Phoenix Property Management Blog

When should you start looking for a house to rent?

Metropolitan Real Estate - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

When is the best time to start looking for a rental? 

Leasing as many homes as I have (on both sides of the transaction) I can tell you that there are a lot of steps to finding your new home but none of them are very complicated. I have worked with all types of people, from the ones that are looking 6 months in advance, to the people that need a place tomorrow. While there is no perfect way to do it for everyone, this is my recommendation. 

2 Months Out 

To start your planning process, first things first, figure out what you can afford. Companies vary, but a good rule of thumb is that your gross household income should be 3 times the amount of rent. So if you want a $1500 a month home, you should be bringing in around $4500 a month. After figuring out what your household can afford, you need to determine what you are looking for. Talk with your Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Partner, Roommate, Spouse... What part of town do you want to live in?  How many bedrooms?  How many bathrooms? Apartment? House?  Downtown or suburbs? Sky rise or first floor? Yard or balcony? Are there any deal breakers? My current roommate absolutely refuses to live in a place that has carpet, I could care less. The list of questions goes on and on but if you are living with this person I hope you know at least a little about their likes and wants. Also consider proximity to work, school, traffic, airport, and what type of neighborhood you want to be in. Most websites like ours at www.findahouse4rent.com have an interactive map you can use to find a place. 

6 Weeks out

By now you should know what part of town, and how much you can afford. Start looking for deals in the area and how much things are going for. Start figuring out how much house you can get within your budget. One time I came across a deal where they said if you looked and leased within 24 hours, the first month and a half were free. So I did it and was able to take my time moving. Don’t forget that many places charge rental tax; find out if that is built into the rent, or on top of the rent. 

4 Weeks out 

Now it’s time to get serious, most places will only hold a place for a maximum of 30 days. With that being said, sometimes you need to put down an earnest deposit to hold the home for you. If something should come up and you can’t move in, you may lose that money. Be sure that is the place you want before applying for it. I always drive by a place I like 3 times minimum. Once in the morning when I would be on my way to work to check traffic same thing one day after work and once on the weekends. When I was young, I got stuck living in an apartment community that had 17 buildings. It was a beautiful community -  it looked like the set of a Swiss town with a windmill and everything. Unfortunately, these 17 buildings all used the same entry and exit, so it took me up to 45 minutes to get out of there weekday mornings. It seemed that everyone in the complex worked at the exact same time.

2 Weeks out 

You found it! You found the perfect place for your life, it is the perfect size, price, location, and has everything you could possibly need. Now it’s time to apply for the home. The more info you have readily available the faster this process will take. They need to verify your income, easiest way to do this is with pay stubs, at least the past month. If you are just starting a job in the area get an offer letter on company letter head with someone they can contact to verify saying something like “We are excited to offer you a position as a …… making ……..  per year/month/hour, starting…..” The other most important thing is rental history. This can be tricky for younger people or people that like to move. If you can provide a letter from your previous landlord, or even better if you were able to pay rent online you should be able to download a transaction history from your landlord and submit that. 

Most companies can take between a few days, up to 2 weeks to get approval, so the more info you can give them right away the faster the process will be.  

One week out 

By now you have been approved, you have a move in date and you are ready to go. You should be packing up the old place getting everything ready, bribing your friends with pizza and beer to help you move, or getting a company lined up to do it for you. Try to overlap your places for a few days if you are moving in town so you’re not rushed and you can take your time to clean and get the most of back from your deposit and you aren’t stressing. 

This is obviously in a perfect world, and we all know that that can’t always be the case. 

