Chris & Shannan's Real Estate Insights!

June 15, 2018

Buyers Beware - Do Not Use Burns Pest Control

So in the world of Real Estate, we always recommend buyers doing a termite inspection.  In Arizona, there are two types of homes - those that have termites and those that will get termites.

So when a buyer does a termite inspection and asks a seller to do a treatment the seller may have a termite warranty or wish for a less expensive company to do the treatment.  So traditionally agents can send the treatment record over to the inspecting company and they will issue a 'Clear' report.  

In fact, one of the termite company wrote us and said "So according to the laws we follow, the company that does the original report must do the supplemental (Clear) report.  I guess they can refuse if someone else does the treatment, although that would be an individual company policy and not a law or regulation."

So Burns Pest Elimination does not issue clear reports based upon other company treatments.  This causes the buyer to have another inspection done and increases their costs.  

So we can no longer recommend Burns Pest Elimination to any of our clients.

April 17, 2018

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

Feb. 20, 2018

2 Ways to get the Most Money from the Sale of Your Home

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | MyKCM

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | MyKCM

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house. gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.


Feb. 20, 2018

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent


Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling! | Simplifying the Market

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

Whether you are buying or selling a home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ‘FSBO.’
The 5 reasons you NEED a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

There are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you achieve your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyers (who want the best deals possible), to the home inspection companies, all the way to the appraisers, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to a study by Collateral Analytics, FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by real estate agents:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic, so why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?


Jan. 31, 2018

New Tax Code Changes for Homeowners

Homeowner Tax Code Changes

1.  Mortgage Interest Deduction - For most folks, this is still a deduction.  The new code does limit the interest on the debt to $750,000 instead of $1 million for homes purchased after December 15, 2017.

2.  Property Tax Deduction - The amount that someone can reduce their taxable income by is now limited to $10,000 for the cost of property taxes, and state and local income taxes or sales taxes.

3.  Home Equity Deduction - The new tax code eliminates interest paid on a home equity line of credit debt.

4.  Mortgage interest deduction for second homes - Homeowners can still deduct the mortgage interest on a second home subject to limits on #1 above.

5.  Moving Expenses - Former law allowed deduction of some moving expenses for a new job.  Beginning in 2018, only active duty military can take this deduction.

6.  Captial Gain Rule  - The amount you can exclude still is $500,000 (married couples / $250K for singles) and remains unchanged on only needing to have used the home as a primary residence for two of the past five years and not using this exclusion in the two years before the sale of the home.

7.  Casualty Losses - are only allowed on losses attributable to a presidentially declared disaster.

Not addressed in the new tax code is the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 that expired on 12/31/2016 which gave tax relief for folks who had mortgage debt discharged for a foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness.


Posted in Home Ownership
Jan. 31, 2018

2017 4th Quarter Market Report


2017 4th Quarter Market Report


Overall the inventory continues to be low with prices ticking up in some areas of town  Both the average sales price and median sales prices are up allowing some people who had been previously underwater the ability to sell.

For Our Market Update CLICK HERE



Posted in Home Ownership
Jan. 31, 2018

Where Are Americans Moving?

Posted in Home Ownership
Jan. 19, 2018

11477 N Verch Drive - For Sale



Open House

Saturday, January 20 2018  

11 AM to 1 PM


11477 N Verch

Oro Valley, AZ

Absolutely Gorgeous and Immaculate 5 Bedroom Home on over ½ acre in Oro Valley. This luxury home is backed to open space and features a Gourmet Kitchen with double stainless ovens, over stove microwave, gas range, kitchen island with sink and good sized pantry with gorgeous granite counter tops. Beautiful concrete floors throughout. Split bedroom plan with large master suite with on suite master bath with dual sinks, separate shower/tub and HUGE walk-in closet! Master bedroom has private access to back yard. Guest rooms are good sized! Formal living and dining rooms. Big three car garage has extra storage and space for a small shop! Resort like back yard has large covered patio and hardscape perfect for entertaining and sparkling pool & spa. Great Views!

Click Here For More Pictures!

Posted in Open House
Jan. 19, 2018

1664 W Wimbledon Way - For Sale - Open House

Open House

Wimbledon Open House


Friday, January 19 2018

Noon to 2PM

For More Information Click HERE

Posted in Open House
Oct. 12, 2017

3rd Quarter Market Report

Overall the market continues to improve.  Depending on the area of town, certain areas have more appreciation than others.

The average sales price is up 14.17% in the past 12 months and the median price is up 16.24%.  The inventory hit a low 3338 units in July, which we haven't seen since about February of 2005.  It has been increasing every month since.

Get our entire Market Update HERE

Posted in Home Ownership