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How is the Government Shutdown Impacting Home Buying?

How is the Government Shutdown Impacting Home Buying? 

How is the Government shutdown impacting home buying? With no end in sight, the now thirty day Government shutdown has people wondering how this is going to impact the purchase of a home, using an FHA loan.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is continuing to issue FHA loans during the shutdown, however, there are challenges that both borrowers and lenders will face during the loan process.

The primary challenge is a delay in closing, due to limited staff working at FHA as well as other government branches like the IRS. Most lenders require IRS transcripts and social security verification as a part of the loan approval documentation. Both of these government departments are operating with limited staff.

Although the FHA is still technically working, the loan process could be delayed due to the shutdown. Regardless of this news, buying a home is still a good idea and as with any current event, the information available changes daily.

If you are interested in purchasing a home with an FHA loan, I would encourage you to speak to a qualified lender before you make any decisions regarding the government shutdown. Working with an experienced, knowledgably loan officer is imperative, especially during a time like this. If you need a recommendation, please call me today.

Roberta Voss
The Voss Team
RE/MAX Professionals
20241 N 67th Ave A1
Glendale, AZ 85308
(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com
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Your Home: 3 Easy New Year’s Resolutions

Your Home: 3 Easy New Year’s Resolutions

It is that time of year when we reflect on the past year and create a list of New Year’s resolutions. The most popular resolutions are typically, weight loss, save money, spend more time with family, but how often to we include a list for our home? Here are 3 easy New Year’s resolutions for your home.

1.) Safety Check: The New Year is the perfect time to do a safety check around your house to make sure there aren’t any hazards that could harm you or your guests. That includes making long overdue repairs, checking your house for leaks, carbon monoxide, and replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

 

2.) Pare Down: With all the excess of gifts over the holidays, you may have found that more things came into your home than out. But in the spirit of cutting clutter, set up an “out with the old, in with the new” system. Every time something new comes in, something old goes out. That counts for everything, from books to clothes to gadgets. The more stuff that comes in, the more stuff that accumulates and needs to be organized. Go room-by-room eliminating anything old that you don’t use or absolutely love and donate it to a worthy charity. Less mess means less stress!

 

2.) Store More: We’ve all heard the term “a place for everything and everything in its place.” The same simple principle we tell our children in regard to putting their toys away should also apply to us adults as well! There are literally hundreds of creative storage options from behind the door hangers to under the bed storage bins to vertical shelving corner niches. Thinking outside the box and repurposing one storage item to serve the needs of another is a life saver. Over the door shoe organizers can do more than hold shoes. They make handy holders for everything from jewelry and makeup and more in a bathroom.

 

Regardless of what your resolutions are for the New Year, don’t forget to include your home in your planning process. And if buying or selling a home in 2019 is on your list, give me a call today!

Roberta Voss
The Voss Team
RE/MAX Professionals
20241 N 67th Ave A1
Glendale, AZ 85308
(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com
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Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 (and How to Stick to Them!)

Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 (and How to Stick to Them!)

2019 came in with a bang and if you’re like most people, you have a stack of goals and resolutions to achieve for the New Year. Making a resolution is about making a personal promise to yourself to find a solution to a reoccurring problem in your life, hence the name “re-solution.”   It’s all about improving and making your life better.  Many of us find ourselves relisting the same resolutions every year.  Here are the top 3 New Year’s resolutions for 2019 and how to stick to them.

1.) Get Healthy: With two-thirds of Americans being obese or overweight, it’s no surprise that losing weight is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. But if you’ve made this resolution time and time again only to see it make the top of your list again, you’re not alone.  If you want to stick to this resolution, set a specific, small, achievable goal and then work toward building on that as time goes on. Instead of saying,” I want to lose 30lbs this year”, try, “I want to lose at least 2lbs a week for 3 months.”  Need accountability and motivation? Reach out to a nutritionist or start a workout competition with your friends or family. Small changes to improve your health and wellness at a time are better than no changes at all.

