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5 Thanksgiving Day Hacks That Will Save You Time

5 Thanksgiving Day Hacks That Will Save You Time

5 Thanksgiving Day hacks that will save you timeThanksgiving is almost here and soon the kitchen will be abuzz with activity, cooking and delicious smells. But for many, the stress of decorating, food prep, and cooking can take away from the true spirit of the holiday; relaxing and being thankful. Managing Thanksgiving dinner takes organization, forethought, and taking on many tasks at once. So here are 5 Thanksgiving Day hacks that’ll save you time in the kitchen.

1.) Put your tots in the dishwasher: When there’s no time to scrub dozens of potato by hand, put them through a rinse cycle in your dishwasher and cook away!

2.) Potato power: Want to make the perfect mashed potatoes that they’ll be talking about for generations to come? Well pop those tots out of the dishwasher and add a little baking soda after you mash them. Thanks to a chemical reaction (yay science!) adding a pinch baking powder to your potatoes can make them fluffier.

3.) Host a potluck: Does the thought of preparing an entire Thanksgiving meal by yourself send you into a panic attack? Go nontraditional and host a potluck. It’s a fun way to make sure the whole group can still get together for some tasty food and there’s guaranteed to be at least one dish that each of your guest will like.

4.) Buffet style serving: If you have a table the size of a matchbox with no room for all your Thanksgiving Day goodies, why not serve Thanksgiving dinner buffet style? Not having to figure out how to fit everything on the table will save you loads of stress, and if everyone’s serving themselves, there’s a chance you may actually get to sit down with a plate of food at some point.

5.) Keep décor simple: There’s no need to stress out and bookmark every Pinterest pin that ever existed to decorate for Thanksgiving, especially when you’re pressed for time. While you’re at the grocery store picking up all the trimmings, just pick up some gourds, apples and other pretty fall produce. Then, cluster them on your table for an elegant Thanksgiving look. A few candles, a tablecloth and one or two accent pieces are all a Thanksgiving table really needs. After all your hard work, the food should be the star.

Whichever of these 5 Thanksgiving Day hacks you decide to use, try not to stress or over plan. This is a holiday ripe with enjoying time with your loved ones and inevitably, something will not go as planned. Just relish the day and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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Little White Lies that Hurt Your Home Buying Chances

Little White Lies that Hurt Your Home Buying Chances

Little White Lies that Hurt Your Home Buying ChancesAt some point in our lives, we’ve probably had to tell a little white lie. And while most of us feel a little fib here and there won’t hurt anything, when it comes to buying a home, honesty is always the best policy. And because obtaining home financing and an affordable mortgage can be a tough process for homebuyers, it’s understandable that some would chose to stretch the truth to work in their favor. Turns out, those small untruths can come back to hurt you and backfire in a major way in your home buying process. Here are little white lies that hurt your home buying chances.

Main Home

Who will occupy the house is the most common white lie when it comes to home buying. A home buyer may tell a lender they are purchasing the home as a primary residence but are in fact planning to rent it out as an investment property. Buyers do this to obtain a lower interest rate and lower down payment as lenders charge a higher interest rates and down payments on investment properties as opposed to primary residences. Lenders consider this stealing money from them by making them take on more risk than they agreed to and if caught, you could lose your home financing.

Income Errors

Obviously how much income you make has a huge impact on qualifying for a home loan. But being dishonest about the amount of money you make can hurt you more than you think. Your lender is going to verify all of the financial information you provide on your application, so if your tax returns, bank statements, W-2 forms, and supporting documents don’t support your income claims, you likely won’t get the loan. It’s best to just be honest and not doctor your statements or fudge the numbers to obtain financing.

