VA Home Loan FAQs
Veteran benefits Scottsdale real estate Arizona research has found that if you’re a veteran, service member or veteran’s surviving spouse, you may qualify for a home loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help you buy, build, repair, retain or adapt a home. Your mortgage lender can advise you on how to qualify and what programs are available for your situation.
VA home-purchase loans have many advantages and are often available with competitive interest rates, low or no down payments, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), limits on closing costs and no prepayment penalties. The program may also allow you to get a mortgage if you’ve had difficulty getting a loan through other programs.
Remember that VA benefits are reusable. If you’ve qualified for a VA Home Loan in the past, and qualify again, you can use the benefit to buy your next home, too. You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to get a VA Home Loan.
To learn more about VA procedures visit Veteran Loan Certificate of Eligibility Guide up-to-date information on available, eligibility, application process and more.
When you’re ready to buy a home, be sure to contact us so we can provide you with lender contacts. We thank you for your service to our country!
Pssst…Pass It On!
There’s no need to keep all of our great real estate information to yourself. When you’re finished reading this issue of our newsletter, we hope you will share it with friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers who might be thinking of buying or selling a home. As always, we appreciate your referrals!
Did you know you can now access your actual FICO credit score—for free—through your mortgage lender or credit card issuer? Thanks in part to a major decision by FICO—the company that created the credit scoring system used to determine FICO credit scores—there is now no need to pay for getting your credit score.
Previously, the only way to see your FICO score was if you were denied a loan or were approved for a loan with higher interest rates and/or less favorable lending terms than others.
Now, FICO Score Open Access allows you to request your credit score for free if you have a credit card with Barclaycard U.S. or First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO/First Bankcard)—two of the 10 largest credit card issuers in the U.S. Another option for accessing your score is through a mortgage lender who uses the FICO scoring system. Discover Card plans to print customer’s FICO scores on their monthly statements. Other lenders and banks are expected to make credit scores available as well; look for announcements.
The free scores are updated every month and are accompanied by an explanation of the top-two factors driving your actual credit score. For example, if the top-two factors affecting your score are total amount of debt and late payments, you can make a concerted effort to pay down debt and pay bills on time to improve your credit score.
Article: Veteran Benefits; Know your FICO Scores
Posted by: Luxury Valley Homes
Making a move may be easier than ever before | Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona team researched this topic for those thinking about making a move.
In this spring market, making a move may be easier than ever before. Thanks to improvements in the real estate market, employment options, housing choices and personal finances, more people today are moving to where they want to live, not where they have to live.
In fact, moving today is easier than you think. Local home sellers are finding their priced-right homes selling, allowing them the freedom to relocate down the street, to the other side of town, across the country or around the world. Plenty of buyers are out there right now, taking advantage of our springtime temperatures and increased inventory. Many want to start their new life in a new home by the beginning of summer.
What’s moving today’s buyers? Job situations for many have changed for the better. (As always, employment is a major factor driving home sales.) One reason is that more and more people are working from home, and breadwinners are less tied to living near work. Now they have the flexibility to move to where their family wants to be located, where their favorite activities are based (think sports, outdoor opportunities), and where they have relatives and friends.
Don’t miss out. If it’s time for you to make a move, now is a great time. Keep reading to learn how to make the best move to a location that is the best for you!
What Comes First?
If you’re going to move, get your home ready for sale first. We can assist you with that task, helping you create a to-do list to attend to little things that buyers notice. Plus, nail down must-do bigger items that need attention before your home goes up for sale. Although some sellers don’t care to attend to these items, to get the best price for your home, it’s important to make your home an attractive, move-in-ready property.
Where Are You Going?
If you’re still deciding where you’re going to move to once you sell your home, you need to do some research…pronto. To judge places to live, it’s wise to visit multiple times to dig into the area, understand transportation and education options, the employment situation, housing types and costs, and true cost of living.
Even if you’ve lived in a specific location before and want to move back, realize that time changes things. It’s still ideal to visit the area and confirm your move choice.Take time to research and make sure the move is a good fit for you—and your entire family. Yes, you can always move again, but as you know, it does require time and money to pick up again if you find you aren’t happy with your new location.
We know our area well. We can advise you about the types of homes available here and their price ranges. We can guide you to local information that provides reliable details on schools, shopping, transportation, entertainment, outdoor space, you name it.
If you are moving out of our area, we can connect you with a top-quality real estate professional in your new location to assist you in not only getting the home you want there, but the information you need to make an informed housing decision.Some online help is always valuable. Check out websites that provide school information, walkability, traffic and crime reports, etc. Many sites provide the information for free, but some require subscriptions to view details. Remember, we can help you with finding specific details on our local area—just ask.
