Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Market Update for September

Market Update for September

Last month I shared with you an update on the market here in the Phoenix metro area. This month, I thought I would share a little more about why now is such a great time to sell a home.

On a positive note, inventory has increased and today there are 12,569 homes for sale in Maricopa County. This is up slightly from the available inventory last month.

With 9,119 pending sales in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) we have less than two months of available inventory. How does this make it a great time to sell?
Simply put: supply verses demand. Let me share more…

Based on a review of the data in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS), the average homes in the West Valley is valued at approximately $154,106 in today’s market conditions. That same house in September 2011 was valued at $128,758 – that is a $25,348 increase in property values in just one year!

With the low inventory of homes on the market, this upward trend is likely to continue. As would-be homeowners make multiple offers above the listed asking price, the law of supply verses demand forces property values up.

For homeowners who believe their property is underwater or that they can’t afford to sell right now, should think again. We have seen a steady increase month-over-month for the past seven months consecutively. This is the first time in five years that we have seen consistent, positive improvements to property values. Now is a great time to sell your home!
If you own a home anywhere in the Valley and would like to know what your property is currently valued at, please call or email me for a FREE market analysis. I can provide for you an in-depth review of the market statistics for your home and show you how we can sell your home fast and for top dollar.

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals
623-687-7827 direct
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Market Update

Market Update
With all the talk on the news and in the media about the changes in the housing industry, I thought I would take the opportunity to share some positive data and statistics with you this week.
As many of you may have read recently, Arizona was ranked number 4 in job growth this past year, up from July 2011, according to the ASU analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the National Housing report provided by RE/MAX International also reported an increase in the number of sales and the overall prices of homes. July home sales were 10.3 percent higher than sales last year and year-over-year home sales have risen for thirteen consecutive months. The median home prices have also shown an increase for six months in a row, with an increase of 3.7 percent over July 2011.
But as many of you also know, the available inventory of properties for sale possesses a real challenge for those who are looking to purchase a home in Arizona. Today in Maricopa County, there are 11,086 homes on the market in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). That is a shocking number when you consider the inventory just a few years ago – there were nearly 60,000 homes for sale!

Since July 1st 2012 we have sold 7,011 single family homes in Maricopa County and today, there are 15,069 properties sale pending in ARMLS. These are all positive signs for a healthy return to the housing market here in Arizona – and a well-needed boost in the value of real estate. The median sales price for a single family home today is approximately $164,000. This time last year, the median sales price for a single family home was $124,000 – that is a $40,000 increase in property values in the last year!

I know the low inventory of homes may be discouraging, however, the effort is worth it when you consider that property values will continue to climb so long as consumer confidence is strong.  And if you have a home that you previously thought was underwater, now may be the time to consider selling – your home may be worth more than you realize. As a full-time REALTOR, I have the local experience to help you not only find the perfect property, but also negotiate the best terms and price, whether you are buying or selling. Please give me a call today – Luisa
Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals
623-687-7827 direct
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mortgage Relief Act Expiring– Could this Cost Your $$$

Mortgage Relief Act Expiring– Could this Cost Your $$$

On December 31st2012 the Mortgage Debt Relief Act is set to expire – what does this mean for homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage? Simply put, it could potentially mean more debt.
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation was put into place in 2007 to help homeowners who owed more on their home than what they could sell it for. For example, if you owed $400,000 on your property and sold it for $300,000 at a 28% tax rate, the settlement difference of $100,000 is $28,000 in taxes you could owe the IRS. However, those who complete a short sale prior to December 31st 2012 would not have to claim the $100,000 as taxable income.
Normally, the debt that is forgiven by the lender would be included as income on your tax return and it is subject to taxation. But the Mortgage Debt Relief Act allows you to exclude curtained forgiven debt on your principal residence from your income. If Mortgage Debt Relief Act is not extended, this exception will go away and struggling homeowners could owe the IRS.
Short sales can take anywhere from one month to several months to complete. The process can be arduous and stressful – that is why it is imperative homeowners hire a professional, experienced REALTOR to help them navigate through the process. If you think a short sale is the best alternative for you right now, you need to act and quickly. It is unclear whether or not Congress will agree to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act past the end of the year. If you need to short sale your home, now is the time. Please contact me today for a private, no obligation consultation to review your short sale options.
Luisa Ramirez
RE/MAX Professionals

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top 10 Back to School Tips

Top 10 Back to School Tips
It’s hard to believe that it is already that time of year again – back to school! To help you and your little ones prepare for a successful school year, here are ten great tips to help you prepare, shop, and stay safe.

Important paperwork: Before school starts, all children must register. Most schools will require immunization documents and other paperwork for your child to attend school. Make sure to contact the school or visit their website so you know ahead of time what you will need to register your child for school – especially if they’ll be attending a new school or district.

Meet the teachers: Regardless of how old your child is, it is always a good idea to meet their teachers before school starts. This will help you build a relationship with them which will help support your child’s development and learning over the next year. Most schools have a planned time for parents to meet the teachers. Check your child’s school calendar for more information.

