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Essential Tips for Buying a Home in Arizona

Essential Tips for Buying a Home in Arizona

Real estate markets vary from state to state, so it’s very important that you do your research if you are moving out of state. Knowing about local market nuances ahead of time will help you understand what to expect as a homeowner in your new state.

Additionally, finding your perfect home will be much easier once you have a better understanding of the state and its cities. If you’re working with a local realtor, this will also help him or her show you homes that align with what you are looking for.

Because I grew up in the wonderful state of Arizona and I’ve been a realtor here for many years, I understand what Arizona homebuyers need to know and how they can make the most of their home search. I love sharing these insights because I want new residents to enjoy Arizona living as much as I do. If you don’t currently live in Arizona and are planning on moving here, below are five tips you should know and leverage.

Buy a Home During the Summer Months

The Phoenix metropolitan is referred to as the Valley of the Sun, and for good reason: the region is known for its hot summers and sunny weather. Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage – especially during the summer time.

From May to September, Arizona’s population decreases as residents go on vacation and snowbirds travel back to their cooler homes. More realtors and moving services become available as result, which is great news for those who are in the market for a new house. Additionally, you will experience less competition from other homebuyers because fewer people will be searching for homes during this time. You may even be able to get your dream home at an unbelievable price.

Look For a Heatproof Home

Just because you should search in the heat of summer doesn’t mean you need to buy a hot house. In fact, by searching for a home in the summer, you can ensure that the home you buy can really handle the heat. If the realtor is taking good care of the house, it should be properly cooled during the showing. This will allow you to ensure that the central air is working efficiently.

You should also check the house for ceiling fans and dual-pane windows. Ceiling fans help circulate cool air from the air conditioner, making it easier to cool the whole house. Dual-pane windows prevent excessive heat transfer from the outside. Thick, sturdy blinds on windows are also a very beneficial and convenient feature in Arizona homes.

Additionally, if you are searching for a condo in Arizona, consider looking for ones that come with a garage that can easily fit your car. You car needs extra protection in Arizona because the summer here is much longer compared to other regions. Temperatures averaging in the 90s start in May and last through September, with heat waves into the 90s common in many other months as well. The more shade you can give your car, the better your car will fare.

Consider The Down Payment Assistance Program

Fortunately, Arizona makes it possible for people to buy a home even if they don’t have a down payment. Those who don’t yet have a down payment saved up can apply for the HOME Plus home loan program through the Arizona Department of Housing. HOME Plus loans are 30-year fixed-rate loans that cover a percentage of the down payment for people who meet specific credit and income criteria. Applicants can have incomes as high as $92,984, so this program certainly isn’t limited to only those with low incomes.

Hire Local Movers

When you do eventually find that fantastic home, let movers do the work for you. If you can comfortably afford movers, there’s no reason why you should take it upon yourself to haul boxes back and forth in summer weather. Even if the heat seems bearable at first, it can catch up with you suddenly and even cause heat stroke. Let local movers who know how to handle the heat carry everything so that you can stay cool and safe.

Work with a Trusted Realtor

Realtors work in your interest to find the best deals for you and to protect you from unscrupulous sellers. As a licensed Realtor, I follow the National Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics and can translate ‘‘real-estate-ese’’ for you so that you fully understand what you’re buying and signing.I know Arizona’s real estate market inside and out, and I understand what every Arizona city has to offer. Whether you want to buy a home in Scottsdale, Arcadia or another part of the Valley, contact me so that we can discuss your need. The Phoenix metropolitan area is booming and continues to grow – it’s time for you to be part of it!

 

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6 of the Latest Design Trends in Luxury Homes

6 of the Latest Design Trends in Luxury Homes

There are many benefits to buying a luxury home these days aside from the obvious aesthetics. If you really take a look at some of the latest affluent home trends and upgrades, you will understand the core benefits of having access to such modern and luxurious advancements. I specialize in selling million dollar homes, so I am quite familiar with the current features that make luxury homes so spectacular.

Consider me your concierge of luxury Arizona living as I walk you through these six modern home design trends.

Upgraded Kitchen & Appliances

Innovative new homes now offer kitchens with considerably more counter space, including dramatically larger islands. This is ideal for large gatherings where you may have more than one cook in the kitchen. Everyone can set up their space comfortably, with plenty of elbowroom, even if they are only watching the kitchen magicians in action.

