Pinetop White Mountain Blog

The Lending Process can be frustrating. 

Focus on the end goal not the process.

If you are thinking of buying a home and you need to acquire financing, be prepared for a headache. The loan process is frustrating, complicated, and invasive. Lenders are required to dig deep in to your finances to determine your qualifications for a loan. They verify the verification of the verification, and then do it once or twice more before closing. Don’t blame your loan officer. It isn’t them, the rules that have been put in place since the market crash is complicated. The funding entities, whether it be a bank, or one of the financial institutions held by the US Government (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), your lender is required to comply with rules and requirements or face still fines and penalties. Your loan officer knows the process is invasive and they don’t like the process any more than you do. They have no choice though, because the rules and guidelines for financing are strict and must be adhered to by your lender.

A few things that can make things easier is to follow a couple of simple guidelines once you are in the loan approval process. First: don’t buy anything on credit or spend your ready cash for anything other than every day household expenses and paying your bills. Second: Don’t get behind on any of your bills. Keep them current and paid on time so your credit score doesn’t change. Finally: Whatever you do, don’t change jobs. The lender is going to contact your employer multiple times during the process to verify you are still employed and that your employment is expected to continue indefinitely. The lending process can be frustrating for consumers. Everyone involved in the process is aware of it, from the agent, to the title officer, to the lender, to the consumer. Unfortunately it is what it is and must be endured when purchasing a home.

The best advice I can give anyone going through the process is to keep focused on the ultimate goal, moving in to your new home. Remind yourself that it is a process everyone must go through and fortunately is of a relatively short duration. Once it is over, it should be a long time before you have to go through it again. Just keep looking ahead and try not to get bogged down by the details. Frustrating and as invasive as it is, the end result is a goal worth focusing on.

Thanks for reading, until next time….

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

Posted by Sandra Paulow on August 23rd, 2017 12:49 PM

Are you missing out on the very best the White Mountains has to offer?

 

If you are not in the White Mountains right now, you are missing out.  There is no nicer time of year than right now in the White Mountains of Arizona.  The summer rains bring out the very best the mountain has to offer.  It is green and colorful and the weather is out of this world.  The blue skies and the warm sunshine on the green trees and the colorful wildflowers with take your breath away.  Late summer is absolutely the best time of year to visit our mountain.  Come take a look and I’ll bet you won’t want to leave. 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI

928.242.0300

 

Posted by Sandra Paulow on August 17th, 2017 11:27 AM

Why you should consider a price reduction.

 

We all have the same goal, to get you the best price, at the best terms & conditions when selling your home. However, if any of the following apply, it may be time to consider a price reduction. 

 

  • Not many people are looking at your home

  • You have good buyer traffic but no offers

  • Time is getting short and you need to sell soon

  • You cannot afford to make upgrades or improve the home

  • Other homes in the area are selling but your home is not

  • More homes similar to yours have hit the market in your area

 

The first two in the list are most likely the result of the following.      

 

Location.  If your home does not have the best location or offers little in the way of privacy, it will be more difficult to sell.  Maybe your home backs a busy road or the back yard looks in to the neighbor’s messy back yard.  These are conditions you may have no control over so the only answer is price.  Price helps buyers overlook issues that cannot be overcome.    

 

Home needs updating.  Today’s buyers are very discerning.  If the home is largely original or is more than a few years old, the décor or the floor plan may be dated.  If the décor is dated and the appliances are older, that will affect how buyers see the home.  They may see only the dollar signs required to bring the house up to their standards.  These are conditions that may not be feasible for you to overcome.  If that is the case, the only option would be to adjust the price to compensate for the issues.

 

Timeframe for selling is getting short.  If you are relocating or have other issues that may be putting the pressure on you to sell, your only option may be a price reduction.  What we want and what we need to sell are often two different things.  If you need to sell, you may need to reconsider your expectations.

 

Other homes are selling but your home is not.  Asking your agent for an updated list of comps and an evaluation of days on the market may help shed light on this issue.  The longer a home stays on the market, the less interest it will attract.  A price reduction may be what is needed, even a minor one, to bring that home back to the forefront of buyers and agent’s minds.  Even minor changes to a listing can spur more activity.

 

More competition in your market.  In the White Mountains of Arizona, the market is seasonal.  Some sellers prefer to list in the early Spring to capture the early season buyers.  Others will wait until later in the year to list in the hope that it will sell off season when the home is vacant.  Either way, if more homes hit the market comparable to your home, you will need a hook to attract attention.  Price is often that hook.  You do not want to be the most expensive home on the block.  Price it right and competitively and it will sell.  

