Scottsdale home selling should be a happy occasion. Often, however, the next step – moving out of one home and into the next – can be stressful at best and sometimes downright traumatic. Taking a few necessary precautions can make it less worrisome, maybe almost enjoyable.
Scottsdale Home Selling – A Moving Experience
Most people dread moving because of the unforeseen problems that seem to occur at every turn. A torrential rain comes as soon as the movers are loading the truck. Your car loaded with items you wanted to personally transport has an untimely flat tire. You know the drill… these things never happen at a good time, but why do they happen on an already-stressful moving day?
Following the Scottsdale home selling experience, most of the common moving nightmares fall into one of these three categories. Let’s take a look at what usually happens and how we can best avoid them.
You'd think in this day and age, a reputable moving company wouldn’t have incompetent or untrained people serving its customers. However, as with any other business, it happens. It’s not uncommon for many moving horror stories to revolve around unscrupulous, inexperienced or downright bad movers.
Scottsdale home selling – and especially moving – is a time-sensitive process. As such, when movers are late or – worse yet – don’t show up the resulting domino-effect can be frustrating and borderline disastrous. If you’re an understanding customer, you may give them a certain window of time before you call the moving company and complain. More times than not, you’re met with excuses about why your movers are running late or haven’t shown up yet. These excuses range from traffic jams to mechanical breakdowns to delays on a previous move. No matter the reason, you’re ready to move and they aren’t there.
Movers who are inexperienced, untrained or careless add to the stress, worry and anger levels. More frustrating for homeowners having just completed the Scottsdale home selling process is that the end may not be in sight. Just when you think the hard part is over, the moving process often ends up being the worst experience.
A moving crew shows up with an undersized truck – despite your best description of what was needed to be moved, how many rooms of furniture, packed boxes, etc. Didn’t they listen when they booked your move? How can they be so incompetent and stay in business?
You watch in horror as the movers scratch your brand new mahogany dining room table and break your grandmother’s antique mirror. And those are just the damages you can see – there’s no telling what other horrors await when they move your belongings into your new home.
There is good news, however. There are relatively easy ways to avoid the moving pitfalls. Spend some time researching your movers prior to hiring them. Make sure they are licensed and insured. Ask for references and contact them to get their feedback. Check with the local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce to find out more about their business reputation and professionalism. It’s probably a good idea to purchase additional insurance for your possessions, depending on the moving company’s liability limits. Consult your insurance agent for more information.
Things that occur on the road to and from your move can often cause or contribute to added stress.
Traffic jams can delay the moving truck, sometimes to the point there may not be enough time to handle the move on a particular day. Again, the domino-effect means since you can’t move out on time, the floor refinishers can’t get in the house to do what they need to do for the new buyers, and the new buyers can’t move until the floors are completed. Often, a few hours delay may result in several days of additional delays – and possibly additional expenses.
Traffic accidents, of course, mean the moving truck will have to wait until the damaged vehicles are moved and traffic is returned to normal. Depending on the time, location and severity of the accident this could take an hour or longer. Worse still is if the accident actually involves the moving truck carrying your possessions. Then, not only do you have the delay to contend with, but any damages that may have occurred.
Mechanical failures or breakdowns are fairly common in older moving trucks due in part to the number of miles they are driven and the wear and tear they endure. In the event of a breakdown, you’ll have to wait for the moving company to send a second truck to transfer your furniture and other possessions. That creates additional delays and increases the chances damage may occur during the transfer.
Parking problems, surprisingly, account for added stress levels during a move. Especially in the case of a move to a downtown apartment complex where parking is limited or restricted, the moving truck may have to wait for an appropriate parking space. An alternative – though not a good one – is for the truck to park farther away than expected, thereby slowing down the moving process and potentially causing you to have to pay extra for the delay or long-carry charges.
While there’s virtually nothing you can do to prevent traffic accidents or breakdowns, it may be possible to reserve a parking space accessible to your new location. In addition, you can choose a moving company with experienced drivers and whose vehicles are in good operating condition.
One way to potentially avoid most moving problems following your Scottsdale home selling is to plan as carefully as possible. A plan including each step of the relocation process complete with attention to detail and an allowance for delays may give you additional peace of mind. Although it’s impossible to predict and plan for every potential problem, expecting the unexpected is usually a good preparation and planning tool. When possible, have a back-up plan just in case.