Debt Secrets

One of the most important factors to getting approved for a home mortgage is your debt-to-income ratio, which is how much of your income you have to pay out each month to cover all your debts. So some borrowers will fib and hide certain debts on their mortgage application to try to make it look like they owe less than they do. The reason this could blow up in your face is that established creditors report your debt and payment history to the credit reporting agencies which are pulled by your lender. So they will definitely find discrepancies on what you owe versus what you say you owe. Also, when you sign off on a mortgage, one of the things you sign is a statement that the information you’ve provided is accurate to the best of your knowledge. So if the information on your application is not accurate, then that’s mortgage fraud. Penalties for mortgage fraud range as high as thirty years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Little white lies have no place in the home buying process, because altering the facts in any way that affects your cost or ability to get a home loan is likely to hurt your home buying chances. Need help with the home buying process? Contact The Voss Team today and we’ll help you find the right home. And that’s no lie!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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3 Common Home Buying Myths You Need to Drop

3 Common Home Buying Myths You Need to Drop

3 Common Home Buying Myths You Need to DropBuying a home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life, so it pays to know how to separate the truth from the myths. Here are 3 common home buying myths you need to drop!

MYTH #1: You don’t need a real estate agent.

Every once in a while, buyers will get it in their head that the home buying process is an easy do-it-yourself process that will save you more money if you take care of it yourself. The hope is to avoid paying part of the agent’s fee or commission. But managing the real estate investment process on your own is not easily accomplished and can end up costing you more if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Also, REALTORS serve a purpose; they’re experienced in a way the average homebuyer isn’t when it comes to negotiations. More specifically, they can perform a comparative market analysis and set up showings, home inspections, and appraisals. Agents save you time, and we all know time is money.

Myth#2: A 30-year fixed mortgage is the best deal.

Many home buyers believe that 30-year fixed mortgages are not only the best deal but also the only option. Turns out, that’s just not true. If you plan to keep the home for that long then a 30-year fixed mortgage will likely be the best choice for you. However, if you only intend to keep the home for five to seven years, a fixed rate for seven years could be more appropriate. The longer you fix the rate, the higher your interest rate will be so you could be paying a higher rate for nothing if you don’t plan accordingly. Know what you want and how long you plan to keep your home long before you select your mortgage to select the best mortgage plan for you.

Myth #3: A twenty percent down payments are always required.

Many potential home buyers shy away from purchasing an Arizona home for fear of being unable to come up with a twenty percent down payment. And seeing as how not everyone has a down payment stashed in their savings account, many lose countless years saving up for a requirement that may not even be necessary. In fact, depending on your qualifying loan, the down payment can be as little as 3.5 percent, which is the rate for an FHA or even zero percent down for a VA loan. A down payment assistance program may also be an option for Arizona home buyers.

Don’t let these 3 common home buying myths keep you from making smart real estate investments or locating the perfect home for you. If you would like to purchase a Phoenix home, please contact the Voss Team today. We will be happy to assist you with your home search and help you meet your real estate needs.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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Home Sales Slow Amid Strong Prices, Low Inventory

Home Sales Slow Amid Strong Prices, Low Inventory

Home Sales Slow Amid Strong Prices, Low InventorySeptember became the fifth month this year to post a decline in home sales compared to a record-setting 2016, while marking the 71st consecutive month of rising sale prices year-over-year, according to the October RE/MAX National Housing Report. Joining August, July, April and February, September home sales dropped 4.2 percent year-over-year in the report’s monthly analysis of housing data in 54 metro areas. Going in the opposite direction, the Median Sales Price increased to $225,000. Though the lowest price since March, it was 2.3 percent higher than September 2016. The last month when home prices did not increase year-over-year was October 2011.

“We’re not seeing any relief from the nationwide housing shortage as we enter the typically slower fall and winter selling seasons,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “Plain and simple, we need more homes, particularly at the entry-level price point. Until then, it will most likely continue to be a seller’s market with homes going from listed to sold quickly.”

In the wake of Hurricane Irma in early September, Miami saw home sales drop 35.2 percent year-over-year. Houston, meanwhile, posted a 3.2 percent gain despite the impact of Hurricane Harvey in late August. At 3.6, the Months Supply of Inventory was the lowest of any September in the report’s 9-year history. Twenty-three markets are at 3 months or less. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in September 2017, the overall average number of home sales decreased 14.9 percent compared to August 2017 and decreased 4.2 percent compared to September 2016. Download your copy of the October 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report here.

Want to know more about the current real estate market? Click here to download your copy of the October 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a Phoenix home, please contact The Voss Team today.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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3 Halloween Home Safety Tips for a “Spooktacular” and Safe Night

3 Halloween Home Safety Tips for a “Spooktacular” and Safe Night

have a safe and happy halloweenHalloween is the time for little ghosts and goblins to rule the night seeking tricks and treats throughout the neighborhood. It’s even a time that adults can enjoy as well. Because of this increase of traffic on October 31st, it’s important to take precautions so that you and yours can enjoy the evening without anyone getting hurt. Here are 3 Halloween home safety tips for a “spooktacular” and safe night.

