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Helping Buyers Manage Risk with Home Inspections

by Nate Martinez

Helping Buyers Manage Risk with Home Inspections

It would be impossible for even the most knowledgeable Realtor to know everything about every mechanical system in a home. That is why it is important to have inspectors and licensed contractors to assist with those details. However, as real estate professionals, my team and I have learned a few of the basic facts about home inspections so we can better represent our clients and help them identify possible red flags that could lead to expensive repairs.

1.) When a home inspector reports a “split” HVAC system, they are basically measuring the temperature difference between the air going into the AC system and the air coming out.  A Split of 16-22 degrees F is considered a “good split”.  If the number is higher or lower than that, there is typically a problem.

2.) When you ask a seller to make a repair:
*Per our Arizona Residential Contract, we want to make sure the seller provides a receipt for any repairs done. This will give you protection during the re-inspection process.

*We should always ask the seller for a receipt from a licensed contractor(s).

*Performing a re-inspection will ensure the contractor actually performed the repair.

3.) Adding refrigerant to an AC unit is not a repair. If a contractor adds more than 2 pounds of refrigerant, they should be searching for and repairing any leaks or replacing a system component.

4.) Since home inspections are not “technically exhaustive” they do not disassemble HVAC units to inspect the coils, etc. It may be wise to hire a licensed HVAC contractor to do a separate inspection of the AC unit.

*An additional inspection of the AC until will give you a broader scope that what is evaluated during a home inspection and usually run about $75.00. If the unit is older, the house has been a rental or pets have lived in the home, you may want to consider having an additional HVAC inspection.

Of course, another great way to mitigate risk is to request a Professionals Home Warranty! Ask my team how we can help you negotiate a Professionals Home Warranty in your home purchase.

Free Fridays

by Nate Martinez

Free Fridays!

It's Friday again and last week I told you we would be offer a FREE copy of the current HUD homes for sale in Maricopa County.

To learn more about HUD Homes and the bidding process, please check out my website on How to Buy a HUD Home. If you are in the market to buy or invest, you don't want to miss out on HUD Homes in our market!

To receive your FREE copy of the current HUD Home list, please email me at Nate@NatesHomes.com or you can call us at 602-942-7000. Properties are selling fast! Don't wait to check out the awesome deals available on FREE FRIDAYS!

Free HUD Home List!

by Nate Martinez

Free HUD Home List!

Every Friday, HUD posts a current list of homes for sale through the HUD Homestore website. If you are interested in learning more about HUD Homes and the bidding process, please check out my website on How to Buy a HUD Home.

There are many benefits to purchasing a HUD Home - including 3% concession towards your closing costs!

To receive a FREE copy of the current HUD Home list, please contact us TODAY! HUD Homes are selling fast, so don't wait to check out the great buys available through HUD Homestore!

Thanks for Making RE/MAX Number One

by Nate Martinez

Arizona Tax Recovery Program

by Nate Martinez

Arizona Tax Recovery Program

This week Arizona announced a tax recovery program for Arizonan's who may have fallen behind on their state taxes. The legislature included the proposal in the budget, which passed and was signed by Governor Brewer on April 6th, 2011. The program allows individuals and businesses the opportunity to file past state tax returns without civil penalties and will reduce the amount of interest.

The Arizona Tax Recovery period will run from September 1 through October 1, 2011 and the tax types eligible to file include individual and corporate income, withholding, luxury, transaction privilege (sales), and use. Tax Recovery applications will only be accepted from September 1, 2011 through October 1, 2011. The total tax liability must be paid in full with the recovery application or by October 1, 2011.

For taxes filed on an annual basis, such as income tax, recovery is available for years beginning on or after January 1, 2004 and ending before January 1, 2010. Taxpayers who file taxes, such as transaction privilege or withholding, on a monthly or quarterly basis are eligible for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2005 and ending before January 1, 2010.

Tax recovery is a chance for those who live, work or do business in Arizona to come clean and pay any back state taxes they owe in a manner that is advantageous for the taxpayers and the State of Arizona.” said Greene. “The taxpayer can file and pay without any civil penalties or threat of prosecution and with a reduced interest rate and the state benefits by the voluntary payments which save the time and expense of audit and collection efforts.”

Taxpayers can visit http://www.azdor.gov/taxrecovery.aspx for more information about the tax recovery program or call the Arizona Department of Revenue at 1-877-542-2281.

Source: Arizona Department of Real Estate Informational Alert. Arizona Department of Revenue.