Additional examples of poor organization include packing problems or not being prepared when the movers arrive. The list can range from forgetting the piano won’t fit through the front door to not having the various boxes labeled properly.
In addition, paperwork problems can often lead to additional delays. If you forget to transfer the utilities, when the movers arrive at your new home you may not have electricity or water.
Lastly, safety issues should be of utmost concern during the moving process. Remember, there will be many items that will be out of place. That could mean potential trip, slip and fall hazards. Plus, many homeowners find themselves distracted when negotiating steps, stairs or when driving in unfamiliar surroundings.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you have a smoothe moving day. Remember to also Find us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter. We post tips there each day as well.
Scottsdale credit scores are a genuine concern among a growing number of young consumers considering entering the home buying market. First-time home buyers that could potentially exchange their rent payments for equity-building house payments are remaining on the sidelines. They are fearful their credit scores may not be good enough to qualify for a mortgage. The scary thing is, they may be absolutely correct.
Scottsdale Credit Scores Worries First-timers
According to a recent survey prepared by the credit-reporting agency, Experian, roughly a third of future first-time home buyers are worried about their credit scores. They are among an ever increasing percentage of young people who are worried their credit scores won’t be high enough to obtain financing to purchase a home. Nearly 45% of respondents say they’ve put off buying a home until they can improve their credit score. Roughly 20% said they were more likely to decide against pursuing a mortgage loan to buy a home for the next five to ten years.
Credit experts agree that mortgage lending is still relatively tight. In addition, since a credit profile is one of the major factors in securing financing, lender’s continue to use it as an indicator of a borrower's financial health. Therefore, say mortgage lending experts, it’s important for young people with lower credit scores to improve their creditworthiness.
Around 75% of survey respondents said they were working on improving their credit scores. Steps cited include reducing outstanding debt, paying installment bills on time and being more vigilant to protect their credit from identity thieves and fraudsters. Despite these measures, only 30% of homebuyers last month were first-time buyers. This represents a substantial reduction in the historical average of first-time buyers.
According to top economists, qualified first-time home buyers should be more prevalent in the mortgage and home buying markets. With rents rising in nearly all real estate markets and with average interest rates remaining affordably low, the first-time home buying market is ripe for young borrowers.
Let’s examine a few reasons why first-time borrowers are so worried about their credit. In addition, let’s look at how creditworthiness – or the lack thereof – impacts other factors in the home buying arena and Scottsdale credit scores.
Young, prospective home buyers – especially first-time purchasers – have heard for years how important credit history is in obtaining a mortgage loan. Many of them have a limited number of credit accounts and have expressed concerns about qualifying for a home loan. Others have credit card debt or auto debt where monthly payments have been late. Naturally, that history will negatively impact their Scottsdale credit scores.
Student loan debt is another big issue facing a large number of young home buying prospects. When they finished college and finally found a job in what has been a difficult employment market in recent years, student loan debt repayment weighed heavy on many. For the vast majority of these young people, student loan debt represents their largest payment obligation. Some fear adding to that debt will prevent them from meeting the lending criteria required to get a home mortgage.
There are, no doubt, genuine credit concerns among young borrowers contemplating buying a home for the first time. However, there are additional reasons Millennials cite for not yet becoming homeowners. Young people are mobile and transient. They are getting married later, which means they are having families later. Real estate experts say they deal with many more young couples than young singles looking for homes. Simply put, younger people are less likely to put down roots at this stage in their lives.
The job market also has a tremendous influence on not only where but how young prospective home buyers decide to live. For those in entry-level positions or working part-time jobs while pursuing graduate degrees or vocational training, the community in which they now live isn't necessarily where they plan to live in the near future. Committing to a long-term mortgage – especially as a first-time buyer – may seem intimidating to them. They instead rationalize they'd be better off deciding where their new job will be and buying a home in a neighborhood or suburb nearby. Then, they will be more likely to afford the mortgage payments along with the other expenses that go with becoming a home owner.
Ironically, the majority of young people worried about their Scottsdale credit scores – as is the case with most Americans – probably have no idea what their actual score is. They've never checked it. Credit experts recommend prospective borrowers check their credit scores regularly to know where they stand. In addition, they should request a copy of their credit report to ensure accuracy and to make sure there aren't items on the report that don't belong to them.
It's a fairly safe bet the majority of young, first-time home buying prospects haven't checked their credit. So the truth is, they don't know if their credit is good, fair or bad.
