Pinetop White Mountain Blog

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

Selling your Home?  Here are some tips for attracting today’s buyers.

 

Selling your home in the 21st Century is much different than it was ten years ago.  Today’s buyers are very tech savvy and they know what they want, where they want it, and the condition they expect the home to be in if they are to move forward and purchase a property.  The downturn and market crash taught everyone some tough lessons and today’s buyers are money conscious and conservative, and have done a good deal of research on their own before they ever start looking at homes.  They expect good value for their hard earned money. 

 

Here are just a few expectations for today’s buyers.   

 

  • Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms

  • Open Floor Plans ideal for Entertaining

  • Energy Efficient Appliances and Fixtures

  • High Efficiency Heating and Cooling Units

  • A Home office or Den

  • Wood or Tile Floor Coverings as opposed to Carpeting

  • Low Maintenance Interiors & Exteriors including Landscaping

  • Space for Outdoor Entertaining

  • Proximity to Parks and Recreation Centers including Exercise Facilities

  • Good Walk Score Neighborhoods

  • Competitive Pricing on the home.

 

Today’s buyers may consider a home that needs improvement if it is priced accordingly.  However, they prefer a property that is turn-key.  If there are deferred maintenance issues or repairs you know should be done, do them.  The less the home inspector finds the more likely the buyer is to move forward on the purchase. 

 

As markets shift, expectations change.  It is sometimes difficult for sellers to keep up with those changes.  If you are thinking of selling, talk to a real estate professional about your home.  The agent can help you determine if there are improvements or changes you might want to consider to make your home competitive in an ever shifting marketplace. 

 

If you would like a free, no obligation evaluation of your home, call me.  I can help you get your home ready to sell and keep it competitive with other homes you may be competing against. 

 

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 March 27th, 2017 1:59 PM

The Spring Buying Season is here! 

It doesn’t seem possible that the Spring Home Buying season is upon us, but it is.   Traffic has picked up significantly in the past week and the early Spring shoppers are already out and about.  Those inquiries are going to increase quickly as the interest rates are starting to tick upward.  With the inventory of homes so low, the earlier you get your home listed the better chance you will have of selling quickly.  If things go as they usually do, by Mid-May that inventory is going to increase quite a bit.  

With signs of an early Spring, people will start coming in to the market early so they can get their homes purchased and moves done before the heat really hits in the lower deserts.  Listing early is the best plan of action to capture those early season buyers.  Many are already here looking around.  Several properties listed by Aspen Properties have had good showing activity for the past week.  Many homes are going pending already and that is a good sign of a strong market this year. 

Prices are pretty stable right now and although modest increases can be expected each year, the big jumps of the past couple of years are not likely to materialize again this year.   However, prices are strong and most sellers are in a good position to sell without risking the losses of the past.

Here are a few tips to help you sell at a good price.

  • Spruce up the exterior of the home.  This is the first thing buyers see and first impressions count

  • Does the house need a coat of paint?  Fresh paint can make all the difference because it brightens everything up.  Don’t forget the front door.  Even if the rest of the exterior looks good, a sparkling fresh front door makes a great first impression. 

  • Declutter the interior.  You are going to move anyway so now is a good time to start packing up personal items that can distract a buyer during showings.  

  • Check the condition of house.  Particularly essential items such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical (heating & cooling), appliances, doors & windows, etc.  If they need repair, take care of those items now because they will surface when the buyer does a home inspection. 

  • Check the décor items such as flooring, counters, cabinets, window coverings & hardware, fixtures etc.  Are these items in good shape, clean, and operating as intended?  Does hiring a professional cleaner make sense to make sure everything is sparkling clean?  Buyers notice these things and are sometimes scared away if those items are in poor condition as it gives the impression of lack of maintenance or upkeep on a house.

These are just a few tips to make your home stand out from others in the area.  It isn’t necessary to remodel or spend a lot of money, sometimes a little touch up, early packing, and a good cleaning is all that is needed to make your home stand out and add value to your home. 

If you would like to discuss possibilities this year, call me.  I would be happy to meet with you to go over things and help you make the decision if now is the time for you to sell.  All indicators are it is going to be a good year for Real Estate.  Don’t miss out. 

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 March 15th, 2017 1:05 PM

Finding homes to “Sell” is a challenge!

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 who might otherwise be interested in selling 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, it is already showing as a “Pending Sale” because the listing agent or someone in their office had a buyer who was ready to go and jumped on the property.  Modest or lower priced homes have gained the most and are badly needed in our market.  If you have a modest home you have been considering selling, let me know.  Homes like yours are needed in the White Mountain market. 

Luxury homes or higher priced properties are not moving quite as quickly as demand for them is not as strong.  That does not mean a higher end or luxury home won’t sell.  It simply means that sellers of higher end homes need to be very competitive in their pricing because there are far more upper end homes available than buyers to buy them.   Price it right and 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 that is agreeable to them.   The good news is 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 they have been slow for so long.  Need a contractor?  I can help.   

If you have been thinking of selling, now may be the time to consider it.  The Spring and Summer buying season is just around the corner and the early 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 March 10th, 2017 2:32 PM

The Highest Offer is not always the one chosen.

 

I recently saw an article about a buyer who was really upset that their offer was rejected by a seller in a multiple offer situation.  They had submitted the highest offer on a listing but they lost out to another buyer with a lower offer.  They were really angry with their agent over it because they felt the agent did something wrong.  The agent did everything right.  They presented the offer, did their best to sell the offer to the seller, but it did not make any difference.  In the end a different buyer got the house.  Why?  Who knows, many factors affect why a seller will choose one offer over another. Buyers cannot take it personally.  It is not something the buyer’s agent has control over.  Until an offer is accepted by a seller they own the house and have the option of choosing how and when it is sold.     