Keep an eye out for my next few blogs on emergency relocating and getting in a place in a few days, and how to get the maximum of your deposit back at www.metrowb.com 

 

Christopher A. Tong 

Findahouse4rent Receives 2018 Phoenix Award

Metropolitan Real Estate - Thursday, December 27, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Findahouse4rent Receives 2018 Phoenix Award


Phoenix Award Program Honors the Achievement


PHOENIX December 20, 2018 -- Findahouse4rent has been selected for the 2018 Phoenix Award in the Real Estate Rental Services category by the Phoenix Award Program.
Each year, the Phoenix Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Phoenix area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Phoenix Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Phoenix Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Phoenix Award Program
The Phoenix Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Phoenix area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Phoenix Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Phoenix Award Program

CONTACT:
Phoenix Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@city-recognition.com
URL: http://www.city-recognition.com

Phoenix Home Seller's Guide

Metropolitan Real Estate - Monday, October 29, 2018


Phoenix Home Seller's Guide


Step 1: Decide to Sell

When you sell, you want to get as much value as you can for your home. So you might want to consider the timing of the sale because it definitely has an effect on the value. You want to sell when it’s a “seller’s market,” when not many homes are for sale and there are buyers ready. Seasonality is something to consider as well because typically more homes are sold in the spring rather than the winter.


You can also increase the value by enhancing the appeal of your house. There are various ways to do this and it all depends on the amount of monetary resources available. You can renovate your house by updating an area or just freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint.


Even just keeping your front lawn tidy can make a big difference. Buyers love seeing green grass and flowers outside because it feels more warm and inviting to them.

Home inspections are also something that you can do to prove the value of your home. Buyers will usually ask for a home inspection, so if you do it ahead of time it will definitely impress them. It also gives you a chance to prevent unpleasant surprises and make any major repairs.


Now you’re ready for the for sale sign!


Step 2: Hire an Agent

There are thousands of real estate agents, so how do you choose one that’s right for you?


You have to pick carefully. They will be acting as your representative and you will need someone to look out for your best interests. You will need someone that you can trust and someone who understands what you want.


There are a few ways to look for your perfect Realtor:

  • Jot down some names and numbers that you find on “For Sale” signs
  • Ask friends and family for a recommendation
  • Visit one of the local offices in your area


They have to be a trained professional who knows your area inside out. A great agent is someone who offers you quality services to help you accomplish your goal.


Step 3: List your Home

Now that you’ve found the perfect real estate agent, they will list your home. First they will value your house and set a price. A report on market data will be complied to properly value your home based on the prices in your area.


Once they’ve done that the agent will market your home through various media outlets and listing sites to create strong buyer interest. They can post on Multiple Listing Service (MLS), social media, blogs, and websites.


There will be open house appointments as well to showcase the potential of your home to various individuals. At this point, Realtors may also suggest to stage the home to help these individuals imagine themselves living in your house.


Step 4: Receive an Offer

Not all offers are equal and that’s where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you get to know the terms and conditions regarding the price that the buyer wants to pay, financing conditions, or other things like inclusions and exclusions that the buyer wants to make.


Not only is it about the price of the home, but you have to carefully look at the other details included in the sale. Appliances, chandeliers, or even minor renovations can also be part of the deal. Shorter or longer closing dates can also be specified by the buyer.

If there is something in the offer that doesn’t satisfy you, counter offers or negotiations can also be presented to help get you what you want.


Step 5: Close the Sale

There will be closing costs associated with the sale that need to be paid either by or on the closing date. It can include mortgage application fees, inspections, and legal fees. But once that’s taken care of, you can pass your old keys to the new owners. Congrats!

You’ve officially sold your house!


Is now the time to invest in Real Estate?

Metropolitan Real Estate - Friday, October 26, 2018

Hey Everyone, 


The winds might be changing.


We have all been watching the housing prices climb but it seems that we may be reaching a price cap.


June is the last month we have complete numbers for and 14% of all listings had a price cut. At the end of 2016 there was a low of 11.7%.


A buyers’ market is imminent based on several other statistics, and this could be the ideal time to invest. 


Also in June, we saw the housing demand decline more than it has in over 2 years by 9.6%. 


