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Don’t Miss these Top 3 Home Tax Deductions!

Don’t Miss these Top 3 Home Tax Deductions! 

House on a US tax form schedule A

Getting ready to file your taxes this tax season? Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned veteran, don’t miss these top 3 home tax deductions.

1.) Property Taxes: Because a large part of your monthly loan payment is contributed to property taxes, you’re allowed an annual deduction if you’re a taxpaying homeowner. The deduction amount is the amount you’ve paid and includes any payments made through an escrow account. Check out the IRS site for all the property tax guidelines.

2.) Mortgage Interest: The biggest tax break you have as a homeowner is your mortgage interest. A home mortgage interest deduction allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of interest paid on the loan which is secured by your principal residence. This deduction can also apply if you refinanced or own multiple properties. Visit the irs.gov to learn more.

3.) Energy Efficiency Repairs: If you made green energy saving improvements, you could see more green in your tax refund. Eco-friendly home improvements can allow you to qualify for an energy credit of ten percent. These enhancements can include adding more efficient windows, energy saving heaters, adding Energy Star appliances, and more. There are also extra credits for solar panels. You can find a complete list of green home enrichments and the tax credit criteria here.

Tax deductions and credits are just some of the many benefits of being a homeowner. I recommend that you consult a professional tax planner before you file this year. If you’re interested in buying a home in Phoenix or selling your Phoenix home, please contact me today!

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

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5 Easy Home Upgrades for Under $100

5 Easy Home Upgrades for Under $100 

Has the wintertime got you feeling blue about the look of your home? Check out these 5 easy home upgrades for under $100 to give your home a fresh look!

1.) Paint Your Door: Painting the front door gives the front of your house a fresh, new look in an afternoon. Materials, including painter’s tape, paint brushes, primer and paint, should run well under $100. Just make sure the color you pick is approved by your HOA if you have one in your community.

2.) Invest in a Pressure Washer: With a pressure washer, you can strip the dust, dirt and grime off your home and pathways from the wear and tear of winter weather. It’s a great way to make your home look new again, especially the windows. Not interested in buying a pressure washer? Consider renting one from your local hardware store.

3.) Update Your Light Fixtures: If the light fixtures that came with your home look like something from the early 90’s era, consider updated them for a fresh look that’s guaranteed to brighten your home. Keep an eye out for less costly pendant lights and lanterns to hang over a kitchen table or spruce up a hallway.

4.) Add a firepit: Whether you want to warm up around the fire and chat with friends or recreate the camp experience by making smores with your family, adding a firepit to your backyard is a great upgrade that will provide a great resource for entertaining. You can make a fire pit in your backyard with simple pavers or bricks or buy a tasteful one from Amazon to compliment your poolside patio. Depending on the style, a firepit can make a really nice focal point for your backyard.

5.) Dress Up Your Furniture: Buying a whole new sofa set will run you well over a $100.00. But you can always give your old couches new life by pulling a slipcover over it. These days, it’s easy to find an inexpensive and fashionable slipcover. You might even have enough change left over to buy some fun new accent pillows.

Want more home update ideas? Looking to sell or buy a home in the Phoenix area? Contact us today! The Voss Team has in-depth knowledge of the market and can provide you with the information you need on purchasing, selling, investing, financing and owning real estate in the Valley of the Sun!

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 for January 2019

RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2019 

A sixth consecutive month of declining home sales in January contributed to the largest year-over-year inventory increase in at least ten years, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

While year-over-year home sales dropped eleven percent – extending a streak that began in August – inventory grew year-over-year by an average of 6.4 percent across the report’s fifty-four U.S. metro areas. January marked the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year inventory growth – further reversing a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. December 2018’s year-over-year inventory growth of 4.7 percent was the previous record in the report’s ten-year history.

“The winter chill extended to the housing market in January, as home sales remained cool,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The good news is that inventory levels in January continued to rise on a year-over-year basis, providing incremental improvement in what’s been a multi-year shortage of for-sale homes. This is a positive for homebuyers, as the market continues to swing their way.”

