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Pending Home Sales Rise Again in March

by Nate Martinez

Washington, DC, April 28, 2011

March saw another increase in pending home sales, with contract activity rising unevenly in six of the past nine months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors, chief economist, said home sales activity has shown an uneven but notable improvement. “Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own,” he said. “The index means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgage lending criteria returned to normal, safe standards.”

Weekend Freeway Restrictions

by Nate Martinez

The Phoenix Valley area freeways have been under some major construction for the last few weeks, as most of us have probably experienced -- this weekend will be no different! The good news is the weekened closures and restrictions allow for more work to be done so projects are completed in less time and stay on budget.

This weekend, we can expect restrictions at Grand Ave (US 60) to one lane in both directions between 83rd and 99th Avenues in the Peoria area for rubberizing asphalt paving. Loop 101/Grand Ave/91st Ave ramps will be closed. There will also be additional turn lane restrictions in those areas -- if you are going to be in those areas, please plan for extra travel time!

Grand Avenue will also be narrowed to one lane in both directions between Bell Road and Loop 303 for rubberized asphalt paving.

If you are heading out of town to California, you can expect I-10 to be restricted to one lane in each direction for 40 miles west of downtown Phoenix for a bridge improvement project at the Hassayampa River. If you are heading east to New Mexico, you can also expect delays on I-10 east of Wilcox for bridge improvements.

For more information from ADOT, you can visit www.AzDot.gov -- travel safe!

The Story of Andrea Santa Maria - please read

by Nate Martinez

The Story of Andrea Santa Maria

I know many or most of the blogs I post on my website are related in some degree to real estate, market trends or how real estate affects our day-to-day lives – because, well that is what I do - inform you of important real estate information. But today, I want to talk to you about something far more important than real estate.

We all know the market conditions impact not only the value of home sales but do we really know how far down the trickle effect goes? They say for every home sale, literally thousands of dollars goes back into our economy in some fashion – be it the Realtors, to the title companies, to the locksmith to the pizza delivery guy on the big moving night.

But with all the changes in the economy from the lack of home sales and/or the rapid decline in home values, have we really taken the time to evaluate what that means for the future of Arizona? In some ways yes, in others, we have not even begun to understand the short and long term effects – and we have simply glossed over one very crucial part of our community which has been hit the hardest - our school districts.

Across Arizona, school districts have been forced to make difficult decisions to cut costs just so they can meet minimum educational standards. These budget cuts are leaving kids, like my 17year old niece Andrea to face difficult, if not impossible decisions about their futures.

At 7years old, my niece was diagnosed with Diabetes. Over a short period of time, Andrea’s condition escalated to what is called Brittle Diabetes. In easy-to-understand medical terms, Brittle Diabetes is described as uncontrollable type 1 diabetes causing large swings in blood sugar levels. Currently, Brittle Diabetes affects less than 1% of insulin-dependant diabetes patients. The long term effects of Brittle Diabetes on the physical body are still being discovered by medical science, which can range from major organ failure to onset learning disabilities. Today, Andrea weighs less than 70 pounds and receives 5 to 6 insulin injections daily and is required to check her blood sugar count at a minimum of 7 to 8 times per day.

In one month Andrea is set to graduate high school, despite also having been diagnosed with I.D.D. (Intellectual Developmental Disability) or also known as M.M.R. (Mild Mental Retardation). When Andrea enrolled in high school as a freshman, her scholastic skills were that of a 2nd grader, yet the school and the west valley education department has managed to let this poor girl slip through the cracks, claiming that in 30+ days, Andrea will be ready to go out into the world to begin her life as a fully functioning adult – even though she lacks the ability to tell time.

I am sharing this story with you to ask for your help. My sister has exhausted her options within the actual high school where Andrea attends as well as within the school district. She is fearful for her daughter’s physical health, not to mention how she will manage in the real world if in fact she is forced to graduate high school next month.

In the state of Arizona, there are programs available for special students, like my niece, which would allow her to attend school until the age of 22, however, the school district is refusing to recognize that Andrea needs help – nor are they owning up to the fact that for the past 3 years, Andrea has not received the proper educational support she needed to pass the basic academic requirements of a high school graduate. Sadly, I am certain Andrea is not the first student this has happened too but if we can speak out now and help each other, maybe she will be the last.

My niece needs our assistance and fast. We are looking for legal counsel, a student advocate for the Arizona Department of Education or someone who has been through this process before who can offer solid advise – but we need help now. I know at least one person reading this blog can help – please contact me either via email at Nate@NatesHomes.com or on my personal cell phone at 602-430-5226. Together we can make a difference – I thank you in advance!

**05/13/2011 Update**
An account has been set up on behalf of Andrea with Desert Schools Federal Credit Union: Andrea Santa Maria, routing #122187238, Savings #6000091765.

Happy Easter

by Nate Martinez


HAPPY EASTER!

On behalf of myself and my team, we would like to wish you, your family and friends a most beautiful of Easter Sunday celebrations! Regardless of the many different religious believes available to us in America, it is a day to be honored and shared among those you hold near and dear to your heart. May you each have a special day filled with blessings which will carry with you throughout the year. Happy Easter! Nate & Team.

Want to understand how to buy a bank owned home?

by Nate Martinez

Want to understand how to buy a bank owned home?

We can all agree the only thing that is really constant is change -- well it is no different when it comes to buying and selling real estate. If you bought a home 10 or 15 years ago the process was pretty similar overall to when say your parents bought the home you grew up in. But if you are considering purchasing a home in today's market, the process appears to be night and day -- but in reality, when we cut away all the scary words like "as-is", "foreclosure" and the dreaded "short sale" we will still find at the heart of the deal -- just that, a real estate deal. Understanding how to buy a bank owned home can be easy with an experience Realtor by your side.  

