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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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

8 Tips for Memorial Day

8 Tips for Memorial Day 

It’s hard to believe that Memorial Day is right around the corner but yet on Monday, May 28th 2012 many of us will be gathering with our family and friends to celebrate. Here are 8 tips for creating a memorable holiday gathering:

Sun Protection:
If you and your guests will be spending Memorial Day outside, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen available and that you encourage frequent application. Additionally, set up shaded areas for guests to get out of the direct sun during the peak hours of the day. The temperatures will be well over 100 degrees this Memorial Day so proper sun protection is an essential key to having a good time!

Water Safety:
If your party plans include water, whether it is a pool or the lake, make sure you and your guests follow good water safety. A great idea for a pool party is to have an assigned “life guard” on duty – ask your guests to take turns being the responsible party to watch the guests, especially the little ones while they are in the pool. Never let your guests swim in the pool alone and never leave kids unattended! If you will be at the lake, make sure there are plenty of life jackets for everyone on the boat.

Have designated driver:
If you will be serving alcohol at your Memorial Day celebration, make sure your guests get home safely by having a designated driver or calling a taxi. The sun intensifies the effects of alcohol so make sure your guests don’t consume more than they should and that they stay hydrated with plenty of water.

Memorial Day for the pets:
If you have pets or pets are on your invitation list, make sure you have plenty of fresh water and available shade for them. If you’ll have more than one furry friend visiting, make sure they will play nice with all the guest, including the other pets and kids.

Proper food handling:
No one wants to get food poisoning – period. Make sure you’re holiday food dishes are covered under an umbrella or patio area and do not let food stay out for more than one or two hours – especially foods containing mayonnaise, milk and eggs. Cooked meat, fruits and veggies can go bad too so it is best to cover and refrigerate. Always wash surfaces with disinfectant and keep raw meats in separate containers to avoid contamination.

Water, water, water!
In the Arizona heat, our bodies need lots of water. Dehydration can happen quickly – if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Make sure you have plenty of bottled water and/or sports drinks available for your guests. If you are serving alcohol, having plenty of water is imperative for any Memorial Day celebration.

Give your guests a flag:
Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who have died while serving our great country – the American Flag is a renowned symbol of our freedom. What a great way to create a lasting memory for your guests by giving them their own flag on this special day.

Take time to remember:
Memorial Day was originated after the American Civil War as a way for us to honor and pay respect for those individuals who selflessly gave their lives during the Civil War. Today, the holiday has been extended to honor all American’s who have died in all wars. As we mark another year in our great country’s history, take time to remember those who have fallen to preserve and protect our freedoms.

From my family to yours, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Memorial Day celebration! Luisa

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Consider a New Home

Consider a New Home 
As the inventory of resale homes begin to dwindle at a rapid pace, new home construction has made a return to our market place. According to recent reports by RL Brown, new home sales have grown month-by-month in 2012 and in March were 27% above the number from March 2011.

"We are seeing a renewed sense of optimism, especially from young professionals and young families visiting our communities nationwide," Deborah Meyer, Pulte Group senior vice president, said in a news release of the results. "In fact, in the first quarter of this year, sales and traffic for our Centex homes, which cater to the value-conscious and first-time buyer, saw a significant improvement over last year—yet another sign of an improving housing market.”

In the Phoenix area, buyers are turning to new homes as an alternative to the resale market where they are beat out by cash investors in multiple offers situations. If you are in the market for a home, you may want to consider a new home. With competitive pricing, upgrade incentives and available lots, new homes are an excellent choice for home buyers. For example, in the city of Goodyear, new homes are starting as low at $126,990 and in Phoenix, some communities are starting as low at $99,900 for a new home.

As a full time real estate professional, I have the local market knowledge you need to find the perfect home that fits both your lifestyle and your financial needs – if you are thinking now is the time to buy, consider a new home. You can reach me at or 623-687-7827.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Available Down Payment Assistance Funds 

As many of you read from a prior blog I posted a few weeks ago, I was excited to share the details about an event hosted by Wells Fargo here in Phoenix called the NeighborhoodLIFT Program. This was a two day event where home buyers came to learn more about homeownership and to qualify for available down payment assistance funds.