The median sales price of $234,000 was a report record for January, increasing 4.6 percent over January 2018. But the rate of sales price increase was considerably less than the 6.7 percent posted from January 2017 to January 2018. December 2018 was the only month since January 2012 to show a year-over-year decline in median sales price. Fifty-nine days on market was a record low for January sold listings – averaging one day less than the 60 posted in January 2018. January’s 3.9-month supply of inventory was higher than the 3.4-month supply of January 2018.

“Underlying demand remains solid overall, as evidenced by widespread price increases,” said Contos. “So the housing market, while not markedly busy in January, remains relatively healthy. Furthermore, with interest rates stabilizing and home-price increases slowing, the spring selling season shapes up to be as interesting as any we have seen in years.”

Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in January 2019, the overall average number of home sales was down 26.1 percent compared to December 2018, and down 11.0 percent compared to January 2018. In January 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $234,000, down 2.5 percent from December 2018, and up 4.6 percent from January 2018. The average Days on Market for homes sold in January 2019 was fifty-nine, up four days from the average in December 2018, and down one day from the January 2018 average. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed. The number of homes for sale in January 2019 was down 2.6 percent from December 2018 and up 6.4 percent from January 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in January, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 3.9 from 4.1 in December 2018 and increased compared to 3.4 in January 2018. A six-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In January 2019, nine of the fifty-four metro areas surveyed reported a supply at or over six months, typically indicating a buyer’s market.

For more info, please click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2019. 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

20241 N 67th Ave

Glendale, AZ 85308

thevossteam.com

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Glendale the Latest Arizona City to Ban Cellphones While Driving

Glendale the Latest Arizona City to Ban Cellphones While Driving  

Glendale is the latest Arizona city to ban cellphones while driving. Last week, the city of Glendale Council voted unanimously to enact the new law after the tragic loss of the Salt River tribal police officer, who was struck and killed by a distracted driver on the 101 Loop near Scottsdale.

The Glendale ordinance prohibits talking on cellphones, sending text messages or otherwise using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle, unless the device is in a hands-free mode.

The fine for the first offense is a whopping $250.00, however there will be a grace period for Valley residents for the next six months. The ordinance is also considered a primary offense, so a police officer can pull over a driver if they are using their handheld device.

What are the rules in other Valley of the Sun cities?

El Mirage – prohibits handheld-cellphone use while driving

Fountain Hills – prohibits texting while driving

Glendale – prohibits handheld-cellphone use while driving (takes effect Feb. 7)

Phoenix – prohibits texting while driving

Surprise – prohibits handheld-cellphone use while driving

Tempe – prohibits talking on the phone or texting, but only if police can prove the drivers pose a risk to themselves or others, and it’s a secondary offense

If you’re in the market to buy a home in Phoenix this winter, please contact the Voss Team today! We have the reputation, experience and local knowledge you need to find the right property and you’ll receive the personal attention you deserve while navigating the real estate process!

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 Reasons NOT to Wait Until Spring to Buy a Home

3 Reasons NOT to Wait Until Spring to Buy a Home 

Though spring-time is one of the busiest home buying seasons, there’s actually quite a few benefits to selling in the winter time. Here’s 3 reasons not to wait until spring to sell your home.

1.) Less Competition: The good thing about buying a home during the wintertime is that there are typically fewer home buyers to compete against compared to the peak spring housing market. With less competition, home prices are generally lower in the winter time.

2.) More Flexible Sellers:  Because the market tends to slow down in the winter, many sellers also hold off on listing their homes unless they absolutely have to and are typically more open to striking a deal. So typically homes on the market tend to be sellers that have urgency to sell. Either their being relocated or possible going through a divorce, they have a genuine motivation to sell, and may be more negotiable when it comes to accepting your offer.

3.) Quicker Closings: Since the mortgage and title companies tend to be less busy in the winter, you’ll be able to take advantage of a quicker and likely smoother closing, which will put keys in your hand sooner than expected. You may even get a better deal on closing costs. Because there’s less buyers in the winter, loan offices may be more likely to fight for your business because they too are slow. Which means even more savings for you.

