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3 Wonderful Winterizing Tips for Your AZ Home

by Lisa Bray

3 Wonderful Winterizing Tips for Your AZ Home

We may not get snow very often in the beautiful Valley of the Sun, but winter can still bring some cold surprises to your home as what’s been experienced by the recent cold fronts and temperature drops.  Simple winterizing tasks can help you prep for the unexpected temperature drops and protect your home all winter long.  Here are 3 wonderful winterizing tips for your AZ home that you can start today!

1.) Adjust Your Thermostat:  Winter is here and with it comes higher heating bills.  You’ll want to change your filter at least once a month to help your furnace perform at maximum efficiency.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning your thermostat back 10°F–15°F for at least eight hours a day will allow you to save 10 percent to 15 percent off your heating bill.  Programmable thermostats can help you set and forget.

2.) Avoid Drafts:  Cold air has a way of leaking into your home when you least expect it.  Sealing up areas where drafts can seep in is a huge benefit not just to you but to your heating bill as well.  Air usually leaks in around common areas such as door frames and windows, so add easy to install weather-stripping from your local hardware store.  Looking for a more permanent insulation option?  Upgrade from single pane windows to double pane or add a window insulation kit to keep cold air out. 

3.) Protect Your Plants:  One of the biggest worries of gardeners is the threat of freezing weather and frosts that can kill your plants. To protect your larger plants and trees from frost, be sure to cover them with fabric, old bed sheets, burlap, or commercial frost cloths you can get at your local hardware store. Potted plants in containers that aren’t hardy for unexpected cold should be brought inside during cold weather. Dig up tender bulbs and store them in a cool dry place.

When you take the time to protect your home, you’ll have more time to enjoy the rarely chilly Arizona weather and help prevent repair problems and future maintenance issues. If you’d like more tips about winterizing your home or if you’re ready to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in the West Valley including Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Surprise, Avondale and the surrounding areas, please contact Lisa Bray today!

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
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REMAX National Housing Report November 2018

by Lisa Bray

RE/MAX National Housing Report November 2018

Years of shrinking inventory gave way in November to a second consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the number of homes for sale, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. The apparent reason: Home sales declined for the fourth consecutive month when compared to the same months in 2017. Even so, home prices remained strong.

Across the 53 metro areas surveyed, inventory rose 3.0 percent – the highest monthly year-over-year gain in the 10-year history of the report, following October’s 1.0 percent increase that ended a streak of 119 months of year-over-year declines dating back to November 2008. The Months Supply of Inventory rose to 3.9, the highest for any month since 4.2 in December 2016.

November home sales, meanwhile, declined 6.9 percent, which was the second-largest year-over-year decline of 2018 and the biggest year-over-year sales decline for November in five years. This year only April and July sales exceeded 2017 totals for the corresponding months.

“The road to market normalization can be bumpy,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It’s good to see the small uptick in inventory, and the drop in November sales isn’t too surprising – given the recent trends, the mid-term elections, and the earlier-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday. As we near year-end, three main themes appear clear – buyers are grappling with affordability issues and tight inventory; sellers are unsure how to react to the cooling market; and homes priced properly are still selling rather quickly. All three underscore the fact that the guidance of a professional agent is even more critical in times like these.”

November’s Median Sales Price of $235,000 was 4.0 percent higher than November 2017 and was the highest November price in the report’s history. It marked the 32nd consecutive month of year over-year price increases. Comparing the first 11 months of 2018 to 2017, home prices are up 6.0 percent. Even with declining sales, homes sold at record speed for November. Homes spent an average of 51 Days on Market, compared to the previous November low of 54 days set last year.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact Lisa Bray today! I will be happy to provide a free market analysis of your home, and I am deeply committed to helping you reach your real estate goals on step at a time.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
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RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

by Lisa Bray

RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 showed the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6 percent year-over-year drop in home sales. At the same time, the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. It is the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

The decline in home sales year-over-year was the largest since May of 2011, as September became the seventh month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017. Even so, year-to-date 2018 home sales resemble 2017’s.

