10 Reasons to Work with a Local Realtor

1-Local Realtors will know why some homes on the same street are worth more than others.

2-They can determine accurate prices on specific homes in the neighborhood.

3-They may know who previously owned homes in the neighborhood, and why they sold them.

4-They know which streets in a neighborhood are more desirable than others.

5-They know the listing agents in the area and can negotiate with them and get the inside information.

6-They can advise you on which agents take overpriced listings and which take listings at market value.

7-They can refer you to local home inspectors, and they know if there are any inspections that should be performed that are specific to the area.

8-They know about homeowners associations that may be in the neighborhood, and what their rules and regulations are.

9-They know what attributes a buyer in that neighborhood should be seeking.

10-They know what you need to know before you even have to ask!

Understanding Title Insurance

Title insurance is a mortgage term we’ve all heard when buying real a house, but what exactly is it?  Why is it necessary?

Simply explained, title insurance is another form of insurance for your home.  Just as flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance protects against loss from theft or fire or floods, title insurance protects the title to your home from financial hazards.  When you purchase a home, you’re not purchasing the actual land or the building, you are actually purchasing the title to the property (i.e., the right to use and occupy the property).

The title to the property you intend to purchase may already be affected by claims or rights filed by others, and these claims may limit your use of the property and may even cause financial loss.   Therefore, by purchasing title insurance you are authorizing a search of public land records surrounding the property you intend to purchase.  A title agency typically will conduct this search and will look for any evidence of issues surrounding the title.  For example, there may be a lien against the property due to the seller’s unpaid taxes, pending legal action against the property, or an unknown heir of a previous owner who claims ownership of the property.   Being aware of these issues will enable you to require these issues to be addressed before you take title to the property.

Purchasing title insurance will protect against these hazards and defects that may exist in the title and is purchased at one time, instead of annually.   Even though this is a short summary of title insurance, we hope this has shed some light on a common part of a real estate transaction.

Every transaction is different, and while I’m unable to give legal, tax, or accounting advice, I look forward to helping you navigate your own process with ease and clarity.

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Holiday Celebrations During Covid-19

christmas cookiesThe year 2020 has been quite unusual. The Covid-19 global pandemic disrupted summer vacation, traditional school year starts and now the fall and winter holidays. For the first time in history, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for Americans to safely celebrate the holidays.

Everyday Tips

Wash your hands often and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The CDC says this should be done after someone has been in a public place, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will also work.

The CDC encourages everyone to continue wearing cloth masks in public and to continue practicing social distancing. It recommends everyone to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with.

Food and Drink Safety Tips

As of now, there is no evidence that suggests handling food or eating is associated with spreading the coronavirus. However, it could spread if someone touches a surface or object, including food, food packaging or utensils where respiratory droplets have landed then they touch their face, nose or mouth.

Holiday Gatherings

Officials suggest celebrating virtually or only with family members, which poses only a low risk of spreading the virus. People who shouldn’t attend a holiday gathering this year include those with or exposed to the coronavirus and people who have an increased risk for severe illness.

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, the CDC asks that people consider the following steps to keep everyone safe:
Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities
Try and limit guests to just people in the local area
Limit the number of guests as much as possible
Encourage guests to wear masks and use hand sanitizer
Limit people around the food preparation area
Wear a mask while preparing food or serving others
Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items
Avoid any self-serve food or drink options

The CDC also encourages guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. It recommends keeping music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.

If someone develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive after a gathering, they should immediately contact the host and others that attended the event.

Donate to Those in Need

This holiday season donations are especially crucial as many people have lost loved ones or are experiencing financial hardships. Consider volunteering your time or donating money to an organization or charity that’s meaningful to you in lieu of having a big holiday gift. You can also donate your time by checking in on elderly neighbors and offering to run their errands.

However you choose to celebrate, I wish you a happy and HEALTHY holiday season! -Elise

Featured Home in Sonoran Foothills

Gorgeous home with tons of on-trend features and breathtaking mountain views! The gourmet eat-in kitchen incorporates soft-close OakCraft cabinetry, lazy Susan, granite counters, glass tile backsplash, large island with breakfast bar, GE Monogram stainless appliances, gas cooktop, and double wall ovens. Other features include 12×24 ceramic tile flooring, wood-look laminate flooring, open great room with patio exit, spacious upstairs loft, 2 car garage, gas hot water heater, and a covered back patio with pavers and faux grass. The master suite incorporates a private balcony with mountain views, walk-in closet with built-ins, and a luxurious bathroom with dual sinks, granite counters, and a large walk-in shower with dual heads and a seating bench. Take advantage of the excellent community features including secure gated entry, multiple gas grills, green grass lawns, several seating areas, and a sparkling heated spa and pool for year-round entertainment!