If you’re in the market to buy a home in Phoenix this winter, please contact the Voss Team today! We have the reputation, experience and local knowledge you need to find the right property and you’ll receive the personal attention you deserve while navigating the real estate process!

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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Important Tips for Selling Your Home

Important Tips for Selling Your Home 

The spring selling market will be here before you know it. Is your home ready to hit the market? Here are a few tips to help you create a smooth selling experience.

  1. De-clutter: de-cluttering helps prepare your home for the big move, plus there is truth in the say “less is more.” Go one room at a time, and divide belongings into categories: keep, yard sale, donate or trash.
  2. Establish your time frame: do you need to be moved and settled before the next school year begins? Or maybe a new job in another state is requiring your relocation. Establishing a realistic time frame is key in creating a smooth transition from one home to the next.
  3. Repair and improve: Your home’s curb appeal is very important! Think about painting the front door and replacing the hardware. Do you have out dated or damaged light fixtures or appliances? Now would be the time to watch for sales on these items. Don’t forget to clean the windows and screens. A professional real estate agent can help you to determine which updates and/or repairs would make the most sense for your home.
  4. Start Packing: start packing now. Box up all your seasonal clothing to make your closets look roomier. In addition, a buyer will appreciate a “neutral” vibe in your home by packing away your personal or sentimental valuable.
  5. Know the facts and trends of the market: every year we see trends and market changes and 2019 will be know different. And not all the news or hype on T.V. is accurate. Before you panic and call OfferPad, OpenDoor or request a Zillow instant offer, please reach out to a professional real estate agent to find out what your home is worth. Those convenient-buying services come with a steep price, which comes out of your hard-earned equity!

The spring weather is right around the corner, making it an excellent time to list and sell your home in the Valley of the Sun. Please give me a call today to help you successfully navigate the process, while netting you the best price and in the shortest amount of time.

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 for December 2018

RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018 

December’s declining home sales and growing inventory solidified 2018 as the year the red-hot seller’s market moved toward a balanced market. Price growth also moderated, though December was the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report, which includes fifty-three metro areas.

December’s year-over-year decline in home sales of 12.1 percent set a December record in the 10-year history of the report and also marked the fifth consecutive month that home sales were lower than 2017.  December was 2018’s 10th month of year-over-year declines in home sales with only April and July topping 2017 sales.

Most telling was December’s 4.6 percent growth in inventory, which was also a report record. December’s year-over-year inventory increase marked the third consecutive month of growth – a trend reversing a decade-long streak of year-over-year inventory declines.

“December’s inventory gain, continuing the three-month growth trend, is welcome news,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The market remains choppy and there’s still a long way to go, but these gains represent steps toward a balanced market, which in the long run is healthy for both buyers and sellers.”

While fifty-four Days on Market was a record low for December sold listings, the 4.1 Months Supply of Inventory was higher than December 2017’s 3.7 months and ahead of November 2018’s 3.9 months supply.

Home buyers paid record amounts throughout 2018 as prices grew year-over-year in every month last year, led by June’s Median Sold Price of $258,500 – an all-time report high. Even so, December’s year-over-year increase of 2.1% was 2018’s smallest, and far lower than the 8.1 percent price growth from December 2016 to December 2017.

“Home sales have cooled, especially during the second half of 2018, but that was inevitable given the strong seller’s market that has persisted for nearly a decade,” Contos said. “We believe sales activity can pick back up if the pace of price escalation continues to moderate, interest rates tick further downward, and wage growth continues.”

Of the fifty-three metro areas surveyed in December 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down -8.5 percent compared to November 2018, and down -12.1 percent compared to December 2017. None of the fifty-three metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year. In December 2018, the median of all fifty-three metro Median Sales Prices was $240,000, up 2.1 percent from November 2018, and up +2.1 percent from December 2017. The average Days on Market for homes sold in December 2018 was fifty-four, up three days from the average in November 2018, and down three days from the December 2017 average.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact The Voss Team today!

 

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

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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

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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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