 

Perhaps one offer is financed and another is an all cash sale even though it is a little less money.  Perhaps the seller needs a longer closing timeframe and they may go with that offer because it gives them a little breathing room to move.  Perhaps they will choose the first offer that came in just because it came in first.  There is no predicting how a seller is going to react in a multiple offer situation and buyers need to understand that price is only one of those factors.  Many factors can affect how a seller responds to offers.   

 

I had a situation a couple of years ago where my buyer wrote an offer stating they would pay a certain amount higher than any other offer that came in.  The sellers still chose another offer.  In the end we discovered that the sellers knew one of the buyers looking at their home and because they were emotionally attached to the home they wanted someone they knew to be able to buy the house.  My buyers were pretty upset about it at first but there was nothing to be done about it, they had to let it go and move on.    

 

In a tight inventory market it often takes more than one offer on one property to come out the winner in a multiple offer situation.  Certainly it is disappointing to the losing buyers but getting angry helps no one and will not change the situation.  As I stated earlier, the buyer’s agent has no control over what a seller will choose to do.  The agent can present the offer, do their best to sell the offer, but in the end the sellers are the ones who will make the final decision on which offer they want to accept.  It is out of the buyer’s agent’s control. 

 

Inventory is very tight in most areas of the country including the White Mountains.  The general opinion is that many people are staying in their homes longer than in recent history, perhaps because they refinanced and their homes are affordable for them.  Perhaps it is because priced have gone so high in many areas that it does not make sense to sell and move even if the profit margins are there for selling.  To replace what they have would cost them more.  Interest rates are sneaking up too and if a homeowner has a really good interest rate on their existing mortgage it simply may not make sense to move. 

 

Buyers need to understand that there are a lot of factors that affect the market.  At present the market favors sellers a bit more than buyers because the selection of homes is limited.   Perhaps as the year progresses that situation may ease but in the interim buyers need to be patient and understand that factors their agent has no control over may affect how an offer on a property is viewed.  Be patient and remember, when one door closes another opens, it may just take a while to find that door.

 

Thanks for reading everyone, 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 March 3rd, 2017 1:14 PM

Computer Woes, AGAIN!

 

We have all been there.  You get up one morning and log on to your computer only to find it isn’t working.  My latest event happened yesterday morning.  Oh joy, none of the icons on my desktop were working.  I would click on them and the program would start to open and immediately shut down.  I could get in via my web browser but even then things were moving very slowly.

 

I got on the phone to my techy guy to find out what was happening.  He got in to my system and of course determined it had a virus that was causing the malfunction.  (Side note here, I have a high end virus program plus a malware monitor on my system that I am diligent about running.  Fat lot of good that did!) 

 

Anyway, he got in and found where the bugs were and worked on the system for a bit and told me to run my virus program again and all should be well.  Okay, here comes the part that bugs me, I did as I was told, found a few bugs and deleted them per the instructions in my virus program.  Then the program instructed me to reboot the computer and run a boot scan.  I did.  I followed the instructions and guess what, it screwed up windows so bad the windows would not load at all. 

 

That is where I stopped.  I am not techno nerd and I figured if I did any more I would totally toast the computer and there is far too much information on it for that.  So, off to the tech doc it went yesterday.  Praying he can salvage the system long enough for me to get my data off of it.  It may just be time to get a new system but based on my experiences now, it won’t be long before it is “sick” with a bug too.  Guess there is no such thing as a virus protection that actually works. 

 

Thanks for reading everyone, 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 February 23rd, 2017 11:07 AM

Tips for Selling Your Home.

Key Factors that Determine Price.   

 

If you have been considering placing your home on the market, the actual value and marketability of the home are determined by two factors, condition and price.  If you are ready to sell, you need to do one of the following:  raise the condition or lower the price.  These two factors are key to a successful sale.    

If the house is in good condition and is priced appropriately, it will sell.   Sellers should take a step back and view the home the way a buyer might.  Condition is the number one thing that you need to look at closely.  Are there deferred maintenance issues?  Is it located near a busy street or perhaps in an area where the other homes are not as well maintained?  Is there anything that can be done to raise the condition to justify a price?   

A complete rehab or remodel is often not necessary to sell.  Taking care of obvious maintenance issues, perhaps painting or a deep cleaning may be all that is necessary.  Eliminating some personal items to create a feeling of space may be all that is needed.  Depending on your area if the home is looking a little dated, some new floor coverings, window coverings, and counter tops might make the home feel “newer” and help justify your price point.  Improving the condition is the first step when you are ready to sell.  If improving the condition is not possible, than price adjustment will be necessary to attract a buyer.    

Today’s buyers are very well informed and they do a lot of research before they start looking at homes.  Try this; type your address in the search bar of your internet browser.  You will be amazed at the amount of information about your property that is available online.  Buyers have access to volumes of information about properties and neighborhoods.  Nothing is hidden in the information age. 

Your final step is choosing the right agent to represent you.  You need an agent who is familiar with your area, knows the current market condition, and can assist you in determining what you can do to improve the condition of your home so you get the best price possible.  Selling a home is an emotional experience and you need an agent who understands the anxiety some people experience when they are selling their home.  As your White Mountain Real Estate Agent, I can help you in determining how to improve the condition so you can get the best price for your property based on current market conditions.  If you need help with some of those issues, I can provide you with names and numbers of professionals who can help you with the projects.  When it is time to move, give me a call and let me help you get started on the selling process.  

Thank you for thinking of me, 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 January 27th, 2017 2:25 PM

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