2.) Digitally Unplug: In this digital age, it can be hard to let go of that smart phone or tablet for more than a few minutes, especially if you got a shiny new screen for Christmas.  But if you feel the need to capture every moment with a picture to share online or think you’re having more conversations with your phone than actual human beings, it may be time to take a break. If you want to stick to this resolution, you can start gradually with a digital detox maybe one evening a week, then maybe for the weekend, and so on and so on.  It helps if you can remove social networking apps from your phone, turn off your Wi-Fi (AND your phone), or lock your devices up so you’re not tempted to check work emails or post your latest “selfie.”

3.) Try Something New: Self-improvement is not a new concept, but it is often a difficult resolution to keep for some.  Whether you’re looking to get more out of life or just add some new experiences, trying something new is a great way to enrich your day. To stick to this resolution, make a list of three things you are interested in trying, and them make an honest commitment to carve out some time in your busy week to do it. Take a watercolor paint class, join a hiking club, learn to play the guitar, or do something as simple as trying a new restaurant once a month. Find things to do that are nearby and within your price range so you aren’t deterred by distance or cost.  Assembling a friend or family members to join you is an added bonus, because they can keep you on track and help you stay motivated.

Which of these top 3 New Years resolutions for 2019 are on your list? If buying a home is on your list of resolutions, please contact The Voss Team today and let us help you make your goals. We hope your New Year is full of prosperity and joy!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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3 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Pets

3 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Pets

New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time to get together with friends and celebrate the coming New Year. And when you think of New Year’s Eve, you probably think of fun parties, noise, and drinks. However, all the festivities are not always grand, safe or exciting for your favorite four legged friends. Here are 3 New Year’s Eve safety tips for pets to ensure you all have a safe and Happy New Year.

1.) Watch loud noises

Loud noises, poppers, fireworks, and noisemakers can over stimulate and agitate any dogs’ senses on New Year’s Eve. Some dogs become so terrified by all the activity that they run away. That’s why it’s a good time to make sure you’ve updated your dog’s collar, tag and microchip if they have one in case they get away. Having that information will vastly increase the chances of your pet being returned to you quickly if he or she gets away.

2.) Secure gates and fences

For those who are keeping their furry friends outdoors on New Year’s Eve, be sure that your gates or fence is secure as unexpectedly loud noise can make your pet flee for safety.

3.) Keep bad food and drinks away

New Year’s Eve is often a time to indulge in drinks and champagne, but don’t forget that alcoholic beverages are very toxic to pets. Never put a cup some place your pet can access it. And while some foods are okay to feed your pet, others are also toxic (like chocolate and grapes) so it’s best if your guests simply avoid sharing with your pet. Be sure to let all guests know that alcoholic beverages and foods should be kept out of reach of your pets at all times.

This New Year’s Eve plan ahead to ensure your pet’s safety so they can enjoy ringing in the New Year too. Happy New Year!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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RE/MAX National Housing Report November 2018

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. If you would like to sell your Phoenix home or find the perfect home for sale in Phoenix, please contact the The Voss Team. We will be happy to provide a free market analysis of your home and are committed to helping you reach your real estate goals on step at a time!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

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5 Helpful Home Safety Hacks for the Holidays

5 Helpful Home Safety Hacks for the Holidays

The season of giving is here and even at a time filled with good cheer and holiday gift giving accidents still manage to be on the rise. In fact, every year U.S. fire departments respond to about 230 home fires started from Christmas trees, according to a National Fire Protection Association study. If you don’t want to stuff your stockings with Band-Aids or find yourself spending the holidays in the hospital be sure to remember these 5 helpful home safety tips for the holidays.

1.) Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.  When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the stove.

2.) Use caution with holiday decorations and, whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant and non-combustible materials.

3.) If you plan to travel for the holidays, don’t discuss your plans with strangers. That means keep your business off social media networks at least until you get home. Why risk tainting sweet holiday memories by inviting in the possibility of a break-in.

4.) Don’t want your guests in a cast this holiday? Keep trees, gifts, and decorations out of major traffic areas and away from entryways to prevent slips, trips and falls.

5.) Hosting a party or holiday dinner at your house? Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests or arrange for them to drive home with a designated driver. And never drink or drive, even if you just live a block away. No amount of eggnog is worth putting yourself or others in harm’s way.

