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

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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

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What the New Mortgage Interest Rate Mean for Home Buyers

What the New Mortgage Interest Rate Mean for Home Buyers

The average rate on the 30-year fixed sat just below 4 percent a year ago, after dropping below 3.5 percent in 2016. It just crossed the 5 percent mark, according to Mortgage News Daily. The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate spiked fifteen basis points to 5.04 percent from 4.89 percent in the previous week, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. Meanwhile, the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate surged 15 basis points to 4.41 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose 7 basis points to 4.42 percent.

Mortgage borrowers are taking note of soaring rates. Total mortgage applications fell 1.7 percent from the previous week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly applications survey for the week ending Oct. 5. That’s down nearly 15 percent from a year ago.

Refinances, which are more sensitive to rate changes, dipped 3 percent from a week ago, the MBA reported. Overall, refinance activity sank to 39 percent of total applications from 39.4 percent the previous week and is down about 32 percent from a year ago.

Rising home prices and tight inventories for starter homes won’t abate in the year ahead, says Joel Kan, an MBA economist. And although year-over-year growth in purchase applications is expected, the movement will be gradual, Kan says.  “With the economy doing well and job market still strong, we’re starting to see the fruits of that and opportunities will be there,” Kan says of home buying demand.

So, what does the new mortgage interest rate mean for home buyers? Higher mortgage rates mean now is a good time to buy a home as higher home prices are likely to become more affordable and home buyers will have a better chance of finding a home in their price range and more likely to have an offer accepted. Its important to note that while higher rates may drive prices down, a higher interest rate does impact your buying power. What does buying power mean? Simple put, what you can afford to buy at an interest rate of 5 percent will be less than what you can afford to buy at an interest rate of 3 percent.

So, if you’re in the market to buy a home, now is the perfect time take advantage before rates go up more, and your buying power goes down. Contact The Voss Team today for more information about the new mortgage rates and get pre-qualified to buy a home in Phoenix.

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

20241 N 67th Ave A1

Glendale, AZ 85308

(602)-697-0730

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This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. RE/MAX Professionals or The Regal Team are not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a qualified mortgage broker directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

RE/MAX National Housing Report September 2018

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 showed the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6 percent year-over-year drop in home sales. At the same time, the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. It is the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

The decline in home sales year-over-year was the largest since May of 2011, as September became the seventh month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017. Even so, year-to-date 2018 home sales resemble 2017’s.

“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”

Active inventory dropped for the 119th consecutive month, the decline of 4.7 percent from September 2017 was the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the September year-over-year inventory drop was the fifth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen over the previous three years.

“It’s a little surprising to see prices staying so strong, but it’s hardly shocking in such a tight market,” said Contos. “The headwinds of rising prices and interest rates amid already tight inventory levels have been crimping affordability and slowing sales for most of the year, but it varies by geography.  In circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent – a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”

Home prices rose by 5.6 percent over September 2017, more than twice the year-over-year price increase of 2.3 percent from September 2016 to September 2017. That reversed a trend seen in the previous three months, when year-over-year price increases trailed 2017’s rate of growth.

Months Supply of Inventory totaled 3.7, which is the second-lowest for September in report history, second only to 3.6 months in September 2017. Days on Market of 46 was a September record for the report – three days less than September 2017. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in September 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down 1.1percent compared to August 2018, and down 11.6 percent compared to September 2017.

Click here to download your copy of the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018. Looking to sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix? Contact the VossTeam today! We offer unparalleled service to all clients in the Phoenix real estate market. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

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RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018

RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018 shows increasing home prices, low inventory and a reduction in days on market. These combined factors made August 2018 the sixth time this year that home sales lagged behind last year’s pace—but only slightly at -1.1 percent. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

Home prices rose by 3.7 percent over August 2017, much lower than the year-over-year price increase of 5.4 percent from August 2016 to August 2017. In fact, the past three months of 2018 have trailed 2017’s rate of price growth year-over-year—compare that to four of the first five months of 2018 when year-over-year price increases easily topped those posted in 2017.

The Median Sales Price of $248,500 marked the twenty-ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

Even though active inventory dropped for the 118th consecutive month, the decline of 5.4 percent from August 2017 marked the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the August 2018 inventory drop marked the fourth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines, rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen in early 2018 and over the previous three years.