You will also find that Arizona mansions and luxury homes come equipped with advanced refrigerators that signal you when food is about to expire. They will also let you know when you are running low on an item that needs be replaced. What’s more, they may even go as far as to order it online for you!

Luxurious Amenities

An exciting part of the modern luxury home is the assortment of bells and whistles you get to enjoy. Great examples include chilled glass-enclosed wine rooms to display your favorite bottles, a theater room and outdoor kitchenette for entertaining, private transformable sports amenities, a workout room or a sparkling pool.

Bathrooms are likely to feature touchless restroom fixtures, steam showers, body jets, heated toilet seats and electric bidets. These elements will surely make you feel like you’re on vacation at a 5-star hotel every day.

Unique Design Elements

Especially exquisite is the new trend that consists of an expansive single-story layout instead of a multi-level design. This allows for additional space throughout the home, including an enormous multi-car garage.

You will also encounter modular multi-purpose areas that can easily be adjusted using collapsible window walls. These well-designed dividers are developed with the ability to alter the indoor-outdoor boundary of the home as you please.

Another popular interior design element you will find that is prominent throughout updated homes is mixed-metal fixtures. The variety in textures and tones adds a touch of class that is subtle and unexpected.

Enhanced Security Features

Newly advanced security systems are just the update you need to feel safe and sound in your luxury home. Infrared exterior cameras are now a common component that strengthens the safeguards against potential break-ins by implementing night vision capabilities. Another example is fingerprint recognition, which is used to protect locked safes, vaults and private areas.

There are even new systems that douse intruders with pepper spray when certain sensors are tripped. Blast films have been added to windows to make them more difficult to penetrate. This all makes it very difficult for any unwanted individuals to forcefully enter the home, which allows you to have immense peace of mind as you fall asleep in your luxury home.

Smart-home Technologies

Automation features are key in modern homes. Many updated residencies contain LED wall pads that are used to conveniently control lights, shades and temperatures. Voice activation abilities create a lifestyle of ease with cutting-edge voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Home, which make entertaining so much more smooth and carefree.

Thanks to these technological advancements, making yourself and others feel more at home is easier and more convenient than ever.

Spacious Walk-in Closets

Although large walk-in closets are a well-known feature of larger homes, you will find that master closets in luxury homes are even more lavish. Islands are a welcomed addition to the private closet area, constructed with drawers, cubbies, mirrors and more. These new and ingenious closet islands solidify the high-end touch by transforming a once-dark storage area into an additional room fitted with lounge chairs, speakers and more.

Regardless of the glamorous features that today’s new homes offer, you should make sure it is unique to your personal taste. The architecture, design, tones and textures of the home should make you feel comfortably connected to its walls. Every single detail contributes to the incredible classiness of the entire home.

If you want assistance with finding your ideal luxury home in Arizona, I can certainly help. Contact me so that we can discuss your requirements and my current listings!

 

 

 

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The Cost of Living in Scottsdale, AZ: What New Residents Should Know

The Cost of Living in Scottsdale, AZ: What New Residents Should Know

With a population just shy of 250,000 residents, Scottsdale is a popular destination in Arizona. Families, retirees and celebrities move from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful desert landscapes, renowned nightlife and thriving dining scene.

Scottsdale also boasts luxury homes and extravagant amenities – making it one of the most luxurious cities in Arizona. Of course, these features come at a price, but those who can afford Scottsdale living know that it is worth every penny. Moreover, even though Scottsdale is known for being of the most expensive cities in Arizona, it is still one of the most affordable luxurious cities in the country. Needless to say, Scottsdale is a hidden gem for established professionals and affluent families.

To help you gain more insight into the cost of living in Scottsdale, I’ve provided some valuable details about common Scottsdale amenities below.

Goods and Services

There are numerous items and services we all need to purchase on an everyday basis. Fortunately, even though Scottsdale is a rather upscale city, pricing for basic goods is typically not above average. Whether you need to purchase paper towels, toothpaste, or other common household items, you will be able to find them at a fair price in most Scottsdale stores. Additionally, the vast majority of these stores carry numerous brands, which means you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for.