How To Whittle Down?
If you’re making a move to improve your situation, you want to move with only what matters most to you and your family. Before you put your home up for sale, it’s important to start going through your belongings and categorizing what is most important to keep.
Create areas to collect giveaway items (for charities, friends, family, etc.) while you evaluate your belongings.
If you have items of value you want to sell, start early and don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to sell items online, through garage sale(s), auction or classified sites or even through nearby newspaper classifieds. Have a plan in place for items that don’t sell.
Decluttering can uncover a lot of stuff you didn’t know you had, but still want. Box up items that you currently don’t have room for and store them off-site, either at a friend’s or family member’s home or in a rental storage unit.
Preparing for a Household Move | Scottsdale real estate Arizona has found it does not matter if you are moving within your neighborhood or across the country, it is typically one of the most stressful times in your life. However, if you are organized with a plan, getting those involved in the move prepared ahead of time, and organizing all the services at both ends of a move, it will be less stressful.
Here are some tips that will make your move much better, for as good as a move can get:
Develop a moving file either on your computer or in a file folder or binder- centralizing information in one place is key to making your move a success.
- Get bids from several moving companies or truck rental companies if you are doing the move yourself and ask friends or relatives for recommendations of companies they have used that they were happy with. A firm bid is the best as opposed to just getting an hourly rate for a moving companies services.
- Create a timeline for the move, using a calendar on your computer or a paper calendar which highlights key dates for events and activities to occur
- Go room by room and make a list of all items you will relocating to your new residence
- Prepare a list of important phone numbers, if in fact they do not exist on your cell phone or computer
For best results, make one location in your current residence a place to keep boxes, packing materials such as scissors, cutting knife, labels, wrapping paper for breakables
Go through your residence several weeks or months ahead of time and get rid of items you do not need to move to your new residence. This is probably one of the most important tasks to do in preparation for a move!
Organize boxes as they are packed to ensure they show which room the box goes to in the new residence and if it box 1 of 5, box 2 of 5, etc. In the long run this will be a great help to you to determine if any items or boxes go missing during your move.
Pack your valuables somewhere where you have an “eye” on them or they can be monitored by someone you trust during the move. Jewelry, financial records and documents, coin collections, etc. Do not label these items in the box they are packed in, other than to indicate they are handled with care and only to be moved by a person you designate if other than yourself.
Moving day essentials for your car:
- Moving file
- Moving supplies
- Items needed such s medications, towels, bed linens, paper towels, soap and cleaning supplies and do not forget toilet paper.
- Cleaning supplies
- Snacks, paper plates, coffee maker, a few pots and pans
- First Aid Kit
- Pet supplies- make sure your pet has ID tag, include pet food, bowls, leashes, pet bedding
- Kids travel bag with their pajamas, clothing and a favorite toy
Moving is an essential task we all face sooner or later and preparing ahead for it can make it easier and less stressful for all involved.
If you are looking for Scottsdale real estate, contact the Luxury Valley Homes team at 480-595-6412 or visit our web site at www.luxuryvalleyhomes.com
Article: Preparing for a Household Move | Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona
Brought to you by: Luxury Valley Homes
The Savvy house hunter – Intrepid house seller use digital targeting
The Digital House Hunt
A Joint Study from The National Association of REALTORS® and Google
Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate
Consumers’ online experiences are increasingly influencing their home buying activity offline, according to a joint study from search giant Google and the National Association of Realtors.
It’s a far cry from the statement “Frequent newspaper advertising is the best way to sell a home.”
The Savvy House Hunting Buyer – Intrepid House Seller Go Digital
Some home sellers believe advertising their homes two, three, or even four times a week brings the best results. Today the best REALTORS® advertise their listing 27/7 locally and then extend that across the United States. The most sophisticated extend their advertising Globally with their advertising money focused on those countries that lead the word in people moving to the United States.
The most startling statistic in a study jointly researched by Google and the National Association of REALTORS® is a whopping 90% started their home search on the internet.
- Real estate related searches on Google.com have grown 253% over the past 4 years2
- 36% of new home shoppers utilize a mobile device while they are watching TV
Search Engines Play a Critical Role in the Real Estate Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
Home shoppers using search engines are actively engage raising their hands asking for more information or assistance
Nine out of 10 house hunters searched online during the home buying process with 52 percent choosing that as their first step in the process, the report said.