“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”

Active inventory dropped for the 119th consecutive month, the decline of 4.7 percent from September 2017 was the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the September year-over-year inventory drop was the fifth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen over the previous three years.

“It’s a little surprising to see prices staying so strong, but it’s hardly shocking in such a tight market,” said Contos. “The headwinds of rising prices and interest rates amid already tight inventory levels have been crimping affordability and slowing sales for most of the year, but it varies by geography.  In circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent – a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”

Home prices rose by 5.6 percent over September 2017, more than twice the year-over-year price increase of 2.3 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. That reversed a trend seen in the previous three months, when year-over-year price increases trailed 2017’s rate of growth.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact Lisa Bray today! I will be happy to provide a free market analysis of your home, and I am deeply committed to helping you reach your real estate goals on step at a time.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

Join me on Facebook!

Search the MLS Now!

“Delivering More than Just a Home”

4 Fall Curb Appeal Hacks to Attract Buyers

by Lisa Bray

4 Fall Curb Appeal Hacks to Attract Buyers

Photo courtesy of homesteading.com The term “curb appeal” derives from real estate sales and home design. For years, buyers have formed their first impressions of homes while standing in the street or sitting inside the car, just beyond the curb. The initial drive-by would determine whether or not they would go for an actual showing. Curb appeal was always the single most important piece of the home sale puzzle and it’s still relevant today. If you’re planning to sell your Phoenix home this fall then here are  4 fall curb appeal hacks to attract buyers.

1.) Autumn Wreath: Add a burst of bold fall color to your front door with a beautiful floral wreath. The traditional autumn foliage colors or rich reds, rusts and burnished gold tones will give your entry a seasonal boost. 

2.) Pumpkin Spice: Nothing says autumn quite like pumpkins, dried gourds, winter squash, and bushels of fall-blooming flowers. Adding a pumpkin or a cluster of small colorful winter squash near your door or planting some fall-blooming flowers add a great eye-catching element to your curb appeal and helps potential buyers feel more at home. Just remember to keep fall décor simple because less is more.

3.) Spruce up your yard: While brilliant fall foliage can automatically make your home look more attractive for showings, that doesn't mean you can slack off on lawn maintenance during this season. Keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass.

4.) Fall lights: As the days get shorter, it becomes increasingly important to provide potential home buyers with a safe path to your front door. Use decorative lights to illuminate walkways, and install flood lights or lanterns to brighten up entrance areas.

Need help selling your home this fall? Ready to buy a home in the West Valley? Contact Lisa Bray today. I’m here to guide you through every step of the process for a knowledgeable and unforgettable real estate experience.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

Join me on Facebook!

Search the MLS Now!

“Delivering More than Just a Home”

Top 5 Sun Smart Tips for the Summer

by Lisa Bray

Top 5 Sun Smart Tips for the Summer

We all know Arizona summers can be extremely hot and extended exposure to the sun can be damaging to our bodies. Anyone who has ever endured an Arizona sunburn in triple digit weather, understands how painful and dangerous this can be! More than 1 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented. Check out these top 5 sun smart tips for the summer to keep you and your family protected.

1.) Limit direct sun exposure during midday - UV rays are most intense during the 10am to 4pm hours. You should plan your outdoor activities before or after these hours.

2.) Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps - Tanning gives our UVA and frequently UVB rays which can cause serious long-term skin damage and both contribute to skin cancer.

3.) Ware shades and a hat - You should purchase sunglasses with at least a 99% UV absorption. And why not invest in a fun summer hat while you are at it!

4.) Use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher - The SPF number represents the level of protection against UVB rays, which are the type of rays responsible for the majority of skin cancers. A higher number means more protection. You should apply generous amounts of sunblock every 2 hours if you are out in the direct sun for a long period of time.

5.) Check your skin - Check your own skin for unusual changes, new growths or changes in skin color. If you notice any moles that have changed size, shape or color, contact your doctor right away. Skin cancer is most easily treated if found early.

Please share these top 5 sun smart tips for the summer to help have a safe and enjoyable season. And If you or someone you know is looking to buy a home this summer, please contact Lisa Bray today!