Lastly, education and information are two areas in which first-time home buyers are lacking. They are unaware of the various lending programs in the marketplace designed to assist borrowers, especially those purchasing a home for the first time. While lending requirements vary, there are loan products that can help borrowers with lower credit scores or buyers with small down payments. Young people especially need to know this information exists because it can mean the difference between helping them become new home owners or continuing to remain tenants by paying rent.
You can find more articles pertaining to Scottsdale credit scores in the Scottsdale Mortgage Info section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
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Scottsdale home improvement trends are focusing more on eco-friendly options. The good news is that homeowners don’t have to be sustainable home experts. By consulting the proper resources and using knowledgeable, trained installers we can all become better stewards of the environment.
Scottsdale Home Improvement: Energy Efficiency
Many homebuilding and remodeling experts say that energy efficiency and sustainable home ideas are not just a passing fad anymore. They’re here to stay. Whether you’re considering building a new home or improving your existing home, environmentally friendly, energy efficient housing is expected to be more popular. This is especially true among Millennials, both now and as they get older and start to move up into larger or newer homes.
Here are a few tips for “going green” as you plan your Scottsdale home improvement project:
Make a Plan. Green builders use the term, “net-zero” when describing the goals of new home construction or improvements to existing homes. A net-zero home is one that is ultimately capable of producing as much energy as it consumes. Homeowners that aren’t willing or able to totally commit to net-zero goals can make plans for it at a later time.
For example, homeowners may elect to take advantage of solar energy in the future even though they may decide not to install solar panels now. Green builders suggest homeowners begin in the design phase by positioning their home or home addition to the south. This will allow the home to capitalize on the sun’s rays throughout the year. In addition, install a solar conduit and solar meter on your home. It will be easier and more efficient to add solar panels and “go solar” in the future.
Environmental construction experts also recommend using the services of a certified home energy rater or energy consultant to assist you in developing your home’s plans, specifications and sustainability goals. One tip green builders say you should consider if you’re building a garage, for example, is to install a car charger for electric cars. The cost is around $250 and by doing it now you’ll avoid the inconvenience and potential greater expense of adding it later.
Seal Your Home. One of the keys many green builders recommend for Scottsdale home improvement or new construction is air-tightness for your home. For home treatment, for example, they are using a spray-on fluid membrane applied on the exterior walls instead of the traditional house insulation wrap covered by siding. The new weather-resistant barrier system is applied by spraying and/or rolling a substance having the appearance of black rubber paint. Green builders say the material seals “every nook and cranny” from the outside, making the house airtight. The barrier is permeable or breathable, yet it prevents moisture. The result is a combination of airtightness and comfort. Perhaps one of the best features of this new eco-friendly process is that it usually can be completed in a day, making your home completely sealed, airtight and waterproof.
Use Materials Found Locally or Regionally. When you use building materials that are found or sourced locally, you’re not only supporting local business you’re reducing the amount of energy required to transport materials from out of state. One green builder refers to this practice as “farm-to-table construction,” and gives this tip. Ask about old trees in need of removal. They could provide low-cost raw materials.
Often finding material resources near you is simply a matter of spending a little time researching online or making a few phone calls. Discuss the subject with your builder or home improvement contractor and ask him to try to take advantage of the opportunity locally produced materials provide. It can save time, money and provide a greater sense of environmental responsibility.
Select Eco-friendly Paint Products. You can help the environment when you choose a quality, eco-friendly paint for your Scottsdale home improvement project. Consider interior and exterior paints with low or zero levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) Volatile organic compounds are considered a leading contributor to air pollution because the chemicals in their composition evaporate as they dry. The chemicals produce a light smog during interaction with sunlight. Environmental experts say when we breathe in harmful carbon-based paint materials, they can be hazardous to our health.
Employ Technology. One of the fastest growing and most popular features in sustainable home building and remodeling is the use of technology. Home automation systems – also known as “smart home technologies” – are allowing homeowners to manage their homes more easily and more efficiently than ever. Climate control systems, smart lighting, security and safety measures are all examples of how technology continues to advance and make substantial improvements to better homes and more energy efficient living.
Spring Into Action. Many homeowners fall into this category. They want to “go green,” but their lack of knowledge about the specifics makes them more than a little intimidated and overwhelmed. If that describes your feelings, consider your personal reasons for making your home more environmentally friendly. Experts say there are two types of homeowners interested in green construction: those genuinely concerned with global climate change, and those who believe eco-friendly steps will improve the health of their family.