 

Condition and price are the main factors when selling your home.  In every market you have two options, raise the condition or lower the price.  If the conditions are unfavorable, than lowering the price is the answer. 

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

Posted by Sandra Paulow on August 14th, 2017 2:18 PM


Ready to Buy a Home in Pinetop, Arizona?

Look no further than this fine site built home with the convenience of a Condominium.  No exterior upkeep or maintenance., the HOA takes care of that.  This is a Free-Standing Condo in a gated community.  3 BR, 3 BA, with Great Room, Kitchen, Dining Area, Master Bedroom & Bath, Hall Bath, & Laundry on the ground floor.  2 Spacious BR's, full bath, large workroom/potential 4th BR, & Loft on the second level.  This is a great home and price right.  $279,900.  Click on the link below for more details. 

http://www.flexmls.com/share/11boE/3052BuckCrossingWayPinetopAZ85935

Ready to take a look? 

Call me!

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

 928.242.0300

From "Sign Up" to "Sign Down"

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

Posted by Sandra Paulow on August 12th, 2017 12:54 PM

Home Inspections, what you should expect.

 

You have made your offer on your next home and it is in escrow.  Now it is time for your Home Inspection.  Here is what you should expect from your home inspector.

 

  1. An overall examination of the property and potential and existing issues.

  2. A visual examination of the roof and foundation.

  3. A visual and physical inspection of electrical systems, plumbing systems, and HVAC systems.

  4. A visual and functionality check of doors, windows, and cabinetry.

  5. A functionality check of the existing appliances to see if they are operational.

  6. A visual evaluation of the landscaping and potential problems with drainage.

  7. A visual examination of the crawl space or basement if one exists.

  8. An examination of siding to determine if there are any areas of concern where leakage could occur.

  9. A check of gutters and downspouts (if existing) to determine if they need cleaning or repair.

  10. A check of all facia boards and areas where roof attaches to the side walls for issues.

  11. An inspection of decks, railings, and porches for safety concerns.  

What inspectors don’t do is a full roof inspection, foundation inspection, or specialty items like pools, spas, and insect infestations.  They may make note of potential issues on the report, but if the buyer wants more information, they should hire specialists in these areas. 

 

A home inspection is intended to give a buyer an overall evaluation of the condition of the property they have decided to purchase.  It is not intended as a “punch list” of items the seller will have to repair.  All homes in Arizona are sold in “Present Condition” so buyers need to keep that in mind when buying a home.  It is not the seller’s responsibility to make a home like new.  Unless it is a new home covered by a builder’s warranty, the seller is not required to repair anything.  That does not mean they will not fix anything within reason.  It only means that they are not required to do so to sell their home. 

The buyer does have an opportunity to request repairs from the seller.  However, if the seller declines to do those repairs the buyer has two options; accept the seller’s response or cancel the offer and move on to a different property.  The inspection is not intended as an opportunity to renegotiate price or to change the terms of the original offer.  It is only intended as an opportunity for the buyer to determine if the price offered is in line with the condition of the property, and if the condition is acceptable to the buyer. 

 

I hope this provides some clarification for you on the intent and purpose of a home inspection.  I always recommend that buyers have a home inspection.  It is well worth the cost to determine if the home is all they want and expect.  If you are thinking of buying a home in the White Mountains, call me.  I would love to help you find your high country home at the price and terms that work for you. 

 

Thanks for reading, until next time…..!

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

Posted by Sandra Paulow on July 5th, 2017 12:43 PM

Listings are in Short Supply!   

 

Markets are always changing.  This year has proven to be a strong seller’s market. The inventory of homes for sale is the lowest it has been in many years.  Even though values have recovered, we are not seeing as many homes on the market as expected during the peak buying season.  Buyer demand is strong, but finding homes to sell is a challenge.  Homes in every price range are needed now. 

 

As is always the case, affordable homes are in the greatest demand.  These always sell quickly because buyers with a limited budget are going to make an offer quickly on any home that comes available that they feel they can afford.  There is a strong demand for homes with sound structures that may need some updating.  If you have a home you have been thinking about selling but are hesitant because it may be a little dated, now may be the right time to put the home on the market. 