Home tour requests have fallen by 6.1% and I am not surprised the number of people submitting mortgage applications to purchase a home has fallen as well. 


A couple of things are going on here, the first is rising mortgage rates, over the past year we have been seeing them climb. But also, we have been seeing the houses become less and less affordable because both the home prices and mortgage rates have been climbing. I doubt that with this impending buyers’ market that it will be quick. It could last a while. 


Let’s take a moment and look at the homebuilder’s sentiment, it has fallen to its lowest point in almost a year. It seems due in large part to what we mentioned above, the home builders are losing confidence in what they do.
 But what does this mean for you? 


If you are looking to buy this is great news! You will have more to choose from, less competition, and it will be more affordable! 


You can already see this in some areas of the greater Phoenix Market, multiple homes have already come up for sale at very reasonable prices. If you want to see it for yourself Click Here to see all of the available listed homes in the Greater Phoenix Area for sale. 


If you have been thinking about investing in real estate, this could be a perfect time for you. You have the ability to negotiate down the price of homes and get it locked in before mortgage rates become too high. You can rent out the house 1 year, 5 years, 20 years and see a very nice return and generate that passive income. 


But what if you have been thinking of selling your home? This means it is time to act! Your best bet to get top price is to act now, before the market turns. Give us a call if you want to see what your home is worth. 


If you have ever thought about buying a house for yourself, or investing, give us a call as we have over 70 years’ experience in the Phoenix market and can help set you up for success!


Phoenix Home Buyer’s Guide

Metropolitan Real Estate - Friday, October 26, 2018

Phoenix Home Buyer’s Guide


Step 1: Decide to Buy

Before you even go looking for a home, you have to understand your needs and this guide makes it easy. Think about the type of place you’re looking for. Are you looking for a lot of bedrooms and washrooms for your family? Do you want a pool in the backyard? Do you want to live close to a school or a mall? These are just some of the things you have to consider before start looking for a new home.


You also have to familiarize yourself with different types of ownership as well to help narrow down the perfect home. Freehold is when it’s all yours, a condo is when you take care of the inside and pay your fees to an association, and co-op is similar to a condo but you rent a unit in the building and pay maintenance and repair fees.


Once you have narrowed down some qualities, its time to go looking for a home!


Step 2: Hire an Agent

There are thousands of real estate agents how do you choose one that’s right for you?


You have to pick carefully. They will be acting as your representative and you will need someone to look out for your best interests. You will need someone that you can trust and someone who understands what you want.


There are a few ways to look for your perfect Realtor, such as:

  • Jot down some names and numbers that you find on “For Sale” signs
  • Ask friends and family for a recommendation
  • Visit one of the local offices in your area


They have to be a trained professional who knows your area inside out. A great agent is someone who offers you quality services to help you accomplish your goal.


Step 3: Find your Home

There are many ways of finding that dream home! First, before you go shopping you have to make sure you are also financially ready. Make sure to have a budget when you go shopping.


One thing to keep in mind is your down payments. This is a percentage of the total cost of a home that you’ll need to pay. The more money you put down, the more you’ll save on monthly payments and cost of borrowing. Another important aspect is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. When the lender approves you for a mortgage, it gives you an idea of how much you can afford to buy your new house.


Keeping these things in mind, you are free to go window shopping! You can go searching for houses according to the different neighbourhood surrounding you, check newspaper listings, websites, or even drop by any open houses that are being held in your area. Looking for houses can be really fun and exciting! You can browse listings using the smart listings search on my website, here.


Step 4: Make an Offer Now

Now that you’ve found the house that you are set on, it’s time to make an offer. Not all offers are the same and here’s where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you with specific terms and conditions that will be specified in the offer like the price you want to pay, financing conditions, or other things like inclusions and exclusions.


Not only is it about the price of the house but you have to carefully look at the other details included in this sale. Appliances, chandeliers, or even minor renovations can also be part of the deal. Shorter or longer closing dates can also be specified in the offer.


