and real estate right here at our website. More articles can be found in the Scottsdale Real Estate section, or the Scottsdale Real Estate News section, both to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.

The share of would-be Scottsdale home buyers who think now is a good time to buy a Scottsdale home officially plummeted to an all-time low in August, according to a new housing industry report.

Fannie Mae's August National Housing Survey results found this to be the second consecutive month it has fallen, dropping six percentage points since June to 64% and tying the all-time survey low.

More potential Scottsdale home buyers are losing interest in buying in the current economic conditions.

Fannie Mae's recent numbers lend support to a forecast that 2015 won't be all that hot either, as more and more potential Scottsdale home buyers are losing interest in buying in the current economic conditions.

The current attitudes about the home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home buying affordability without enough consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it.

Not All Bad News for Scottsdale Home Buyers

The Fannie Mae survey found some sectors of the mortgage production universe are seeing significant growth. And Americans' attitude toward the future of the Scottsdale housing market is getting more positive, suggesting that housing activity could resume its modest recovery in 2015 after some pullback in 2014.

While prospective Scottsdale home buyers certainly wouldn't mind if home prices came back down, it could be rough for the Scottsdale economic recovery. Because homes have regained so much of their lost value, many Scottsdale home buyers once again have positive equity in their homes. And if prices were to decline, many homeowners could once again find themselves underwater, which would be a very bad thing.

The share of people who said they would buy if they were going to move fell to 64%, while the share of people who would rent increased to 32% — the narrowest gap in more than a year.

We'll continue to keep a sharp eye on trends that may affect Scottsdale home buyers, and report any and all trends in future updates here on our website. In the meantime, find more current real estate news articles under our Scottsdale Real Estate News section under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right.

Today we remember 9-11 and what it did to change Scottsdale and our country forever

Young, first-time Scottsdale homebuyers are becoming an increasingly rare site these days in the housing market.

According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate for the 35-and-under crowd fell to a 22-year low in the second quarter. This has some parents wondering whether they can, or should, help their kids buy a home.

Should You Help Children Become First-Time Scottsdale Homebuyers?

Many first-time Scottsdale homebuyers are getting help from their parents

Parents have helped their children for decades with down payments and even loans. But recent economic and mortgage-market realities have made the question more acute. Whether you should step in is a question only parents can answer. Here are some considerations if you do decide to help.

Down Payment Assistance:

There are potential tax implications to consider. Individuals can currently make tax-free gifts of up to $14,000 per recipient. That means Mom and Dad could give as much as $56,000 to their child and a spouse before hitting the IRS's annual cap on tax-free giving. Make sure your child is married to qualify for that limit. Live in boyfriends/girlfriends don't qualify.

Anything above those limits requires reporting to the IRS. But you can certainly give more. The good news is you won't have to pay taxes until you bust through the lifetime gift exclusion, which now sits at $5.34 million, well above most people's worry limit.

Lenders will have specific guidelines for how to document and source gift funds. They'll also want to see in writing that this is a "no strings attached" donation, and not a loan to be repaid.

Depending on the type of loan and gift amount, children may need to contribute some of their own money to the cause to become first-time Scottsdale homebuyers.


Parents can also co-sign on a mortgage with their child, although we don't recommend it. Some loan types, like VA home loans, have occupancy restrictions, but there are plenty of options for co-borrowers who don't actually plan to live in the property full time.

Helping with a down payment is one thing. Co-signing on a loan exposes parents to significantly more risk when it comes to their credit and financial profile. A child who misses a mortgage payment or winds up in default could wreck their parents' credit for years.

No one expects to lose a job, get divorced or face some medical crisis. Anything that affects your child's ability to make good on their obligation means the full responsibility falls to you. That may or may not be financially feasible for some parents.

Parents as the Lender:

Parents with the liquidity for an all-cash purchase can opt to draw up their own mortgage and repayment plan, likely with the help of an attorney and a financial planner.

There are federal guidelines regarding interest rates on loans like this, which is all the more reason to consult financial and legal experts. This kind of arrangement can generate interest income for parents, while getting kids into a loan with a lower rate than they'll ever find on the market. It could be the only way for the children to become first-time Scottsdale homebuyers.

The Simplest Approach:

Although not necessarily feasible, paying all-cash is certainly the simplest way to go. No credit review, no checking where the down payment came from. All cash sales accounted for almost a third of all home purchases in June.

No matter which route you take, if helping your children become first-time Scottsdale homebuyers, we strongly recommend you seek legal counsel and advice when structuring any agreements.

Check out some of our other articles on becoming first-time Scottsdale homebuyers by clicking the Scottsdale Home Buying Tips link to your right under our Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.