I believe part of the challenge our market is experiencing is driven by fear -- fear of the unknown -- a fear which simple doesn't need to exist if we go into a real estate purchase with our eyes wide open. What we need, is not to be in fear, but rather arm ourselves with real facts, educate ourselves about the differences between buying a bank owned home verses a traditional resale home, learn how short sales work and have faith that everything always has a way of working out for the best, even in the most stressful of situations.

I have put together a very comprehensive how to buy a bank owned home section on my website to help explain the process from A to Z -- and this includes the major players, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD homes. If you or someone you know is considering purchasing a home or investing in real estate, please take a few minutes and check out the information I have made available for you. I think you will find it will clear up many misconceptions about buying bank owned homes, as well as put your fears to rest -- now is a great time to buy!

REMAX CEO - Margaret Kelly speaks about housing market

by Nate Martinez

Scottsdale Culinary Festival - this weekend!

by Nate Martinez

  Looking for something to do this evening?

At 7:00pm the 33rd Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival will celebrate another food extravaganza in Old Town Scottsdale. This event highlights Valley restaurants plus a fashion show and music from 101.5 KZON radio station. If you would rather sample good drinks then food, make sure you check out the Eat, Drink and Be Pretty cocktail party sponsored by Skyy Vodka. You can also enjoy the Southwest Festival of Beers and wine at the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine tent.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts located at 7374 E Second Street, Scottsdale, AZ.
7:00pm to 10:00pm Friday, April 8th and 12:00noon to 9:00pm on Saturday, April 9th.
Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza located at 7380 E Second Street, Scottsdale, AZ.
12:00noon to 6:00pm Saturday/Sunday, April 9-10th

Its that time of year again - watch your kids around water!

by Nate Martinez

It’s that time of year again! Although most of us love spending time by the pool enjoying our family and friends, it is imperative that we practice good water safety. Too many times we hear on the evening news about a child drowning or an accident around water. Here is a list of easy tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this year:

1.) Constant supervision is a must – never leave a child unattended in or near a pool/spa. In fact, no one, not even adults should ever be left alone in a pool/spa.

2.) Teach children basis water safety tips – or better yet, teach them to swim as soon as possible. Drowning and close calls are eight times more likely to happen to a child who can not swim. Before a child or an adult enters the water, they should know how to swim. Although it’s no guarantee it will prevent an accident, it does help provide basic level of protection in the water.  

3.) Learn CPR. If you own a pool or spend a lot of time near the water, you should know CPR – it could save a life!

4.) Make sure pools/spas have secure fencing and gates. If you own a home with a pool, it is important you understand the city ordnance pertaining to pool codes and safety. Gates should always be self-closing and self-latching.

5.) There are a multitude of alarm systems on the market now which are reasonable in price. An alarm on the door or pool gate is a great idea to increase safety awareness.

6.) Have a telephone near by when you are out by the pool.

7.) Share the safety instructions with your family, friends and neighbors. Educating a child about the importance of water safety could be what saves their life!

8.) Have a designated “Life Guard” – elect someone to be responsible for watching over those in the pool or spa.

9.) Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapment.

10.) Get involved! Stay in tune with local pool safety campaigns and public service announcements. You can follow the Pool Safety Campaign on Twitter to learn more!

Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona: www.preventdrownings.org
The Drowning Prevention Coalition, a community based organization comprised of parents, health and safety professionals and business leaders, exists to provide a forum to prevent drowning and near drowning through the promotion of education, legislative action and enhanced product safety.

Congrats to my team!

by Nate Martinez

Congratulations to my team for finishing among the top 10 ranked RE/MAX teams in the Arizona! My team finished #1 for closed real estate transaction and #3 for total commissions earned.

We could not have done this without your help! THANK YOU to each of you who bought or sold a home with us in 2010. Your continued support is what makes our team a success! We look forward to another awesome year in 2011!

If you or someone you know if thinking about buying or selling a home, now is the time. If you want to learn more about cash-flow investments, please call my office to speak to a CIAS Certified team member - we are ready to help put your hard earned money to work for you. Please email or call my office - we would love to help you with your real estate goals! Nate

 

Exciting website changes!

by Nate Martinez

  Most people who know me, know that I am "Mr. Technology" and love how technology is constantly changing and improving our lives. When I first got into real estate 25+ years ago, we did all our advertising by printed mail or hand delivered fliers. There was no such thing as Internet search engines, no QR codes or even websites to provide clients with valuable home buying/selling information. Well, today, we live in a world full of amazing, innovative ways to deliver information at lightening speed.

I have spent lots of time researching and updating my website so we can do just that -- provide you with the most current, useful information you need to help make an informed decision when it comes to your real estate needs. We have added a whole new wing onto our website directed towards buying a bank owned home. We have highlighted the top major banks, including Freddie Mac, Fannie and HUD homes to not only answer your questions on how to buy a bank owned home but also how to search for one online.

Please take a moment to check the new additions by visiting How to Buy a Bank Owned Home. I hope you will find this information beneficial -- and please feel free to pass it along. As always, if you or someone you know needs help with their real estate goals, it would be our pleasure to assist them! Nate

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Nate Martinez
RE/MAX Professionals
20241 North 67th Avenue, Suite A1
Glendale AZ 85308
623-643-1010
602-430-5226
Fax: 602-532-7352

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