Well today, I am excited to share with you that there are still funds available to help people who have a goal to buy a home! The program guidelines are still the same as they were at the event, however, now home buyers must have an accepted contract on a property prior to receiving the down payment assistance funds. Here is a quick overview of the guidelines for the programs: 
  • Home must be located in the city of Phoenix however it can be any type of home, a foreclosure (REO), short sale, new construction or an investor flip property
  • Income requirements are 115% of the median income (there are some restrictions on this, so please contact me for more details on eligibility)
  • Purchase contract must be accepted on a property prior to making an appointment to receive down payment assistance funds
  • Borrowers are required to have 3.5% of their own funds for a down payment. This money is to help with closing costs and reduce principle balance to ensure a lower monthly payment
  • After owning the home for a period of five years the down payment assistance funds are forgiven
  • Borrowers do not have use Wells Fargo for their loan approval, however they must qualify with a bank or mortgage banker
If you are interested in qualifying for this fantastic opportunity to receive available down payment assistance funds, please contact me today. Funds are limited and they are allocated as a first come, first served basis. You can reach me at or 623-687-7827.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Important Foreclosure News

Important Foreclosure News 
After months of fact finding and research the second largest consumer settlement has made history. The Robo-Signing Settlement between the Government and the five major lenders has finally come to an agreement. For distressed homeowners this important foreclosure news could be the answer to the biggest question asked today: does this mean I can stay in my home?

During the peak of the foreclosure crisis, mortgage companies across the U.S. were hit with a glut of delinquent properties they were just not equipped to handle. The Government alleges that during this time, some of the banks may have processed foreclosures without following the proper procedures, thus foreclosing on homes that under different circumstances might not have been. If you didn’t hear it on the evening news, the term “robo-signing” was used to describe the practices of the banks while handling thousands of foreclosure transactions.

The five major banks involved in the settlement are: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Ally Financial/GMAC and Citigroup. In addition to these five mortgage companies, there are nine smaller banks that may potentially be rolled into the agreement in the near future.

The total amount of the Robo-Signing Settlement is $25 billion which will be split up based on specifications outlined in the settlement agreement. If you think you may have been a victim of “robo-signing” during your foreclosure or someone you know, please contact me. The funds from the settlement will be distributed by the state attorney general’s office and varies state-by-state.

Although, this may be complete unrelated to the news of the settlement, Bank of America has announced this week new changes to their short sale procedures. The changes take effect this week and Bank of America claims they will shorten the approval time for a short sale from 45 days down to 20 days. The new policy also allows the short sale specialists handling the file to complete the tasks, such as document collection, valuations and underwriting simultaneously. This change is great news for homeowners and homebuyers looking to purchase a short sale – and not just for Bank of America loans. Changes like this impact every other bank as demands are made for improvements across the board when it comes to a short sale approval.

If you or someone you know is upside down on their mortgage, please give me a call to discuss the current market conditions - even if you are not behind on your payments, a short sale maybe an option. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How's the Market?

How’s the market? 
In our local economy, here in the Phoenix area, the question “how’s the market” is an important topic for many, regardless if they own a home or not. In the past few years we have heard a lot of doom and gloom about the housing market and we all know at least one person who has been impacted by a short sale or a foreclosure. Today, the landscape has begun to change – and this is good news for Arizonians.

Right now, in Maricopa County there are currently more homes “sale pending” than there are available for sale. Our active inventory of homes on the market has dropped below 12,000 units whereas the pending home sales are close to 19,000 units (out of those homes sale pending 7, 072 are pending short sale approval from the mortgage company).

According to an article I read from, “Home resales, averaging 7,500 a month, are at their highest level since the peak of 2005-06. But the number of homes for sale is at the lowest level in more than a decade.” The current inventory is one-third compared to what it was in 2009. As a result of the low inventory, we are seeing multiple offers on homes which end up selling above asking price within only a few days on the market.

"Phoenix's housing market is in a state of fast changes," said Mike Orr, real-estate analyst for Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. "Prices are ticking up, and buyers are getting more and more frustrated they can't find homes," said Orr, who also publishes daily real-estate analysis called the Cromford Report.

“Metro Phoenix's median existing-home price has been steadily ticking up since last August when it fell to a 12-year low of $113,000. In February, the median price for the region was up to almost $123,000, according to a monthly analysis from AZBidder. All types of homebuyers see metro Phoenix's prices finally rising and want to close a deal before they go higher.”