“It varies by market, but we’re hearing that buyers are being more selective and sellers are becoming more pragmatic,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “That dynamic could bring inventory levels up, especially in the most overheated markets, where we expect to see the clearest signs of equilibrium returning. The economy is strong and potential buyers are out there—they just need more listings, at the right price points, to consider. We believe that balance will return, which will be good for everyone in the long run. It’s just a matter of when.”

Contos added that although the lack of inventory continues to be a challenge, the trends suggest that the market finally appears to be rebalancing.

“The moderation we are experiencing seems to be a bit more than the normal seasonal lull we’d expect this time of year,” said Contos.

Want to know more? Click here to download your copy of the August 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you would like to sell your Arizona home or find the perfect home for sale in Phoenix, please contact 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

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

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What You Need to Know About the Surprise Cellphone Driving Ban

What You Need to Know About the Surprise Cellphone Driving Ban

Metro Phoenix drivers will need to make sure their cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits as of this month. Surprise enacted the toughest cellphone-use law for drivers in the Valley this month. The law prohibits talking on a cellphone, sending a text message or otherwise using a hand-held communications device while driving in the city, unless the device is in hands-free mode.

Police will generally issue warnings only for the first 30 days of the new law, said Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski. After that, the fines will begin. The fine is $250 on the first offense. Surprise officials put an ordinance banning talking, texting or anything involving a handheld communication device into effect last week, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Arizona Legislature has considered enacting a texting-while-driving ban for at least the last decade. This year, a measure that would have banned texting while driving made it through the Senate, but failed to make it through the House.

The Legislature did take one step on the issue, though, banning new drivers, between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18, from using cellphones while driving, unless in a specific emergency or when using a navigation system. Coconino and Pima counties, Oro Valley, Sedona, Tucson and some other cities ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, but no Valley city does.

Tempe has a distracted-driving law that lets police cite drivers for talking on the phone or texting, but only if police think the drivers pose a risk to themselves or others. Some other cities, such as Flagstaff, Fountain Hills and Phoenix, ban texting while driving, but not the overall hand-held phone use.

Drivers, please make sure your cellphones are tucked away when crossing into Surprise city limits, and as always, please drive safe!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

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My Home Sold in FIVE Days!

My Home Sold in FIVE Days!

Every thirty seconds a RE/MAX agent helps someone find their perfect place. True to the claim, The Voss Team has been proudly serving the Valley since 2001. We are passionate about helping our buyers find that “perfect” property or special investment opportunity. In addition, we are proud to offer state of the art marketing methods to assure our sellers achieve the highest price for their property by gaining the maximum market exposure.

While we place a strong emphasis in the north, central, west and northwest Phoenix valley market areas, we have considerable experience in the east valley communities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. The Voss Team proudly maintains and continually strives to provide the best real estate experience for our clients. Here’s what one of our valued clients recently shared:

“Roberta is a stellar, top-quality, knowledgeable professional! She knows exactly how to professionally market your home! My home sold in FIVE days! She had excellent information about negotiations back and forth and the experience was quick, fun and with online options – it was WAY EASY! Loved the experience with Roberta! She’s a 10-star agent! Highly recommend her for ANY of your needs – she is well-connected and can help in a myriad of ways.” – Betsy G.

Whether you’re ready to quickly sell your Phoenix home or buy a home in Phoenix or the surrounding areas, the Voss Team is here to guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today 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

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Top 3 Refinancing Hacks to Lower Your Payments

Top 3 Refinancing Hacks to Lower Your Payments

The average conventional 30-year fixed rate mortgage is currently 4.695 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The 15-year was clocked at 4.371  percent, and the 5-year mortgage is currently 4.791 percent. If you’re thinking about refinancing your home, here are the top 3 refinancing hacks to lower your payments.

  1. Calculate your savings: Before you refinance your home, you have to determine whether or not it will save you money. It’s best to calculate whether a new home loan will save you money based on the time left to pay off your old loan and whether or not you’ll have lower more manageable monthly payments.
  2. Be prepared: Refinancing your mortgage requires a lot of paperwork. Gather your essential documents such as proof of income, tax returns, bank statements and more and keep them all organized together or scanned in a safe online folder. Missing documents will only slow down the refinancing process so the more organized you are, the better.
  3. Perfect your credit: Your credit score plays a huge part in determining what rate you get on your new loan. Before you even apply for refinancing, get a free copy of your credit report and confirm there are no errors that could prevent you from getting the lowest rate possible. Any discrepancies should be addressed as soon as possible before applying and be sure they’ve been cleared up before moving forward.