 

Luxury homes or higher priced properties always move a little slower because the pool of buyers is smaller.  There are buyers out there though, pricing correctly is critical when you are selling a higher end home.  Being slightly under market will be attractive to these buyers.   

 

Land sales are starting to pick up, but land buyers are very particular and pricing is important.  Because of the limited inventory buyers are considering the possibility of purchasing a lot and building as they cannot find a home that fits their needs.  Building costs are high however so finding an existing home is often the better option. 

 

If you have been thinking of selling, now is the time to talk to a local professional about your options.   The buying season is in full swing and homes are needed.  Sales have been strong all season and homes that are on the market are seeing good activity and that is what brings the offers.  If you would like to discuss your options, call me.   I would love to show you what my company and I can do to help you accomplish that goal.  Call today for details.

 

Thanks for reading, until next time…..

 

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sandra Paulow on June 30th, 2017 11:53 AM

Freedom is not Free!

To remember those who gave their all to protect our Country.

A Memorial Day Tribute.  

It is Memorial Day Weekend.  A weekend to remember those who sacrificed everything in the defense of America and our way of life.  I saw this video a few days ago and shared it on some of the social sites but thought it was worth sharing here as well.  

Too many have forgotten what Memorial Day means.  It is more than just a long weekend to travel, play, and have fun with friends and family.  It is a day of remembrance for those who have fought and died for the American way of life. 

In today’s troubled times when there is much dissention in our country and it is very divided, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves what we stand for and why we are “free” to speak our minds and share our views even if others do not agree with them.  

Put out your flags America, for this one weekend put aside your differences and remember, every one of us has a loved one, an ancestor, or someone we truly cared about who gave their all in defense of our American way of life.  It isn’t about politics or political views, it is about remembering those we have lost throughout history in the defense of the greatest nation on earth, The United States of America.  

I will just drop this here to remind us all to bow our heads and thanks to all who gave their all in defense of the American way of life. 

  

Freedom is not Free – A soldiers pledge:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/rKsW6c_CgFY?feature=player_detailpage




Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR®
928.242.0300
From "Sign Up" to "Sign Down"
EXPRIENCE makes the Difference.
SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

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Posted by Sandra Paulow on May 26th, 2017 12:44 PM

Focus First – Pre-qualify Second – Search Third

 

A common issue with inexperienced home buyers is getting the cart before the horse, so to speak.  They have made the decision that they want to buy a house and jump online to start looking at properties.  They don’t really have any idea the process or order of things when they start searching.  They know they want to buy, but they have no real conception on what buying a home involves. 

 

Focusing on what they need and where they want to be is the first step.  This is particularly true if they are unfamiliar with an area.  They may start searching at a particular price point without considering other factors in the search.  Price is certainly important but just searching by price will not necessarily yield the results they want.  Maybe the home is not where they think it is.  Maybe the neighborhood or school district does not meet the needs of their children.  Inexperienced buyers need the assistance of an experienced REALTOR® to help them focus on where & what they need.

 

Once the focus is fixed, and an area or neighborhoods have been defined, the next step is getting pre-qualified with a lender.   Once a buyer knows what they can comfortably afford it will help narrow their search to homes that meet the financing criteria. Keep in mind that even though a price may seem appealing, if lending is involved, the condition of the home also needs to be considered.  Lenders lend as much against the property as they do the borrowers (the buyers) who are buying the home.   If the home is in poor condition the lender may require a lot of repairs before they will lend against it.  If the sellers are unwilling or unable to make those repairs the buyers may spend a lot of time and money (home inspections, appraisals, etc.) on a home they will be unable to acquire financing for.   

 

Finally it is time to start searching for a home.  Locating homes that fit the needs, wants, and price point is a REALTOR’S® area of expertise.  They have the experience to help narrow that search to just homes in the condition, price range, and areas that will work for the buyers.  Searching online may be fun, but actually viewing houses when you are ready to buy is where the agent’s expertise comes in.  They know what to look for, how to watch for “red flags” that could stymy a sale, and they have access to the information a buyer needs to make an educated decision about making an offer on a property.

 

If you are ready to buy your first home or if it has been a long time since you bought a home, you need an experienced professional to help you find the right home, at the right price, condition, and terms that meet your needs.  Today’s purchase transactions are complex and you need an agent with tenacity, knowledge, and experience, to keep things moving forward to the ultimate destination, a successful closing on the home of your dreams. 

 

Call today and let me help you get started.

 

Thanks for reading, until next time…..