If you or someone you know is considering a home purchase, now is a good time to get in the game. A purchaser who plans to live in a home as their primary residence has the advantage in this market. REO Homes, such as HUD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have a “first look” program which does not allow investors to make offers on these properties during the first fifteen to thirty days on the market. This allows the home buyer a chance at securing the property without the fear of losing to a cash investor. 

As a homeowner who is thinking of selling in this market, you might have previously thought it wasn’t an option however, with prices increasing you might be surprised at what you can sell for now than you could a year ago. Additionally, the short sale approval process has dramatically improved in the last six months. We are seeing more and more sellers who are upside down on their mortgage get an opportunity to start fresh with a short sale transaction.

As a full-time REALTOR, I have the experience you need to navigate through the changes happening in our housing market. If you think buying or selling a home has been out of reach for you, then ask me, “how is the market?” and I will tell you it’s a great time to buy or sell!

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

$15,000 down payment assistance - next week only!

$15,000 down payment assistance - next week only! The Neighborhood LIFTSM Program
On March 23rd and 24th, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Foundation and NeighborWorks American (an independent nonprofit organization) will be hosting a brand new home buyer event called the Neighborhood LIFTSM Program in Phoenix, Arizona. The goal is to support sustainable homeownership and advance neighborhood stabilization by providing down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers.
If becoming a homeowner is something you have always dreamed about, but did not think would be possible, then you don’t want to miss the Neighborhood LIFTSM event. Admission is free, however, registration is strongly recommended. During the event you can:
  • Get assistance with your down payment from local nonprofit organizations (up to $15,000 based on eligibility)
  • Meet with a professional mortgage consultant
  • Find out if you are ready to buy a home
  • Prepare for sustainable homeownership
  • Take a bus tour of homes for sale
Mortgage approvals and down payment assistance funds will be allocated next week only! If you are interested in attending this innovative, new home buyer event, please contact me for more details on how to register. 623-687-7827 or – contact me today to register for the Neighborhood LIFTSM Program event on March 23rd and 24th, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Luisa Ramirez, REALTOR
RE/MAX Professionals

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

8 Steps for Achieving Your 2012 Goals

8 Steps for Achieving Your 2012 Goals 

It’s just about that time when most of us start losing steam with our well-intended goals we set just after the New Year. Here are 8 tips for achieving your goals this year – and how to keep you focused and on track!

Spend time day dreaming:  anytime we set out to do something great it usually starts with a little day dream. Goals need to be big enough that we have a drive or need to accomplish them but also realistic so we do not set ourselves up for failure before we even begin. Day dreams can come true if you have a plan!

Give your goals a GPS System: statistics will tell us that goals which have been clearly defined and written down somewhere, even if it’s on a napkin during a brainstorming session over lunch, have a better chance of coming to fruition then a goal that is not. Think of it like this: you would not get in a car to drive across country without having a road map or in our modern world today, a GPS system to get you there safely. Your goals need their own GPS system too.

Do what you love: your goals should always align with your core values in life. Setting a goal that doesn’t give you fulfillment will be difficult to accomplish – and they aren’t much fun either. The more passionate you are about your goals, the more excited you will be to achieve them – and that is fun!

See the end result: some goals may be long term achievements and some goals might only require a short time before you can check them off the Bucklist. Any goal you set should have a beginning and an ending date or time frame in mind, if possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: not all goals are easy and some will require a support system to help us get there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – your friends and family can become your personal cheer squad and you never know, you might inspire them to set goals of their own!

Share your plan: talking about your goals will make them real. Share them with people who will get excited with you and who will want to support you in your success. Speaking about your goals as if they have already happened will give you an extra kick and you’ll be celebrating your accomplishment before you know it.

Hang out with your goals: a lot of times we start out the New Year with great intentions to make changes in our lives. Then we get busy or distracted and our goals get shoved in a drawer and forgotten about. Statistics tell us that written goals have a better chance of coming true – so do goals that are visited on a regular basis. Spend at least 10 to 15 minutes each day hanging out with your goals.

Create a plan: take a current assessment of where you are now in your life and what you would like to improve or change and why. Then spend some time considering the actions you will need to take in order to succeed. If you combine all of these tips together you will achieve all your 2012 goals!