1.) Light the way for trick or treaters: Passing out candy this year? Be sure your front yard and walkway are free and clear to avoid tripping hazards. Having your porch light on or well-lit decorations will help it so that every little boy and ghoul can make it to your front door hazard free. And if you’re planning n using real candles inside a jack-o-lantern or to light your walk-way consider safer options. The National Fire Protection Association warns this type of lighting causes a fire hazard to your home. Instead of real candles, opt for LED tea lights or wind a string of orange lights around your front porch.

2.) Protect your pets and partiers: Got a furry friend who normally loves company? On a night filled with masked arrivers and excessive doorbell ringing, all the noise and activity could frighten your favorite feline or Fido and causing them to get underfoot or worse, accidently bite a trick or treater. It’s best to keep your pets safely locked up to keep them and your guests safe.

3.) Indoor safety isn’t scary: If you’re hosting a party or an open haunted house, be sure to check your fire alarms to make sure they’re operating effectively. Also, keep decorations like crepe paper away from carved pumpkins and open flames. The U.S. Fire Administration also recommends making sure any decorative lights you plan to use have sockets, wires and connectors that are in good working order before use.

Have more safety tips? Please feel free to share them on our Facebook page. The Voss Team wishes you and safe and spooktacular Happy Halloween!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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Sell Your Home this Fall with these 3 Helpful Tips

Sell Your Home this Fall with these 3 Helpful Tips

Sell Your Home this FallThere’s something about the drop in temperature and clear, crisp days of the Arizona autumn that makes outdoor activities just that much more enjoyable. Fall is also a wonderful time to sell your home. In fact, fall is the second most popular time to sell homes. Maybe it’s the reinvigorating cooler temperatures of football season or the awesome local events, but buyers seem just that more motivated to close around this time. So if you’re listing your home this season, here are 3 helpful tips to sell your home this fall.

1.) Move-in Ready: When potential buyers are looking to purchase a home this time of year, they typically want to be in their new home before the holidays. Making your home move-in ready helps make that transition just that much easier for your buyer, and can help set you apart from the competition. Taking care of repairs so buyers don’t have to makes a great first impression, so be sure to highlight the upgrades and improvements.

2.) Staging Success: Whether you’ve got a designers eye or hire a professional, the process of staging a home has repeatedly proven to help sellers receive offers more frequently and faster than an un-staged home. Because buyers want to visualize themselves and their possessions in your home, staging help makes that easier for them to do. Clearing clutter and emphasizing the positives your home offers can help sell your home this fall faster than you expect. Don’t be afraid to play with the décor of the season and add some cozy, tasteful accents and colors to help buyers feel a more warm welcome in your space.

3.) Up your Curb Appeal: We all know the Arizona monsoons from summer can do a number on our exteriors leaving behind filthy windows, dust, dirt, debris, and dead plants. Seeing how this doesn’t exactly scream “warm and inviting” it’s in your best interest to make sure the outside of your home looks just as clean and inviting as the inside. Power wash those windows ‘til they shine, rid your landscape of unsightly summer weeds, and make sure you have no burnt out exterior bulbs. A clean home brimming with charming fall curb appeal will take much better listing photos than one without.

If you’re looking to sell your home this fall or looking to buy a home in Phoenix before the holidays, please contact The Voss Team today.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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3 Helpful Hacks to Design Your Home for Resale

3 Helpful Hacks to Design Your Home for Resale

3 Helpful Hacks to Design Your Home for ResaleFall in Arizona is one of the most popular home-buying seasons in the Valley. And with temperatures like these and beautiful desert landscape in full bloom, it’s easy to see why. So if you’re selling your Arizona home this season, you may be surprised to find you’re not the only listing in your neighborhood. So what can you do to make sure to add pizzazz to your home, make it stand out, and help it sell? Here are 3 helpful hacks to design your home for resale to attract potential buyers.