Regardless of the motivation, the move toward green Scottsdale home improvement and construction is happening now. Designing your plans and ideas with green benefits in mind will ensure you are doing your part in becoming more eco-friendly – and environmentally conscious. If we haven’t already, we can all start today
.You can find more articles pertaining to various Scottsdale home improvement ideas and tips in the Scottsdale Home Improvements section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
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The Scottsdale real estate market contains a relatively tight supply of homes for sale. During market conditions in which demand exceeds supply, you'd ordinarily assume that the chances of selling your home would be pretty good. However, homeowners selling older or outdated homes are finding it a little more difficult to sell. To combat this, smart sellers are turning to smart technology to attract prospective buyers. This article will examine some of the smart home technology available in the Scottsdale real estate market.
Making Scottsdale Real Estate Smarter
Selling your home is a competitive undertaking. No matter whether you're in a seller's market or a buyer's market, the homes that get the most attention are the ones that offer the newest, most up-to-date features. If you're over the age of, say, 50 you may remember how "cool" it was for the new refrigerator in your home to have a built-in ice-maker. How about a two-car garage with an automatic door opener? Even homes equipped with motion-detector floodlights were considered "in" just a couple of decades ago. That's why some sellers are electing to ramp up their homes with a little hi-tech to garner attention. They want to show prospective purchasers that their homes are a little more "state-of-the-art" than some homes in the same age range or price range.
According to a survey published in January by Harris Polls for a nationally-known real estate firm, roughly half of all American homeowners either enjoy some type of smart home technology or have plans to invest in it during the remainder of the year. In addition, 70% of survey respondents said they were so satisfied with the purchase or installation of their first smart home product that they were likely to purchase another one.
One of the popular misconceptions about smart home technology is that retrofitting an out-of-date home is too difficult a task or too costly. The truth is, one of the attractive features of some of the technology is the ease of installation and the comparatively affordable cost. More than 50% of current homeowners agreed they would probably install smart home technology because they felt it would help sell their home quicker. To quantify that response in a dollar amount, 65% of respondents surveyed said they would likely pay $1,500 or more to bring their home into the 21st Century. Experts say most homes won't require that much of a smart home investment.
Real estate professionals say a few hundred dollars is enough to add enough smart home technology to make a difference. Citing the gradual lowering of the prices of some of the technology over the past few years, they say it's easily affordable for most sellers interested in positioning their homes for sale. Items such as smart door locks or security cameras can be purchased for less than $500. And smart thermostats are popular with buyers that like the "set it and forget it" advantages of saving energy – and money. More complete home automation systems can be a little pricey, but often pays for itself because of the attractiveness to a potential buyer.
Smart home technology experts in the Scottsdale real estate market suggest these five areas as "smart home starters:"
- A strong Internet connection and Wi-Fi network
- A smart doorbell • Smart door locks
- Smart climate controls
- Smart lighting and lighting controls
Smart technology is no stranger to newer homes and newly built homes. Now, as a result, homeowners choosing to include it into existing homes is becoming increasingly popular, both for the convenience of their owners and in an effort to provide an advantage when the time comes to sell.
Surprisingly, the rate of older American homeowners acquiring some type of smart home technology outpaces younger owners. Forty percent of homeowners aged 65 or older who own smart home products also have smart climate control technology. Comparatively, only 25% of millennials (aged 18-34) have those products.
Real estate agents remind sellers that buying a home is very much an emotional decision. If prospective buyers are able to "connect with the house" through various features that help make the home stand out above the rest, they are more likely to move it to the top of their short list. Smart technology can – and does – give the buyer the impression that the house is modern and is likely well-maintained.
See more articles pertaining to Scottsdale real estate in the Scottsdale Real Estate section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right. As always, you can find information here on a variety of topics ranging from home buying and home selling tips to home improvements, home inspections, mortgage financing, homeowner's insurance and of course, all the latest Scottsdale real estate news that affects all of these categories.
Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there, too.
Scottsdale homes for sale are a lot like those in other markets across the country. Searching for a home is a process – and it can be a painstaking one in a competitive real estate market. With fewer houses for sale and more potential buyers than sellers, it's a classic scenario of the law of supply and demand. When the supply is low and the demand is high, the competition heats up. Let's examine ten signs to know you're in a competitive housing market.