Please remember and share these 5 helpful home safety tips for the holidays with friends, family, and loved ones and enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season out of the hospital. And if you or someone you know is looking to sell their home or buy a home in Phoenix for the holidays, please contact The Voss Team today!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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3rd Annual Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and Free Santa Photo Event

3rd Annual Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and Free Santa Photo Event

You’re invited to our 3rd Annual Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and Free Santa Photo Event, Friday, December 7th from 4:00-6:00pm at the Old Republic Title office at 11201 N. Tatum Blvd. Suite 130, Phoenix, AZ 85028. This is The Voss Team’s third year co-sponsoring and helping spreading cheer with Santa and collecting toys.  Please bring an unwrapped gift or gift cards for The OCJ One Bright Star Toy Drive to share the spirit of the holidays with children in foster care.

Youth are amazing! They hope, dream, challenge, learn and lay the groundwork for their futures and ours.  The education, experience and family values instilled in a teen will follow them for the rest of their lives.  Every day, youth in society are exposed to unhealthy and unstable futures. OCJ Kids’ mission is to equip foster and at-risk children and youth by providing them tools, resources, and positive role models to succeed and excel in every area of life.

OCJ Kids believe that no child should miss out on the fun and magic of Christmas. As a result, they partner with businesses and organizations within the community to support one One Bright Star Toy Drive. This annual event ensures that these forgotten children get to have the same exciting and joyous holiday that so many families take for granted. For more information, please visit https://www.ocjkids.org/one-bright-star-toy-drive/ or contact The Voss Team. And as always, thank you for your donations and participation in helping to make the holidays special for these incredible young people.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

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Join Us for the Salvation Army Bell Ringing Event at Hobby Lobby

Join Us for the Salvation Army Bell Ringing Event at Hobby Lobby

In what has become a holiday tradition, Hobby Lobby is once again partnering with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. Bell ringers are greeting customers at Hobby Lobby locations across the nation through Christmas Eve.

During the holidays, 3.3 million people rely on the Salvation Army to provide their families with a warm meal or toys for children. Also, donations to the red kettles help the Army provide more than 10 million nights of shelter, nearly 57 million meals, substance abuse recovery programs, after-school programs and emergency shelter for needy children and families year-round.

“The Salvation Army’s commitment to serving the needy at Christmas, and throughout the year, is admirable and their efforts give hope to millions,” stated Mart Green, Chief Strategy Officer for Hobby Lobby. “We are pleased to once again partner with this outstanding organization.”

Please join The Voss Team on Wednesday, November 28th at the Hobby Lobby at 4643 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ from 11am-1pm with Nancy Bengoechea from Old Republic Title. We will be ringing the bell for real estate. This will be our fifth year raising money together for the Salvation Army!

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has supported those in need, without discrimination, for more than 130 years in the United States. Approximately 30 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Learn more about the Salvation Army at salvationarmyusa.org.

If you’d like more information about this event or if you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Phoenix, please contact the Voss Team today. And thank you for helping support those in need this holiday season!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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What Dog Owners Can Expect When Moving to Phoenix

What Dog Owners Can Expect When Moving to Phoenix

Many residents of the state of Arizona came to the area as a result of the military or a convention or relatives. So they get the great idea to join our community and enjoy our lifestyle. But rarely do our newcomers think ahead to what it will be like for their dog! Our canine companions have the common need of shelter, but they also have special concerns their humans should also think about such as recreation and how the desert and it’s temperature can affect your four-legged friends.

Yes, it is hot in Arizona. We’ve mastered temperatures as high as 125 degrees! As a result, dog owners must be aware and take into consideration the extreme temperatures on canine paws. New homeowners and residents to Arizona should consider where the dog parks are located, what is the terrain of the backyard, where your pup will spend most of the time, and what is it like getting your pup in and out of the car to go to his favorite restaurant or to the veterinarian.