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

 

 

Posted by Sandra Paulow on April 29th, 2017 3:23 PM

Listings Needed! 

Calling all potential Sellers…..  

 

Markets shift quickly and right now we are leaning toward a seller’s market. The inventory of homes for sale is the lowest it has been in many years.  Even though values have recovered, people are reluctant to sell because they fear they may not be able to replace what they already have at an affordable price.  Buyer demand is strong, but finding homes to show them is a challenge. 

 

Affordable homes are in the greatest demand.  Often when a nice home hits the MLS, if it isn’t already showing “pending sale”, it will in just a few days.  Affordable homes, (those priced below $200K) move very quickly.  If you have an affordable property you have been considering selling, let me know.  Homes in this price range are needed now.    

 

Luxury homes or higher priced properties always move a little slower because the pool of buyers is smaller.  They do sell, but as a rule they take a little longer to sell.  It is important with higher end homes that they be priced competitively.  Buyers have access to so much information on line that they do a lot of shopping before they ever look at a home.  Often they will already have a list of homes they want to see when they contact an agent and have a price in mind before they see the home.  This holds true with all properties, if it is priced right it will sell.            

 

Land sales picking up and that is another indication of an improving economy and an offshoot of the lack of inventory.  Some buyers are opting to buy land and build a new home because they cannot find what they want at a price they are comfortable with.  The good news is that there is a lot of land available.  If you are a buyer and you think this might be the way to go, now may be a great time to start that search.  Prices are very competitive for lots and land because land sales have been sluggish for a long time.     

 

If you have been thinking of selling, now may be the time to consider it.  The Spring and Summer buying season is here and the early season shoppers are already out looking for homes.  Showing activity has been brisk and the winter slow down never really materialized this year.  Sales have been strong all season and homes that are on the market are seeing good activity and that is what brings the offers.  If you would like to discuss your options, call me.  Right now is the ideal time to get the home out there for those early season shoppers.   I would love to show you what my company and I can do to help you accomplish that goal.  Call today for details.

 

Thanks for reading, until next time….. 

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “Sign Up” to “Sign Down”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference.

SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sandra Paulow on April 22nd, 2017 1:29 PM

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Fixing Up that Fixer-Upper!

When buyers find that fixer-upper they have been looking for at a great price, they are always extremely happy with their find.  They look at their place with stars in their eyes on how great it is going to be when they are finished with all the improvements. 

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great idea if you go in to the project knowing what lies ahead.  The price tag on the property may be great, but make sure you do your due diligence ahead of time so you know how much and how far you can go without exceeding the values in the area.  Keep in mind it is never a good idea to have the most expensive home on the block.    

Depending on your plans for the property here are a couple of thoughts to keep in mind. 

If  are buying the property for yourself and your family and you intend to stay in the home for a long time, slow and easy is the way to go.  Tackle the most critical issues first and don’t go crazy doing everything to create your dream house right away.  Over-improving too quickly is perilous because if something happens and you find yourself in a position of having to sell sooner than you anticipated, it is unlikely that you will be able to recoup even a quarter of your investment in the project. Homes do gain value over time, but having the most expensive home in the neighborhood is never a good plan.

           

If you are buying the home as an investment and plan to sell quickly after the renovations are complete, be conservative in the improvements you make.  New floor coverings, fresh paint, refaced cabinets and bright shiny new fixtures will improve the marketability of the home, but at a reasonable cost.  Just like you, other buyers are looking for value in what they buy.  They rarely “fall in love” so to speak with a property to the extent that they are willing to pay over market value to acquire the home. “Love” in relation to real estate does not have a dollar amount attached. 

Fixer Uppers can be a good deal as long as you don’t over-improve them. Make improvements with your own objectives in mind and your enjoyment because in reality those improvements may not as much to the value as you think they should.  No matter what our plans are for the future, with real estate as with life, there are no guarantees.   

 

Thanks for reading, until next time…..

 

Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, REALTOR®

928.242.0300

From “SIGN” up to “SIGN DOWN”

EXPERIENCE makes the Difference. 
SUCCESS WITH SANDRA!

 

Posted by Sandra Paulow on April 7th, 2017 2:39 PM

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Thank you for visiting my site. If you are looking for an experienced agent to help you find the right home, at the right price, and at the right terms and condition, call me. Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR® Aspen Properties, Inc. Pinetop, Arizona 928.242.0300 spaulow.realestate@gmail.com