Scottsdale Homes for Sale Spur Competition
1. Cash – as always – is king. You know you're in a competitive market when there are cash offers made by prospective buyers vying for the same house. Because cash is so "immediate" and usually contains no "strings" or "red tape," most sellers are more partial to cash offers than those involving a mortgage. Assuming the sales price and resulting offer is the same or fairly close, a cash sale will usually win every time. It's hard to compete with a buyer who's ready to pay cash and forego the time it would take for a loan to be processed and approved.
2. Expect war – a bidding war. When competition is stiff, usually every player brings his "A game." What makes the competition both interesting and stressful are the lengths that prospective buyers go to get what they want. Usually that means outbidding any and all competitors. Most real estate agents agree the Scottsdale homes for sale over which bidding wars are waged are those that have a combination of three unique features. Sellers with houses attractively priced, in very good condition and in a great locations are likely to find themselves the beneficiary of multiple offers. Best of all – at least for the sellers – is that each offer is usually surpassed by an even higher offer.
3. If your city is popular, you can expect to pay more. Remember when you were renting? The newest or most popular apartment complex always had a waiting list. That's because its popularity spread and with it the demand for living there increased. Cities and metropolitan areas are similar in that respect. A progressive, popular, "in place" to live usually benefits in a higher-priced housing market. Real estate experts say the keys to look for are where certain industries are locating, since jobs will be created. The growing technology sector is a good example. In cities where that industry has grown, so have the outlying communities and the housing prices. Analysts also recommend looking for trendy retail stores, coffee shops, restaurant chains, niche-market grocery or health food stores and yoga and fitness centers.
4. You start hearing about "escalation clauses." If you're beginning to understand for the first time in your life exactly what an "escalation clause" is, you're probably in a competitive real estate market. A bid you may submit to purchase a home you have your eye on may include an escalation clause. Simply put, it means you're prepared to increase your offer up to a specified maximum in order to outbid other buyers. Not only is it a time-saver because you and your agent don't have to go back and forth with the seller, it demonstrates to the seller that you're serious about buying his home and paying whatever it takes – within reason – to be the successful bidder.
5. You may have to go the extra mile. Buying Scottsdale homes for sale can be an emotional experience, for sellers too. And included in that emotion are often ideas that accompany offers designed to give buyers an advantage over their competition. A savvy real estate agent can assist you greatly here. Knowing what will motivate a seller or knowing when they want to close or move is one way a buyer can potentially gain an advantage. In addition, playing to a seller's heartstrings sometimes works, too. For example, buyers who write a personal letter outlining why they want to buy the home and raise their children in the neighborhood that was so important to the seller and his family may find themselves closing the deal.
6. If the sales price exceeds the asking price. Again, it's simple supply and demand. If there's greater competition for the same house, not only are there bidding wars and escalation clauses, many times there are offers that are higher than the home's listing price.
7. More than one offer – from a variety of purchasers. Multiple offers are a lot like being in an auction. As soon as one offer is made, another higher offer follows – then others after that! Naturally, that's a telltale sign that you're in a competitive market with Scottsdale homes for sale.
8. The cupboards are bare. Ever been to the grocery store when a storm or other weather event is expected? Many of the popular staple foods like bread, milk, or bottled water may be in short supply. Other shoppers have beat you to the punch and bought their selections first. It's the same with a tight real estate market. You may search online for homes in a certain market, only to find they, too, are in short supply. Usually that means the remaining homes on the market are being viewed and visited by a larger number of people – all vying for the same purchasing opportunity.
9. The "ripple effect" in adjacent neighborhoods. In popular neighborhoods, it's not unusual for areas nearby to enjoy the "ripple effect," allowing those neighborhoods to enjoy increased interest and higher sales prices.
10. Deadlines. One of the more popular selling tactics in a competitive market is to set a deadline or cutoff date whereby any and all bids must be submitted. The seller, of course, isn't obligated to accept any of the bids, but usually if there are multiple bids, chances are there's at least one that will be selected.
See more articles pertaining to Scottsdale homes for sale in the Scottsdale Real Estate section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right. As always, you can find information here on a variety of topics ranging from home buying and home selling tips to home improvements, home inspections, mortgage financing, homeowner's insurance and of course, all the latest Scottsdale real estate news that affects all of these categories.
Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.