Shop early! Most department stores have a ton of back to school supplies available starting in July. However, if you wait until too long, you might find yourself left with little to choose from or miss out on the good deals. Don’t wait to the last minute!

Have a shopping plan: Before you pile the kids in the car to head out shopping, create a plan. You’ll need to know what they need for clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. Go through your child’s closet first to see what fits, what does not. If you have an older child, perhaps those clothes can be passed down. Call the school ahead of time (or visit their website) to see what supplies they will need for their classes. Making a list of what each child needs will help avoid over-spending and impulse shopping!

Choosing a backpack: Not all backpacks are the same and choosing one that fits your child appropriately is important. A good backpack should have wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Organize the backpack the week before school starts. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight.

Create a school calendar: Most schools will have the entire year of events available in a calendar before the first day of school. Post a copy of this calendar (or make your own family calendar) somewhere it is easy for the whole family to see. This will help everyone stay on track and avoid missing important dates or unnecessary stress from last minute planning.

Have a safety plan: You and your child should know the route to school, whether they are riding the bus, walking or riding their bike. Have a safety plan! Teach your child what to do in the event of an emergency especially if a stranger approaches them. Have a backup plan if they accidently miss the bus – and have a schedule or routine they should follow when they get home from school.

Preparing for the first day: During the summer, children tend to stay up later and their schedules need to be reminded what it is like to get up for school. It’s a great idea to get your child back in the routine about a week before school starts. Get them back in the habit of going to bed at a set time and waking up at the time they would need to for school. The night before schools starts, make sure their backpack is ready, clothes are picked out, lunch is packed and they get plenty of rest for the big day!

How to avoid bullying: Bullying is a real threat for some children. Teaching your child how to avoid bullying is the best way to prevent this from happen.
  • Teach your child when and how to ask for help
  • Support activities that your child is interested in
  • Make sure your child knows that bullying is never acceptable
  • Be a positive role model – teach them by being a good example
  • Teach your child how to deal with a bully with confidence.
Have fun! Ultimately these are the years that your child will remember for the rest of their life. School can be fun too! Stay involved with your child’s educational activities, homework and who they are spending time with during and after school. Taking an active role in their school life will help you and your child create memories that both of you will cherish!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guidelines for an FHA Streamline

Guidelines for an FHA Streamline
With all the talk of how attractive the interest rates are for purchasing a home, there is one point we have overlooked – the ability to refinance your current home loan. And with the recent market recovery, property values are finally on the road to positive equity. There are many benefits to a loan refinance and I would like to share with you the guidelines for an FHA streamline:
  • Loan must be FHA insured prior to 5/31/2009 to be grandfathered into old monthly mortgage insurance of .55% vs. current 1.25%. Mortgage insurance premium is .01% (virtually nothing) vs. current of 1.750% of the loan amount
  • No Income Qualifying, must, however verify employment
  • No Appraisal Required
  • No Closing Cost Options
  • No More than 1x30 day late in last 12 months on mortgage
  • Skip a Monthly Payment
If you or someone you know may benefit from an FHA streamline refinance, I would like to refer you to an excellent loan officer who can assist you. Jon Tobias with Nova Home Loans and his team have over thirty years combined experience in the mortgage industry. Jon has consistently been in the top of his industry as a mortgage consultant, per the Scotsman Guide.

Nova Home Loans offers a wide variety of loan products to choose from, attractive interest rates and an established reputation for successfully closing loans. Ultimately, what makes Jon’s team so special is their commitment to what really matters to their clients – communication, integrity and timeliness. Their goal is to make every transaction as simple and clear for everyone involved. You can reach Jon Tobias at 480-626-2202 or visit him online at

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th of July Give-Away

4th of July Give-Away 
It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is right around the corner! As a way to say THANK YOU for the opportunity to work with all my wonderful clients, I would like to offer a small gift as a token of my appreciation – and I think we should have a little fun while we are at it!

The 4th of July is a great time to cook-out with family and friends and a new grill set is a perfect way to get the party started. So, this year on 4th of July, I will be giving away a BBQ Grill Tool Set to one lucky winner! But in order to win, I need the answer to the following riddle:

What force and strength cannot get through,
I, with a gentle touch, can do.
And many in the street would stand,
were I not a friend at hand.

To enter an answer, please send an email to Make sure you visit my Facebook fan page for clues to the answer. All responses received will be entered to win and the winner will be announced on July 1st. Good luck! Luisa

RE/MAX Professionals

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Avoid Foreclosure: Know Your Options

Avoid Foreclosure: Know Your Options
If you are behind don your mortgage or worried that you will be in the near future, there are steps you can take now to prevent the possibility of a foreclosure. Knowing your options is the first step in getting back on the right track financially. In this video, you can learn important facts and information regarding the available alternatives.

If you or someone you know is struggling to make ends meet each month, please contact me today. With as many options homeowners have today, there is no reason anyone should have to face a foreclosure. I can help. For a confidential appointment to discuss your personal financial situation, please call me at 623-687-7827 or via email at  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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