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

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“Delivering More than Just a Home”

Staying Active and Involved this Holiday Season

by Lisa Bray

Staying Active and Involved this Holiday Season

It’s important to stay active and involved in your community all year round, but it’s especially important during the holiday season to help combat stress, improve health and help welcome in the New Year with optimism. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in two community 5K’s in the month of December that were fantastic experiences. The first was the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k in Scottsdale, an officially timed event that had mugs filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dippable treats waiting for the racers at the finish line. Coined as “America’s Sweetest Race,” the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K proceeds benefitted the Make-A-Wish® charity and was truly a delight to be a part of.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I ran in the Run Run Rudolph Quarter Marathon Run at Rio Vista Park in Peoria. This event included a half marathon, quarter marathon, four mile and a Reindeer Kids’ Dash. This race was fun and festive with many participants donning their best holiday gear. It was impossible not to smile, and by the end I was filled with holiday spirit as I joined the other race participants of all ages, shape and sizes from the community at the finish line. This was very memorable run!

I invite you to join me for the next community racing event, Are You Faster Than a Boy Scout which takes place Saturday, March 18, 2018 in scenic Litchfield Park. This is a fun, family-friendly event that you will want to return to year after year. The race is a flat and fast, chip timed event and is staffed by the Boy Scouts with support from adult volunteers. Best of all 100 percent of the proceeds for this race go to fund Scouting activities including, summer camps and high adventure camps for the active Scouts in the local Troop. If you’d like more information about this event or if you’d like to join me, you can register by clicking here.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas! –Lisa

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

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“Delivering More than Just a Home”

Holiday Safety Shopping Hacks

by Lisa Bray

Holiday Safety Shopping Hacks

In the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and sales, it’s easy to get a little lax with our personal security. Besides; who’d ever try to steal from us during such a wonderful time of giving? But unfortunately, this is the time of year where criminals are at their peak. According to the Arizona Division of Public Safety report, November has the highest rate of "pick pocketing" of any month of the year, while shoplifting crimes are highest in December. That being said, here are some essential holiday safety shopping hacks.

  • Stay alert to your surroundings when you’re out and about shopping. Thieves typically target people who look lost in thought or are struggling to carry shopping bags and seem distracted so avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Never leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car, even if you’ll only be away for a minute. A quick thief needs a mere sixty seconds to make off with your car.
  • Always protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad or pin pad inside the store from anyone who is standing near you. All it takes is a peak, a quick distraction, and sleight of hand before your wallet is gone and your bank account has been drained.
  • Obviously if you’re traveling and away from home over the holidays you should lock your doors and windows. But also take additional precautions by having a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail. Want an extra level of safety? Leave your lights on an automatic timer.

Don’t be a target for dishonest criminals this holiday season, and don’t be afraid of being paranoid. You can never be too safe while you’re shopping for the season, and you can’t afford to be careless. Please share these tips with your loved ones and shop safe this holiday season.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
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Welcome to Goodyear

by Lisa Bray

Welcome to Goodyear

If you’re looking to move to the “valley of the sun,” you’ll likely research all the different cities to find what they have to offer and how they can best suit your needs. Whether you’re relocating to the state of Arizona or just moving to a new city, you’ll find Goodyear, AZ is an ideal locale that offers a diverse community rich with cultural activities, recreation, and growth. Once the recipient of the All-America City Award in 2008 and named one of the five "Most Livable Cities" in America, it’s no wonder so many residents are falling in love with this beautiful city! So welcome to Goodyear. Here’s why you’ll want to make it your home.  

Entertainment and Shopping: Goodyear, AZ is a part of the beautiful west valley where there are plenty of options for entertainment and shopping with a growing list of top choices for dining out. You’ll find the Wigwam Resort, the perfect venue for events, pampering, dining, and more located minutes away from Goodyear. The local hotspot of the Westgate City Center on the 101 Loop freeway offers a movie theater, a stadium to see your favorite sports teams and bands as well as tons of shopping, restaurants, and bars.