However, when it comes to supplementary goods such as clothes, jewelry and cars, expect to pay more than residents in other Arizona cities. This is due to the fact that Scottsdale mainly carries high-end brands, stores, boutiques and vehicles, so homeowners are paying extra for the superior quality they are receiving. This same is true for Scottsdale’s services, as the city contains many top-tier salons, tailors, spas and hotels.

Groceries

 

If you like to make home cooked meals without overspending, Scottsdale is a great place to live. This wonderful Arizona city gives residents a variety of grocery stores to choose from, which ensures you will find a grocer that meets your budget and personal dietary preferences. Additionally, most grocery stores in Scottsdale are very welcoming and well kept.

If you are looking for a basic grocery store with great deals and prices, you can frequent a Fry’s Food and Drug store or Safeway store in the area. Because there are several scattered throughout the city, you won’t need to drive far and can reserve your gas money. If you prefer smaller grocery stores that carry more unique and healthier options, there are Trader Joe’s and AJ’s Fine Foods stores in the area as well. Best of all, you can find several farmers markets around town offering fresh, local produce at fair prices.

Health Care

According to the PayScale Cost of Living Calculator, Scottsdale’s healthcare costs are only 3 percent above the national average. Yet it is considered one of the less-expensive places to receive medical care when compared to other major cities. For example, PayScale data reports that Scottsdale healthcare costs are 5 percent lower than costs in San Diego.

A few examples of healthcare prices in Scottsdale that are lower than the national average include general care consultations, vision care and medication costs. The exception is dental care, which does tend to cost more in Scottsdale, according to data shared on the Movoto Real Estate website. However, most Scottsdale dentists are very established and experienced, so they are able to provide residents with superior treatment and care.

Housing

Homes in Scottsdale can be expensive, but considering the high-appeal standards of the city, the average values fair well when compared to major cities nationwide. For example, Zillow reports that the average Scottsdale home sells for around $438,000, while the average Los Angeles home sells for around $753,000.

However, many Scottsdale homes exceed this average price by a large margin because they are considered luxury homes. In other words, they feature extravagant amenities such as wine cellars, remote-controlled curtains, resort-style pools and spectacular views. Luxury homes can dramatically improve a homeowner’s quality of life, making their high prices well deserved.

When you consider real estate and economic trends, it’s clear that buying one of these homes could be a wise investment for your future. Scottsdale home prices have increased by at least 5 percent in the last fives years, and the market continues to push values upward. Knowing this, new Scottsdale homeowners can expect their home’s value to increase by the time they are ready to sell.

Transportation

Most Scottsdale residents own at least one car, and they rely on this vehicle as their primary method of transportation. If you own a car and plan on using it to navigate through Scottsdale, AAA Newsroom reports that you can expect the annual cost to run you somewhere between $6,700-$10,600 per year, depending on the size of the vehicle. This includes gas, maintenance, insurance, and registration.

Although the gas prices in Scottsdale don’t veer far from the national average, other motor vehicle maintenances costs are quite lower. According to Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive, “The average cost of simple maintenance and repairs breaks down to about $80 a month.” Moreover, most Scottsdale car repair shops have a fantastic reputation for being honest and helpful, so these prices are certainly a steal.

If you don’t currently own a car, or if you plan on selling your car before moving, public transportation is another option for getting around Scottsdale. The most convenient and comfortable methods of public transportation in Scottsdale are driving apps like Uber or Lyft. Due to their practicality and safety, residents often use these apps when attending special weekend events.

Utilities

Water, gas, power and Internet service are simply must-haves no matter where you live in Arizona. Of course, most of these bills will vary based on how much you use and how large your home is, but 2014 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average electric bill in Arizona is $120.51. Regarding Internet, Scottsdale is home to numerous providers whose costs vary quite dramatically. You will quickly learn that sometimes it is worth paying a bit more for consistent and reliable service. This applies to cable providers as well.

Although the cost of living in Scottsdale is higher than some Arizona cities, it is only the fourth highest in the state. Scottsdale is an upscale community with enhanced safety, top-tier amenities, clean neighborhoods and marginally cooler temperatures. With that in mind, living in Scottsdale will noticeably enhance your everyday life. Contact me at your convenience if you are interested in relocating to Scottsdale. I would be happy to show you around!