For more help with your personal goals and achievements, please visit my colleague Sarah Bliss, Success Coach with Bliss Career Development. You can visit her online at 

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Top 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers
1.) Have a spending plan:  saving money for a down payment is only one step in purchasing home. You will need at least 3.5 percent for your down payment and depending on what type of loan you decide on, you could need up to 20 percent down payment for conventional mortgages. It is also a good idea to have a nest egg of cash tucked away for unexpected expenses. Although a real estate professional can help you map out your home buying budget, there will be unavoidable things that pop up out of the blue. If you have a little extra cash on hand, it will help reduce stress and help you create a positive home buying experience.

2.) Figure out what you qualify for: although you may be comfortable paying a certain dollar amount now for rent, owning a home has other built-in monthly expenses. You will need to consider property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, landscaping or pool services, for example. A typical mortgage has what we call “P.I.T.I.” which stands for “principle, interest, taxes and insurance.” A qualified mortgage specialist can assist you with figuring out exactly how much you can afford each month for a mortgage payment. With property prices as low as they are today, you will be surprised at how much you might be able to save on a mortgage payment verse paying rent.

3.) Picking your mortgage: there are a lot of options out there when it comes to a lender, a mortgage company and what type of mortgage to use. Not all lenders are alike and not all mortgage companies will provide you with the best service and options available to you. It is important to work with a reputable company and mortgage specialist – the last thing you want is to have your American Dream tarnished by a bad loan experience. As a real estate professional, I have connections with lenders who will help you get the best interest rate and terms and provide excellent service along the way.

4.) Location, Location, Location! this is an essential piece to purchasing a home. First of all, you will want to identify what is important to you – is it a particular school district, convenient commute to work, historic community, close to parks or shopping and dining? Secondly, you want to consider future resale value. I know at first, you may think you will live in this home forever and who cares about selling it now when you haven’t even bought it yet. But there will come a time when you will want to or have to sell and you’ll be glad you took the time to make a purchase that has the best possible resale value.

5.) Choosing a REALTOR: a professional, full-time, experienced REALTOR is a must when purchasing a home – especially your first time buying. As a RE/MAX agent, I am highly trained and I have the local knowledge you need to make a well informed, smart decision regarding your home purchase. In addition, I have the advantage of working with the largest real estate network in the world – no other real estate company sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a home, please give me a call. There has never been a better time to make a move than in today’s real estate market. Let’s get started today and get you moving tomorrow!

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will a Short Sale help me?

Will a Short Sale help me?

In 2009 the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program (HAFA) was introduced to the public by the Obama Administration. HAFA was designed to help homeowners who are unable to keep their home due to financial crisis. The HAFA Program offers assistance and incentive for homeowners to seek a short sale as an alternative to just walking away. There have been recent changes to the HAFA Program which will improve the short sale process and will ultimately allow more homeowners to have a fresh financial start.

One major change to the HAFA Program will require the loan servicers (or Mortgage Company) to respond to short sale offers within 30days with acceptable price and terms. This change will greatly improve the time it takes to get short sale approval. If you currently own a home which is underwater, but you are not sure if you qualify for a short sale, here are the six questions HAFA uses to determine eligibility:

  •  Is the first loan owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? If you are unsure, you can visit or to verify.
  • Is the property your primary residence and do you still reside there now or within the last 90 days?
  •  Is the mortgage a “first lien” mortgage?
  • Is the mortgage delinquent or in default (missed payments)?
  • Is the current unpaid principle balance of the loan, equal to or less than $729,750?
  • Does your total monthly mortgage payment exceed 31% of your gross monthly income?

If you answered yes to all of the questions, with exception to question number one, then you may be eligible for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program – and you could further be eligible to receive up to $3,000.00 CASH relocation assistance. If you are wondering, will a short sale help me, please contact me today to learn more. If you are considering just walking away from your home, you need to know you are not alone – it’s ok to ask for help. 

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What is a short sale?

What is a short sale? 
Nationwide, one in seven mortgages are headed for foreclosure. While the statistics in the Phoenix market vary from community to community, it is no doubt that helping homeowners out of foreclosure has become a local and national priority. It is important for any homeowner who is underwater on their mortgage or financially over-stressed to understand that none of the parties involved want to see a foreclosure happen.
Among the most difficult statistics I have read, is the fact that most homeowners who end up in foreclosure never seek the services of a real estate agent or attempt a short sale. Please do not wait to ask for help – I can help you find a better solution.

Be sure to ask me how you may qualify for up to $4500 in CASH relocation assistance! 

Luisa Ramirez, RE/MAX Professionals