CLICK HERE for additional information and photos. 

Call or text me today to schedule your private showing! 602-329-7782

5 Most Common Mistakes When Home Shopping

arizona homes for saleWhen you’re looking for a new home, it’s easy to fall into some of the mistakes many other homebuyers just like you have made countless times before. If it’s your first time buying a home, the risk of making a mistake is a lot higher, but even old pros who have been through the routine a few times already may hit a pitfall without even realizing it. It’s important to know what you’re up against when you’re going shopping for a house, and it’s especially a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes made by people in your position.

#1 Unrealistic Budget  This is probably the worst and most common mistake made by homebuyers. If you don’t know how much you can spend on your home, you’re going to be in a bad situation from the very beginning.  Start with getting pre-qualified with a lender and communicate with your realtor clearly that you cannot go over this price. In a best-case scenario, you’ll have to find another home when you try to qualify for a loan you can’t afford. And in a worst-case scenario, you’ll end up buying a home you can’t pay for and will have a lot of financial trouble down the line.

#2 Pickiness  Being too picky may mean you’ll never find the right home. If you have a specific budget, you can’t be so choosy that you turn down every home that doesn’t meet every item on your checklist. Prioritize a few items that are most important to you (no major renovations needed, big backyard, located in town) and leave off the ones that you can live without (updated bathroom, fence around the yard, already landscaped).

#3 Forgetting Expenses  Don’t forget that the cost of the home isn’t the only expense you’ll have at closing. Closing costs, taxes, and a host of other expenses will come your way. If this is your first home, you’ll also need to factor in home insurance; if you’ve already been owning a home, this may be an expense you’re used to.

#4 Emotional Investment  It’s hard not to get attached to a home you feel is perfect for you, but the truth is that you’re probably not going to get the first home you fall in love with. Try not to get emotionally attached to a home until you’ve signed the contract.

#5 Ignoring Home Inspections  Some buyers just ignore what the home inspection says and only have one done because it’s required, either by the law in their state or by the contract they have. It’s always a good idea to pay close attention to what the inspection tells you so you can decide whether or not to progress with the purchase.

When you are ready to search for your next home I can connect you with a trusted lender that fits your needs and budget. Call me today! 602-329-7782

2020 WM Phoenix Open

golfNicknamed “The Greatest Show on Grass,” The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale has no problem living up to its name. The tournament is the PGA TOUR’s best attended event with nearly 500,000 energized spectators each year. Unlike any other tournament in the world, spectators become central to the event by helping to transform the famous 16th hole into “The Coliseum”-the loudest hole in golf! Formerly known as The Phoenix Open and The FBR Open, the event has been hosted by TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course since 1987. The annual tournament held in North Scottsdale benefits The Phoenix Thunderbirds and helps to generate millions of dollars in donations for the most deserving organizations in the area.

TICKET PRICES:
Monday-Tuesday
FREE
General Admission Only

Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday
$45
General Admission Single Daily Ticket

Friday & Saturday
$60
General Admission Single Daily Ticket

Weekly Sponsor Package
$450

-Monday and Tuesday FREE Admission courtesy of Ford Free Days.
-Ages 15 and under are FREE all week when accompanied by an adult.
-Weekly Sponsor Package includes 4 Sponsor badges (good all week for tournament admission) and 1 reserved parking pass good all week

For more information, visit: wmphoenixopen.com

Would you like a home with a golf course view? Call me today to begin your search in the many golf course communities throughout the Valley of the Sun! 602-329-7782

Rattlesnake Safety

snakeDid you know that from April through October, rattlesnakes can be found anywhere from hiking trails to city streets? There are 13 different types of rattlesnakes slithering throughout Arizona, so it’s important for everyone to know what to do when crossing paths with a snake. While snakes aren’t looking to cause trouble, people still must use extreme caution when they come across a rattlesnake. A snakebite has enough venom to cause serious injury or even death. Most snakebite victims have to spend at least two to three days in a hospital and spend weeks rehabilitating the area around the bite in order to regain full range of motion and muscle functionality.

Valley fire departments offer these tips for making your property less hospitable to snakes:

-Eliminate rodents (a snake’s preferred food) from around your home.
-Remove wood piles and junk from your yard to eliminate potential homes for snakes and their prey.
-Walls deter snakes from entering your yard. Solid walls 4 feet high with a four-inch lip angling outward will discourage most snakes. Sink the bottom of the wall well into the ground.
-Install gates snugly against the ground.
-Keep walkways clear of brush.
-Light pathways around your home.