If there is something in the offer that doesn’t satisfy the seller, counter offers or negotiations can also be presented to help get a price that you think is fair.


Step 5: Close the Sale

There will be closing costs associated with the sale that need to be paid either by or on the closing date. It can include mortgage application fees, inspections, and legal fees. But once that’s taken care of, you get your new house.


Congrats, welcome to your new home! You’re all ready to move in!


5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

Metropolitan Real Estate - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

                  

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search | MyKCM

               

In today’s real estate market, with low inventory dominating the conversation in many areas of the country, it can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.

In a recent realtor.com article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In

Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.

An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and documenting what you love and don’t love about each property you visit. They even go as far as to suggest snapping a photo of the ‘for sale’ sign on the way into the property to help keep the listings divided in your photo gallery.

Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.

Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move?

Metropolitan Real Estate - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move?

                  

Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move? | MyKCM

               

For a while now baby boomers have been blamed for a portion of the housing market’s current lack of housing inventory, but should they really be getting the blame?

Here’s what some of the experts have to say on the subject:

Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow, says that “Boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations, which means they aren’t yet ready to sell their homes.

According to a study by Realtor.com, 85% of baby boomers indicated they were not planning to sell their homes.

It is true that baby boomers are healthier and are thus working and living longer, but are they also refusing to sell their homes? 

Last month, Trulia looked at the housing situation of seniors (aged 65+) today compared to that of a decade ago. Trulia’s study revealed that:

Although seniors appear to be delaying downsizing until later in life, as a group, households 65 and over are still downsizing at roughly the same rate as in years past.”

Trulia also explains that, 

5.5% of households 65 and over moved, pretty evenly split between moves to single family (2.7%) and multifamily (2.4%) homes. In 2005, these percentages were virtually the same, with 5.5% of senior households moving, including 2.5% into single family and 2.5% into multifamily homes.”

So, if these percentages are the same, what is the challenge?

Recent reports tell us that the older population grew from 3 million in 1900 to 47.8 million in 2017.

In addition, the Census recently revised the numbers from their National Population Projections:

The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history…By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.

Bottom Line

If you are a baby boomer who is not sure whether you should downsize or move to a warmer climate (other people are doing it, why not you?), let’s get together so we can help you evaluate your options today!

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home

Metropolitan Real Estate - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home

                  

Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home | MyKCM

               

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

Buying a home? Do you know the lingo?

Metropolitan Real Estate - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? 

                  

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

               

Some Highlights:

  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process.
  • To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.
  • The best way to ensure that your home-buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate professional who not only puts your family’s needs first, but will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability

Metropolitan Real Estate - Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability

                  

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability | MyKCM

               

We have all seen the headlines that report that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in the last ten years, and those headlines are accurate. But, have you ever wondered why the headlines don’t say the last 25 years, the last 20 years, or even the last 11 years?

The reason is that homes were less affordable 25, 20, or even 11 years ago than they are today.

Obviously, buying a home is more expensive now than during the ten years immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history.

Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) that were selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many distressed properties that the prices of non-distressed properties in the same neighborhoods were lowered and mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Low Prices + Low Mortgage Rates = High Affordability

Prices have since recovered and mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has and will continue to impact housing affordability moving forward.

However, let’s give affordability some historical context. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues their Affordability Index each month. According to NAR:

“The Monthly Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent monthly price and income data.”

NAR’s current index stands at 138.8. The index had been higher each of the last ten years, peaking at 197 in 2012 (the higher the index the more affordable houses are).

But, the average index between 1990 and 2007 was just 123 and there were no years with an index above 133. That means that homes are more affordable today than at any time during the eighteen years between 1990 and 2007.

Bottom Line

With home prices continuing to appreciate and mortgage rates increasing, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is not an attainable goal in most markets as it is less expensive today than during the eighteen-year stretch immediately preceding the housing bubble and crash.


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