Outdoor Recreation: If you love to get outside, you’ll find the 300 plus days of sunshine in Goodyear to your liking…as long as you don’t mind a little sweat and sunscreen. You can enjoy the many beautiful public parks, golf courses, and trails available throughout Goodyear and the west valley. Outdoor enthusiasts will fall in love with the hiking trails, such as the ones located at Estrella Mountain Regional Park. If you love to play, the popular 55-acre Friendship Park houses soccer and baseball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, ramadas, a dog park, and even a charming Japanese Garden.

Community Services: Residents who love being a part of the community will love the communal spirit that radiates in Goodyear. Whether you’re looking for a cause to volunteer for or services for you and your family to enjoy, there’s something for everyone. Goodyear and the west valley offers the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, performing arts sponsored by the West Valley Council, and air shows hosted by Luke Air Force Base just to name a few of the many available things to do. Sports lovers will appreciate the Goodyear Ball Park where they can watch games see their favorite players during spring training in addition to the many fun events hosted there.

Does Goodyear sound like the kind of place you want to call home? Contact Lisa Bray for real-time west valley listings and a complementary market analysis of your home.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

Join me on Facebook!

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“Delivering More than Just a Home”

Should You Rent or Buy a Home this Summer?

by Lisa Bray

Should You Rent or Buy a Home this Summer?

It’s the eternal question; an on-going internal battle that’s progressed for years. Rent or buy? There are many factors to consider when it comes to renting or buying an Arizona home. And though renting is typically viewed as having fewer risks, home ownership has potential for greater gains if you purchase smartly. So it’s time to start planning. Should you rent or buy a home this summer? Here are some advantages of both to consider before making a move.

Advantages of Buying a Home

  • Home ownership provides tax benefits that renting does not such as declaring interest costs against taxes and equity building.
  • With FHA, VA and USDA loans and down-payment assistance programs, it can be cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent one.
  • You can decorate or make alterations to your home as you please.

Advantages of Renting a Home

  • Renting allows you the opportunity to avoid home ownership costs, seen and unforeseen, maintain liquidity and build credit.
  • Renting allows you mobility in lieu of being tied to a mortgage.
  • Maintenance of major systems such as plumbing, electric, heating and air-conditioning is taken care of by the landlord versus the renter.

When you rent a home you don’t have the tax benefits or write offs home ownership affords you and you are limited when it comes to making design upgrades to your home. However renting does allow you more mobility should you need to move. It’s important to make a well informed decision before making a commitment to a mortgage. If you’ve determined buying is right for you and you’re looking are looking to buy a home in the West Valley, please contact Lisa Bray today for a professional yet personal experience you can trust.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
Join me on Facebook!

Search the MLS Now!

“Delivering More than Just a Home”

First Half of 2017 Ends with Record Sales and Prices

by Lisa Bray

First Half of 2017 Ends with Record Sales and Prices

The first half of 2017 ends with record sales and prices according to the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. The U.S. housing market is on pace for another record year as four of the last six months have topped same month sales from 2016. June home sales were 1.4 percent higher than June 2016, which was previously the month with the most home sales in the nine-year history of the report.

The combination of increased sales and a record low inventory that slipped further to 2.8 months resulted in higher sales prices. June’s median sales price of $245,000, up 7.5 percent over last June, also set a RE/MAX National Housing report record. In fact, prices increased in fifty of the report’s fifty-three markets. The average number of Days on Market dropped to a report-record low of 47, while inventory dropped year-over-year in 87 percent of the markets.

“Sellers continue to benefit from limited inventory, getting top-dollar for their homes, and as a result, overall sales are at a record high,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “But buyers shouldn’t be discouraged. Mortgage rates are still relatively low and the market may be taking a positive turn, albeit subtle, as recent Labor Department data showed a decline in open construction jobs which could mean more workers focused on new home builds.”

In June 2017, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $245,000, up 5.6 percent from May 2017 and up 7.5 percent from June 2016. In June 2017, 52 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market. Please click here to download a copy of the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report.

If you would like to sell your Phoenix home or find the perfect home for sale in the West Valley, please contact Lisa Bray. I will be happy to provide a free market analysis of your home, and I am deeply committed to helping you reach your real estate goals on step at a time!

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
Join me on Facebook!

Search the MLS Now!

“Delivering More than Just a Home”

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