Those who used search engines were 9 percent more likely to take an action on a real estate brand website than those who did not search and those who searched performed an average of 11 searches prior to taking an action, the report said. Google and Compete tracked the behavior of users who completed a specific desired “conversion activity” at a real estate website during second-quarter 2011 and second-quarter 2012.
Senior Housing Shoppers (65+) Turn to the Internet to Aid Their Research
75% of senior home buyers go online to search for a home
39% of senior home buyers began their research online
30% of senior home buyers first learned about the home they eventually purchase online
The age brackets that rake advantage of the Digital Hunt
We’re in contact with many eager home buyers and their agents. Give us a call or send us an e-mail to find out who may be interested in your home right now! In the meantime, we think you’ll find our FREE online report, HOME SELLER: How To Put Your Sale On The Fast Track, very useful.
Article: The Savvy house hunter – Intrepid house seller use digital targeting
Brought to you by: Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona – Luxury Valley Homes
Mortgage rates rising – Buyers Beware | Scottsdale Real Estate
Average fixed mortgage rates up slightly for the second week in a row, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
“Mortgage rates crept up further following the uptick in the 10-year Treasury yield as minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting indicated little possibility of a pause in the central bank’s reduction of bond purchases,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Housing starts in January fell 16% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 888,000 units, below consensus forecast,” Nothaft added. “Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 937,000 in January, also below consensus.”
You can find all the available listings in Maricopa County at Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona
30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.33% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 20, 2014, up from last week when it averaged 4.28%.
A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.56%.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.35% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.33%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.77%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.05%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.64%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.57% this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.55%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.65%.
Author: Trey Garrison – Trey Garrison is the Senior Financial Reporter for HousingWire magazine and HW.com Trey has served as real estate editor for the Dallas Business Journal, and was one of the founding editors of D CEO Magazine. He has been an editor for D Magazine — considered among the best city magazines in the United States — and a contributor for Reason magazine, the national magazine that promotes free minds and free markets. Follow him on Twitter @TreyGarrisonHW and reach him at 469-893-1502.
Article: Mortgage rates keep ticking up – Homeowners take Note | Scottsdale Real Estate- February 20, 2014 10:17 AM
Staging tips for a quick house sale – Scottsdale real estate Arizona points to remembering the last time you visited a new home development? How did you feel touring the model? Usually, pleasant memories come to mind about how well the home looked. That’s because it was “showcased” properly.
You can do the same thing when you prepare your own home for sale.
Home showcasing is not about remodeling, fixing up or making your home look sterile. Instead, it focuses on amazingly simple steps to make your home show like a model without spending a lot of money. The secret is setting the stage, which helps potential buyers imagine themselves, and their families at home in your “home for sale.”
Strip Down And Build Up
The first step is to clear the set. Take out extraneous furniture, decorations, pictures, etc. Take each room down to its most basic form, opening up the living space as much as possible. Then build it back up to the way you want it to look, as simply as possible, and without clutter.
Make the strip-down process simpler by stowing packed boxes in a staging area like the garage, or by renting a storage space to hold extra furnishings while your home is on the market. In essence, pack up early.
When building the set, try to make each room tell a story. Help potential buyers see themselves in each room. A clever arrangement of props will make it easy for buyers to imagine writing a letter at the desk in the kitchen, clicking on the television and enjoying a bowl of popcorn, turning on the stove and preparing a holiday repast.
Themes for a room can help you narrow down how to display it. You can, of course, stage the room as you use it now, or choose a particular motif, i.e. Southwestern, country style, international. Or you could pick an activity to illustrate on your stage, i.e., relaxed office or library, gourmet cooking, resort or vacation living. What would you like to do in that room? Place the props needed for those activities throughout the room.
Lots of lights open up a room and gives it a larger appearance. If you’ve been using 50 watt bulbs, move up to 100 watts. If a large living room has only one lamp, move in another. Open curtains. Add mirrors. When it’s being shown, the home should be bright. Brightness gives a showy feel. And your home is now center stage!
Do Your Homework
Ask what buyers are looking for in your community. What are they saying about the homes they don’t buy? And what is it about the homes that are selling that makes them so popular? By determining your ideal target buyer, you will better understand how to merchandise your home. Our experience in your specific neighborhood can help you answer all these questions and more.
Almost as important as how a home looks is how it smells. Ask a close friend to walk through your home — objectively — and take a whiff here and there. Are there any offensive odors? Is it too perfumy? Too drab? Stale? Musty? Are there pet odors (which should be fixed — not covered up!)? What can you do to impress potential buyers with aroma therapy?