Have questions about refinancing your home or looking to sell your Phoenix home? Call the Voss Team today for a complimentary assessment of your home’s current value. Our expectation is to make the real estate experience the best it can be for you!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

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10 States with the Highest Cost of Living

10 States with the Highest Cost of Living

We all know that housing prices and the cost of living varies from state to state. Factors such as food, transportation, and energy costs can make the difference between paying a $300 A/C bill in Arizona and a $150 A/C bill in Rhode Island. Each year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes data on “regional price parity,” which measures how much a certain amount of money can purchase in different places. A high price parity number means goods and services cost more for residents, and a price parity of above 100 means locals pay more for things than the national average. Here are the 10 states with the highest cost of living in descending order, according to their most recent analysis.

10.) New Hampshire

Regional Price Parity score: 105,

Median Household Income: $70,303

Actual Value of Salary: $66,955

Residents can expect to pay almost 5 percent more than the national average cost of living.

9.) Alaska

Regional price parity score: 105.6

Median household Income: $73,335

Actual Value of Salary: $69,465

Residents can expect to pay almost 6 percent more than the national average cost of living.

8.) Massachusetts

Regional Price Parity Score: 106.9

Median household income: $70,628

Actual Value of Salary: $66,069

Residents can expect to pay almost 7 percent more than the national average cost of living.

7.) Connecticut

Regional Price Parity Score: 108.7

Median household income: $71,346

Actual Value of Salary: $65,636

Residents can expect to pay almost 8.7  percent more than the national average cost of living.

6.) Maryland

Regional Price Parity Score: 109.6

Median household income: $75,847

Actual Value of Salary: $69,203

Residents can expect to pay almost 10 percent more than the national average cost of living.

5.) New Jersey

Regional Price Parity Score: 113.4

Median household income: $72,222

Actual Value of Salary: $63,688

Residents can expect to pay almost 13.4 percent more than the national average cost of living.

4.) California

Regional Price Parity Score: 113.4

Median household income: $64,500

Actual Value of Salary: $56,878

Residents can expect to pay almost 14 percent more than the national average cost of living.

3.) New York

Regional Price Parity Score: 115.3

Median household income: $60,850

Actual Value of Salary: $52,775

Residents can expect to pay almost 15 percent more than the national average cost of living.

2.) Washington D.C.

Regional Price Parity Score: 117

Median household income: $75,628

Actual Value of Salary: $64,639

Residents can expect to pay almost 17 percent more than the national average cost of living.

1.) Hawaii

Regional Price Parity Score: 118.8

Median household income: $73,486

Actual Value of Salary: $61,857

Residents can expect to pay almost 19 percent more than the national average cost of living.

Did your state or hometown make the list for 10 States with the Highest Cost of Living? Where do you think your state stacks up? If you’re looking for affordable living costs and want to sell or buy a home in Phoenix, please contact The Voss Team today!

Roberta Voss

The Voss Team

(602)-697-0730

7111 West Bell Road Ste 101

Glendale, Arizona 85308

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May 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report

May 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report

Homes sold faster in May than at virtually any other time in the past decade, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low inventory and high demand in May cut Days on Market to 46, the second-lowest monthly number in the nearly 10-year history of the report.

May home sales topped April sales by 14.5 percent, and were down by 2.8 percent from May 2017. The median sales price of $251,673 was up 7.8%. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.  By comparison, homes averaged five more days on the market (51) in May 2017, 12 more days (58) in May 2016 and 18 more days (64) in 2015.

“Even with low inventory and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, homes are going from ‘for sale’ to sold 28 percent faster than three years ago,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Be prepared — that’s my message to potential homebuyers in this summer selling season,” added Contos. “Make sure you are pre-approved with a lender, try to make a clean offer with no contingencies and, if possible, consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date. Pairing today’s real estate technology with the guidance of a professional RE/MAX agent, can help you find the right home.”

With eleven metro areas increasing the median sales price year-over-year by double digits, May is still a seller’s market, and homebuyers should expect to compete with other buyers when they are ready to make an offer on a home. The average Days on Market for homes sold in May 2018 was 46, down six days from the average in April 2018, and down five days from the May 2017 average. The number of homes for sale in May 2018 was up 4 percent from April 2018, and down 9.5 percent from May 2017.

Based on the rate of home sales in May, the Months Supply of Inventory remained unchanged from April 2018 at 2.5, and slightly decreased compared to 2.6 in May 2017. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In May 2018, all 54 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply at or less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market.

Want to know more about the current real estate market? Click here to download your copy of the May2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are ready to sell your Phoenix home or thinking about buying 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

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