The Ebb and Flow Factor

by Nate Martinez

So it’s been about a month since the last time I shared an update on the current market inventory in Maricopa County. Maybe it’s a shock, maybe it’s not but as of today, we have more sale pending homes than we do current available inventory! As of this morning, Maricopa County is reporting 16,391 active homes and a combined total of 17,996 between pending sales and sales with contingencies. Last month I talked about the why – robo signing, etc. This month I want to talk about history, the future and what I want to call the “ebb and flow factor.”

The metro area is roughly 4 million in population and we are the 14th largest city in the U.S. In reality, the median home price has dropped 53% since the peak of 2006 where we are currently hovering around $120,000 – pretty brutal, huh? But history will remind us that Phoenix is no stranger to a “boom and bust” market. But it was not that long ago (late 1980’s) after the savings-and-loan nightmare took down several local developers, including Mr. Charles Keating (who served 4 ½ years in prison for fraud after his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989) that Phoenix experience what we thought at the time was economically catastrophic. The future then? Well, we recovered.

Home sales were up in June by 22% according to NAR (National Association of Realtors) and it was the second consecutive month of strong sales with June reported to be the best since December 2006. Good? I remain optimistic – I have to believe we are on the road to recovery in some fashion, even if it’s by way of a Flintstone vehicle.  

The future – well in reality, we sold a total of 4,725 homes in the month of June – a large degree of those home sales were to non-owner occupants. Nearly half of the foreclosure sales over the past year have been turned into rentals – either with International monies or investors capitalizing on the opportunity to buy low and hold.

The ebb and flow factor? I think so. Evictees have to rent – which has caused rental rates to go up by 9% - which on the surface may not seem like a positive but in the big picture it is. Let me explain.

A few years ago there was a rash of catalytic converters stolen out of parked cars. So some genius came up with the idea to create a cage for your vehicle to protect the catalytic converter – while one thing is a negative, the other is a positive – thus creating a win-win for the economy. Right? The ebb and flow factor.

While the rental market has shifted greatly, home affordability has improved tremendously. With home prices down, mortgage rates practically free (today they are 3.750% for a 30year fixed FHA loan) this is the best time to buy in Phoenix is over 20 years – in some areas of the Valley, prices have come down below values in 1998. People who thought homeownership was completely out of reach for them in 2006 are now able to buy their dream home – for cheap.

So yeah the higher rental rate might be a negative but for every person who has to rent, there are 2 or 3 who can afford to buy – and that is the positive – or the ebb and flow factor. The future? Although I do not have a crystal ball, I will say this – if you are sitting on the fence, its time to jump before you miss out on history! Call me today to get started – first time, inventory, 2nd home – it doesn’t matter what you want, we can help you do it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Update from the Maricopa County Tax Assessor

by Nate Martinez

Update from the Maricopa County Tax Assessor

This morning I sat in a class presented by Keith Russell, the current Assessor for Maricopa County. I have lived in Arizona all my life and today, I learned a few important details about our tax laws which I did not know. So I thought I would pass along the highlights which were discussed as I believe you may find them very helpful.

1.) Did you know you can appeal your Maricopa County property taxes? Yes, if you feel the Assessor has improperly evaluated your house values, therefore taxing you too much, you have the right to appeal. There are stipulates on when you can appeal (deadlines are in April) but you can fill out the forms online. Additionally, you may qualify for a refund of back taxes you have paid, if they find you have been paying too much! 30% of the cases that are seen by the Assessor are successful in their appeal request.

2.) If you own a rental property in Maricopa County, it must be registered with the Assessor's office as a rental. Not only is important for accurate tax evaluations, but if you do not do this and your tenant finds out, there is grounds for your tenant to break their lease. It is very easy to register your property online and literally takes less then a 1 minute to do.

3.) Did you know that seniors qualify for special tax rules? A resident of Arizona who is sixty-five years of age or older may apply to the Maricopa County Assessor for a property valuation protection option on the person's primary residence which covers you for a guaranteed number of years.

4.) Widow, widowers and disabled persons also qualify for special tax rules. The State of Arizona has exemptions for widows, widowers and disabled persons which equates to lower property taxes. For more information, you can visit the Maricopa County Assessor's website to learn more or you can call 602-506-3406.

http://www.maricopa.gov/Assessor/

Happy Mother's Day!

by Nate Martinez

Mother's Day was proposed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, however, it was not adopted as a national holiday until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson declared this special celebration as the 2nd Sunday in May. On behalf of my team and all the beautiful Mothers around the world, we want to wish you a very happy and healthy Mother's Day!

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.

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

 

Displaying blog entries 571-580 of 595

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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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