1.) Let the curb appeal speak for itself: Your front yard is the first thing that buyers will see, and first impressions are lasting. Lawns should be clean and free of weeds and clutter. Remove any dead plants and add a homey touch that helps visually appeal to home buyers.

2.) Revamp your kitchen and bath: Kitchens and bathrooms are often the first thing buyers gravitate to. If you can afford new cabinets, go for it! Small budget? Just add new cabinet hardware to dress up existing cabinetry. Refinish your tile flooring or your countertops if they need a new look. Take it a step further and add new plumbing fixtures or matching sleek appliances.

3.) Give buyers more space: Most home buyers want large spaces for their belongings. Remove clutter and allow plenty of room to walk around furniture. Open window coverings let in natural sunlight and visually provide more space. A few decorative mirrors can also help provide the illusion of a more spacious room.

If you’re looking to sell your Phoenix home this fall or looking to buy a new home in Phoenix, please contact The Voss Team today and receive a complimentary analysis of your home’s approximate present value on the market today.

 

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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4 Fall Curb Appeal Hacks to Attract Buyers

4 Fall Curb Appeal Hacks to Attract Buyers

4 Fall Curb Appeal Hacks to Attract BuyersPlanning to sell your Phoenix home this fall? Don’t forget to add some fall curb appeal to catch the eye of potential buyers. 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. 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 homebuyers 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 Phoenix home? Ready to buy a home in Phoenix? Contact The Voss Team today. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process for a knowledgeable and unforgettable real estate experience.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Listing Your Home

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Listing Your Home

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Listing Your HomeReady to sell your Phoenix home this fall? Choosing the right REALTOR® to sell your home can be difficult, especially when they all sound so convincing. And most of the time, when it comes listing your home, the only questions you usually have for your agent is how much can you sell your home for and how fast can it be sold? Beyond that, real estate agents say few sellers take time to ask additional questions, and many hire the first agent they meet, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®.

These top 10 questions to ask before listing your home will not only help you select the right Realtor®, but to also get the very best from the agent you choose.

  1. Do you work as a full-time Realtor?
  2. What is my property worth? What listing price do you recommend? How did you arrive at that price?
  3. Do you have references that I can check?
  4. How will you set my listing apart from the crowd without costing me more money?
  5. Do you handle incoming property inquiries?
  6. How many listings do you have at this time, and how does this work to my benefit?
  7. Do you have a help system to see that no details are overlooked?
  8. How many potential buyers and sellers do you speak with each day? Each week? Each year?
  9. In what ways will you encourage other Realtors to sell my home?
  10. How do you promote properties on the Internet?

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Phoenix the Voss Team can help you navigate through each step of the process to assist you with making the best real estate investment decisions. Let us help you with your real estate investment goals. Contact us today!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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Housing Ends Summer Strong; Only Slight Inventory Relief

Housing Ends Summer Strong; Only Slight Inventory Relief

Housing ends summer strong only slight inventory reliefU.S. home sales in August extended a summer of strong demand and weak inventory that once again resulted in listings with short shelf lives. In addition to the normal late summer real estate trends, a primary focus during the next month will be on housing in specific markets affected by natural disasters like devastating wildfires and hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The September 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report shows August sales topping July by 2.8 percent, but finishing 0.84 percent below August 2016 which remains the best August in the report’s nine year history. Houston, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, already experienced a 21.3 percent drop in sales from July and a 27.5 percent decline year-over-year. Other notable numbers include:

  • Inventory in the report’s fifty-four markets declined 3.9 percent from July and 13.7 percent from a year ago
  • Days on Market have dropped to forty-seven – the fastest listing-to-sale average for any August.
  • The Months Supply of Inventory, while continuing to rebound from a May low of 2.6, settled at 3.1 months and set another report record for August.
  • After hitting $239,950 in July, the median sales price dipped to $236,475 in August but still finished 5.4 percent higher year-over-year.

“Overall, we’re still seeing home prices rise year-over-year at just above historical averages — even with slightly declining nationwide prices in August, which is an expected annual pattern,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “The data shows that home hunters continue to experience very limited inventory and increased competition, and home sellers are benefiting from quick sales for top dollar.”

Want to know more about the current real estate market? Click here to download your copy of the September 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a Phoenix home, please contact The Voss Team today.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

thevossteam.com

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