When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll want to work with a real estate professional who knows all aspects of the selling process — including showcasing. Call us today to talk about how we can help you display your home to sell for the best possible price!
INDULGENCE IN CAREFREE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND
The weather this time of year in Arizona is perfect for attending an outdoor festival and what better way to spend it than attending the Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolates and Fine Art? We at Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona are always looking for events that are of interest to our local residents or those visiting.
The 3rd Annual Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolates and Fine Art takes place beginning Thursday, February 13th and runs through Sunday, February 16th at 101 Easy Street, at the Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion- all located in downtown Carefree. Hours are Thursday from 12:00 noon to 5:00pm and continuing Friday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm.
It is a free event with over 100 exhibitors and something that will appeal to the tastes of everyone. There will be confectionary delights for your loved ones, fine art and music and entertainment.
With up to 100 exhibitors of fine art, chocolate and other confections, the Carefree Fine Chocolate and Fine Art Festival will satisfy every sweet tooth.
The San Francisco Chocolate Factory is the festivals’ featured chocolatier, they create batches of chocolate confections using only the best ingredients. Known for creating small batches with only the finest ingredients. They also believe that the freshest of chocolate tastes the best and will be featuring chocolate and caramel covered apples.
W-Xocolati Fine Chocolates, and It’s a Devine Bakery are also going to be at the festival offering their finest of confections.
Live performances by rock, country and western, and local soloists will round out the festival, offering music to satisfy everyone. The “Desert Cactus Kickers”, a group of dancing grannies are also expected to perform at the festival.
Carefree also offers the beauty of the desert and surrounding mountain scenery, what better way to spend it than with your loved ones at this festival?
There are also the many shops, art galleries, and restaurants you can visit while in Carefree. Again there is something to suit all discriminating taste buds. And loads of confections from the festival for dessert or to bring home for your loved ones!
It is everyone’s dream to own a home but not all are given the opportunity. There are many reasons why people choose to rent instead, whether in an apartment or condo (condominium). There is the credit standing issue, mortgage issues, or lack of down payment. In addition, some are forced to rent simply because the property they want to purchase is farther from the workplace and rather than spending extra time traveling to and from, moving into a rental property is a better option.
Living in an apartment or condo is not a bad thing at all. In fact, because of lower living expenses and no cost for maintenance in a rental, you can often save money in the long run and will help achieve the goal of owning your own home someday. However, the transition isn’t always easy. The biggest challenge is dealing with your items and personal belongings and how can you fit all those into a small space.
No matter how small the living unit is, there are always ways in which to make it look larger. The trick is strategically arranging furniture as well as adding decorations and accents that would create an illusion of a larger and spacious apartment.
There are some tips that might just be useful in making your small-spaced apartment look larger than it is without a lot of cost:
- Remove the Clutter – A better picture of where things should be placed can be best visualized if the room is free from unnecessary items. There is nothing that makes a space feel cramped more than having too many things. Get rid of any item of furniture that is not adding to the look of the room. Most importantly, create an organized storage.
- Hang Long Curtains – Hang curtains close to the ceiling to give the illusion of tall windows. Make sure that the color of the curtain is the same color as the walls to help avoid contrast to the space.
- Hang Mirrors – Create an illusion of a larger space by hanging mirrors around the apartment. Choose a framed mirror that highlights the decors. Mirrors will add an extra light, sparkle and sparkle and make a room appear bigger.
- Coordinate Wall and Furniture Colors – Contrasting colors tend to break up a space. Pieces of furniture are less interrupting and tend to blend with the space if they are colored to match the wall.
- Use Your Walls – If you have many things to put away such as books, take advantage of your wall space by hanging floating shelves. You can rotate the decor you put on the shelves to adapt to anything you add to the room.
- Let the Light In – Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of any draperies and open up the window to let the light in. The use of blinds or shades can still give you the privacy needed, yet let the light in when they are open.
Moving into an apartment can be challenging if you are used to having a bigger space, but with creativity and proper arrangement, you’ll surely love your small apartment.
February is here and for most of us, February is considered a month of love because of Valentine’s Day celebrated on February 14th. Many are excited to celebrate this once in a year activity reserved for lovers to kindle the flames.
However, Valentine’s Day is not that simple. Sometimes, this can be a stressful experience because of the preparations that need to be done such as where to go, where to eat or what’s the perfect gift to give a loved one.
Valentine’s Day is never complete without a romantic dinner for two. If you are looking for a restaurant with a scenic view for this special occasion, you are lucky as Scottsdale and Phoenix both offer restaurants with the most stunning views.
Here are a few ideas where you can celebrate and enjoy both the sumptuous dinner and the stunning views.