Protect their paws: Owners with active dogs in Phoenix routinely place boots on their dog paws so the pups can join them hiking or out to dinner at a pet friendly restaurant. The boots serve as a protective barrier against the heat of the desert or asphalt as well as any vegetation needles or dangerous bugs. Before you take your pet out on a walk on a hot day-and by hot I mean greater than 80 degrees-step outside in your own bare feet or place your hand on the cement or asphalt and see if you can hold it there for five to ten seconds. The typical rule of thumb is: if you can stand it so can your dog. Don’t be a tough guy on this one, if it’s hot, it’s hot!

Keep pups hydrated: Water is also a key component to our lifestyle. Our canine partners must have plenty of clean, fresh water all day and all night. Naturally, when they are active outside exercising and playing, they will need more water to offset the heat. But your pups must have an extraordinary quantity of water available to them at all times. If you are out and about, be sure to take a couple of extra water bottles and a flexible bowl with you so that you are not searching for water when your dog needs it. We suggest freezing your water bottles so that by the time you need them they have melted and are still cool for consumption.

Carry a flashlight: Believe it or not, many of us play with our dogs well after sundown and even close to the midnight hour. It’s at these times that the glaring sun has gone away and allows us to play at dog parks or go for walks with less concern for heat exhaustion. Be sure to carry a flashlight so you can see obstructions on your walk. Also, be aware of nocturnal critters that roam the streets in the evening hours. It’s important as the human to protect your canine from coyotes or javelina that may be out on the hunt during your walk.

Don’t leave pets in hot cars: Remember, you cannot leave your pets in the car; not even for a moment. Arizona has enacted laws which allow other citizens to break into your car to rescue a trapped animal. So think before you leave them.

Here’s the bottom line; it’s hot year-round in Arizona. We love our pets and the pets of others. So, we pay close attention to their needs. If you have more questions about adjusting to proper pet care in Phoenix or if you’re looking for the perfect Phoenix home for you and your four-legged friend(s) please contact The Voss Team today!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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Cape Cod Style Gilbert Home Featured as 61st Annual Christmas House

Cape Cod Style Gilbert Home Featured as 61st Annual Christmas House

Desert Club’s 2018 Christmas Idea House will be showcased in Gilbert, Arizona, near Lindsay and Pecos Roads. The 6,000 square foot, custom home, which is also listed for sale on The Voss Team website, is situated on one acre of beautifully landscaped property.   The stunning estate will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland, open for the public to tour and purchase thousands of unique holiday gifts and décor artfully displayed. All proceeds from this event will provide need-based scholarships to deserving young students and benefit local charities.

The Christmas Idea House has become a holiday tradition and lures thousands of visitors each year. It is the primary fundraiser for Desert Club, a 72-year-old, all-volunteer women’s service organization. The event is held at a different luxury home each year in locations throughout the East Valley. Desert Club members decorate the home from top to bottom with holiday décor, unique and handcrafted gifts and gourmet goodies, all for sale and ranging in price from $12 to several hundred dollars each. One hundred percent of the proceeds are given back to the community in the form of scholarships to in-state college students and grants to local charities. To date, Desert Club has awarded almost $2.7 million.

Be the first to tour and shop at this year’s Christmas Idea House before it is open to the public! Join us Thursday, Nov. 29th for the 2018 Holiday Soiree and Preview Party, a festive evening filled with music, cocktails and a wide array of gourmet hot hors d’oeuvres. Doors open at 5:30 pm with the Idea House remaining open for viewing, shopping and socializing until 9:00 pm.

Kick off your 2018 holiday season with our Holiday Soiree Brunch or Lunch on Friday, Nov. 30! Enjoy a festive beverage of your choosing, along with delicious quiche, gourmet croissant pastries, and a variety of salads. Join us and share this joyful event with your friends or family. Socialize and shop as you tour this year’s home before it is open to the public!

The home will be open for Public Tours and shopping on Friday, Nov. 30 from 4 – 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at the door, from a Desert Club member or at www.christmasideahouse.org. Guests may receive a $2 discount by bringing at least one canned food item, which will be donated to a local food bank.

If you’d like more information about the  61st Annual Christmas House Idea event or if you’d like to schedule a private showing of this picture-perfect Cape Cod style home for sale in Gilbert located at 885 E Elgin St, Gilbert, AZ 85295 then please contact The Voss Team today!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

thevossteam.com

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