Tips to keep safe when rattlesnake activity is at its peak:

-Stay on the trails. Rattlesnakes are more likely to be found in places with better opportunity to hunt, hide, and stay out of trouble.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Watch your step. Texting while walking has resulted in at least one bite that we know of, and head phones will keep the natural warning system from working.
-If you have a dog, keep it on a leash. Have the dog vaccinated for rattlesnake bites, and have it trained if it’s available in your area.
-If you encounter a snake, take a step (or two or three!) back. Snakes can only strike at a distance of one-third of their full body length, thus a three-foot snake has an effective strike range of 12 inches. The average human stride is 36 inches, so a step back will quickly put you out of harms way. If those seem to be obvious, it’s because they absolutely are. Rattlesnakes are simply not a threat to those who don’t go looking for it. Staying safe is just a matter of knowing better, and if you didn’t before, now you do.

For more information or to speak to a snakebite expert, call the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center’s free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Memorial Day Events 2019

American FlagEven though summer may not officially begin until June 21st, Memorial Day weekend traditionally signifies the start of that season. Memorial Day has become a day for picnics, pool parties and the start of summer vacations, but it’s important to remember the holiday has somber roots. Memorial Day was first held on May 30th, 1868, to honor those lost during the Civil War.  After the United States’ involvement in World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor all killed in any US war. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, this moved the observance of Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday in May. That law took effect in 1971. Here are some events and activities in Phoenix dedicated to honoring those who we have lost.

Day of Remembrance in Anthem
The Daisy Mountain Veterans and Anthem Community Council host this ceremony at the Anthem Veterans Memorial. Ceremony includes speakers, music and a POW/MIA ceremony. Roses will be placed on the pavers of those who were killed in action. Ceremony concludes with playing of “Taps.”

Details: 9am Monday, May 27th. Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. Free. onlineatanthem.com

Memorial Day with Pioneers’ Cemetery Association
The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association presents its annual Memorial Day observance with Marty Manning as master of ceremonies. Free public parking available at Wesley Bolin Plaza. After the ceremony, tour the cemeteries and visit the historic Smurthwaite House.

Details: 9am Monday, May 27th. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street, Phoenix. Free. azhistcemeteries.org

Blue Star Museums Initiative
The Heard Museum is part of this program which offers free admission for active-duty military personnel and their families from May 27th through Labor Day, September 2nd. That includes active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.

Details: 9:30am-5pm Mondays-Saturdays; 11am-5pm Sundays. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Free to those eligible members; $7.50-$18 for others. heard.org

Best of Zillow

I’m so excited to share that I have achieved the Best of Zillow status! It’s the highest mark of distinction they award. The Best of Zillow badge is awarded to realtors who are among the top 10% of all Zillow Premier Agents. These ratings come directly from customer, so I want to say “thank you” to all my customers who have rated me 5-Stars!

Best of Zillow

Easter Brunch

Easter BasketWith so many Easter brunches around the valley, how do you choose? Here are a few of my favorite restaurants for brunch!

Southern Rail
 – 300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix

Devour chef Justin Beckett’s beloved brunch at Southern Rail from 10am to 3pm on Easter Sunday. Go for the fried green tomato Benedict with tomato jam, sweet potato hash with a soft-boiled egg, or bread pudding French toast with bourbon sauce. Bottles of Arizona wine will be half-price all day. Call 602-200-0085 to make a reservation.

Urban Margarita – 6685 West Beardsley Road, #180, Glendale

Celebrate Easter with festivities at Urban Margarita. In addition to regular brunch items like enchiladas and eggs ($13.89) and Frosted Flakes French toast ($10.89), the restaurant is featuring crab and lobster Benedict ($15) and bananas foster french toast ($12). Treat yourself to a Bellini in flavors like peach, mango, and raspberry, or go for a tried-and-true mimosa; either drink will run you $4. Call 623-561-6674 to make a reservation.

Wright’s at the Biltmore – 
2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix

Enjoy an extravagant Easter brunch buffet at Wright’s at the Biltmore from from 9am to 2:30pm. Standout menu items include wild berry-ginger pancakes, prickly pear barbecue-glazed ham, and a sweet-glazed doughnut wall. Chef-manned stations offer up everything from made-to-order omelettes to vanilla waffle ice cream. Arrive at the resort early to join in the annual Easter egg hunt at 8:30am on the Squaw Peak Lawn, with plenty of festivities for children. Brunch costs $105 for adults and $45 for children ages 5 to 12. Call 602-954-2507 make a reservation.

Once you have finished your Easter Egg hunt and you are ready to hunt for your next home, give me a call! 602-329-7762