- Compass Arizona Grill – Sitting above Phoenix on the 24th floor of the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, this award winning restaurant is Arizona’s only revolving restaurant, features Contemporary American cuisine and enjoy Contemporary Cuisine at its best as you are treated to 360° views. Compass Arizona Grill offers a tantalizing Pre-Fixe menu for a perfect way to say I love you this Valentine’s Day. Make your reservations today.
- Geordie’s Restaurant at Wrigley Mansion – The Geordie’s Restaurant at Wrigley Mansion offers a dining experience that is anything but ordinary. With breathtaking views of the city and a choice of casual or upscale dining, you are guaranteed to have a memorable experience. For this Valentine’s Day, bring your dancing shoes because Geordie’s Restaurant will be having a live jazz quartet and a dance floor in the beautiful living room waiting for you to dance the night away while enjoying all your jazz favorites.
- J&G Steakhouse – You’ll find J&G Steakhouse on the Penthouse level of the award winning Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. J&G Steakhouse offers a sophisticated collection of steakhouse classics as interpreted by Michelin starred chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Diners will enjoy dramatic sunset views of the Valley while dining premium meats and a global selection of fish.
- Piñon Grill - When it comes to fine dining, Scottsdale’s Piñon Grill is an excellent choice. Piñon Grill features a relaxing and intimate atmosphere surrounded by Camelback Lake, golf course vistas and the McDowell Mountains. Set within Millennium Scottsdale Resort & Villas, the Piñon Grill has a diverse menu that is based around Sonoran contemporary cuisine. The food at this restaurant is fresh, inventive and cooked to perfection.
Like other celebrations, reservations are a must. Restaurants will be full and busy on this day and you certainly don’t want to ruin your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in the Scottsdale or Phoenix area.
Exposed: the best of Scottsdale, AZ living. Scottsdale promises an adventure full of fun and excitement with every visit in this much loved city. Located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona is rated as one of the most desirable communities to live in and visit. Scottsdale is known for its mountain views, sunny and clear blue skies and is being applauded for its shimmering star-filled night skies.
Take a leisure trip to the Downtown Scottsdale and feel the warmth of Scottsdale’s hospitality and delight yourself to numerous unique and desirable tourist destinations. When you arrive in Downtown Scottsdale, you have arrived at one of the most acclaimed tourist destinations in Arizona. It provides a mix of specialty of retail, art galleries, vibrant nightlife that suits your preference. Explore the business district and savor a wide variety of art, fashion and music festivals, or join the night ArtWalk every Thursday and get a chance to see some of the works of Southwest’s most talented artists. Downtown Scottsdale also offers a vibrant and exciting nightlife. With more than 50 nightspots in the area, no matter what your style is there surely is something special for you.
Is it dining and restaurants you are most excited about? Discover a dining experience that is creative, elegant and delectable cuisine. While Arizona is most famous for its Mexican food, steakhouses are also getting a lot of attention these days. Highly acclaimed chefs create exquisite taste of some of Southwest’s best flavors serving both local and international specialties. No matter what it is your craving, you will find plenty of good eats in Scottsdale AZ.
While Scottsdale, AZ is a wonderful tourist destination as it is full of lovely resorts, golf courses, shops and restaurants, Scottsdale also contains a culturally diverse neighborhood. It has the best medical facilities and hospitals and first class schools. Residents enjoy the many opportunities Scottsdale has to offer. Homes for sale in Scottsdale, AZ are reasonably priced and with your money’s worth you’ll get an exquisitely designed home with scenic views in a secured community.
Featured Scottsdale Real Estate Property
Listing # 5027903
Price : $1,790,000
Bed : 4
Baths : 5.5
Within the resort community of Winfield rests a home that combines breathtaking views with the finest custom detailing and expert craftsmanship, this home in Scottsdale is a stunning example of architectural excellence. With the home bordering the Winfield Mountain Preserve, whoever purchases this gem will always have beautiful views of the hillside that soars from just beyond the back yard. It has 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, office, theater, and an oversize 3 car garage with lots of custom storage space. Views are emphasized through out the home with oversized windows in places such as the Great Room with a fireplace accented with natural stone, entertainment wall with a wide-screen television and art niches with granite bases. More photos here.
Discover Scottsdale. A city full of laughter and life. You’ll be surprised how Scottsdale just fits into your lifestyle. Make that life-changing decision and move into Scottsdale real estate where everything is ideal!
When you decide to own a home or if you have inquiries about Scottsdale Real Estate, email or call us at 480-595-6412 and we are here ready to help.