Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Preparing to Leave your Home

by Karen Picarello

One often unexpected factor which is often experienced during the sale of a house is the seller’s process of psychologically coming to terms with the fact that they will soon be leaving this place they have called home. This structure, which has represented memories, good times, bad times, security, and family will soon belong to someone else. The difficulty of this will vary based on both the person selling, and how much time they have had to become emotionally invested in the property, but it will nearly always come at some point.

However, this can actually make the sale more difficult. Being aware of your attachment to the property and coming to terms with it is an important thing to do before you begin the sales process. If you want to have a good experience and get good value for your property, you will need to be able to evaluate things relatively impartially. You will need to begin to change the house from your home into something which is marketable and saleable. This may involve redecorating, repainting, and generally changing the home away from the place you knew it as.

Getting a second opinion on things is critical. When you are looking to make your home attractive to prospective buyers, an expert should be consulted. Things which you have gotten used to and forgotten about might only be noticed by someone who doesn’t live at the property, and who is skilled at finding cost effective improvements to make. It is often said that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, but that does not tell the whole story. People fall in love with homes when they are impressed with the décor and features it offers. What you will need to do can vary from simple things like a fresh coat of paint or new appliances, to extreme renovations.

Finally, make sure that you are completely ready to leave the property before you begin to sell it. Unfortunately, I have seen some sellers sign papers to finalize the sale, and then get cold feet and decide they can’t leave. The sad truth is that as soon as those papers are signed, you are no longer the owner of the property. If you are not completely sure that you are willing to relinquish ownership, then you need to take some time to think before attempting to sell the property.

Avoiding Poorly Maintained Properties

by Karen Picarello

A major worry of prospective home buyers is that they will purchase a property with some unexpected caveats to its livability. A home is a major purchase, and unexpected maintenance problems can put easily put you out tens of thousands of dollars. Shelling out a few hundred dollars for an experienced and skilled home inspector is some of the best money you will ever spend.

However, no home inspectors are not perfect, and paying a home inspector every time you are considering a property can quickly put you out a significant amount of money. Thankfully, you can learn a few tips which can help you to make an educated guess about the quality of the house.

Sizing up the seller is one of the bets things you can do when looking to understand if a house was well taken care of. While you may not meet them, you will almost certainly see some things which will allow you to begin to get an idea of their tendencies and character. Are they clearly meticulous and conscientious? Do they have the financial wherewithal to maintain the property? If the seller appears to be unreliable, they may not have been particularly reliable in their efforts to maintain the property.

Second, do a brief inspection of the home features. It is probable that everything has been recently been made over in the attempt to sell. So there shouldn’t be things like chipping paint or dirt anywhere. However, other things are more difficult to fix. Put the house through its paces. If you are seriously considering buying the house, take the time to run water from every spigot, check things like electrical outlets, and open doors and windows fully. Doors that don’t open smoothly, or bathroom fixtures which are too loose or too tight could be a major sign that the owner does not put much effort into maintaining the property. When running the spigots, flush the toilet and run several at once. See if the water pressure drops.

Finally, ask the seller for a log of maintenance done. If they have a well-documented history of frequent maintenance, the house is likely in great condition. However, if they have sparse documentation, or their documentation is all very recent, it is likely that the house may have been poorly maintained. Don’t use any of these things to make a final judgement, but if you believe that a house was poorly maintained, it might be better to save your money on the inspection.

How To Help Your Pet Adjust to a Move

by Karen Picarello

When you move, it may take you a little while to get used to the fact that you have a new home. For many people, there will be a period in which they have to adjust. However, for pets, who do not understand why they are moving, and may have limited capacity to understand what has happened, moves can be particularly stressful.

This is most important for animals such and dogs and cats which often roam somewhat freely, be it inside or out. They will have a well-defined area of comfort and taking them out of it can be quite stressful for the animal. Additionally, if the move is long distance, there could be additional stress from travel, or adjusting to new weather or care.

Before you move, make sure you have a plan in place for your pet. Microchipping them or using some other tool to track them would be a good idea. The pet might not realize that this is its new home. From your dog’s perspective, he is in a strange new place, and he might wander off to go find what he thinks his home is. Make sure you have a good travel plan and have selected things like a veterinarian. Finally, make sure that the new home will be safe for your animal. Outdoor dangers might be different than what existed at your old residence, and there might be danger indoors as well. Make sure that your new storage places for things like chemical agents is in a place your pet will not be able to reach.

After the move, allow your animal some time to get accustomed to it’s new surroundings. For a dog, this could include spending time with your animal in the new area and allowing it to investigate. For other animals such as cats, you might simply need to keep a good eye on them for a while. Make sure that in the stress of the move you do not forget to feed your animal, as this can add to their stress and increase the likelihood that they wander off.

Spending quality time with your animal during the stressful move can be the best way to show them that everything is okay, and that you live here now. Animals can read our emotions somewhat, and when they see that we are relaxed, comfortable, and staying here permanently, they will begin to relax as well.

Budgeting for Home Ownership

by Karen Picarello


Home ownership can be an exciting time, particularly when it is your first. However, one thing that prospective homeowners sometimes underestimate is the financial burden a home can be. While owning a home is still a great investment usually, it will require considerable amounts of money to be spent upkeeping the property. This cost can increase drastically based on a few factors, so make sure you have a good idea of what you will be spending annually to keep your home valuable and safe.

  1. Taxes and Fees. Property taxes can be incredibly expensive. While you will need to investigate the expenses for owning property in your area, forgetting about them can be financial suicide. Sometimes, these will be bundled into your mortgage payments. Either way, make sure that you have a good idea of what you will be paying in property tax. Additionally, there may be things like homeowners association fees which eat into your budget.
  2. Upkeep. One of the major things new property owners tend to be surprised by is how much money needs to be spent on a house to keep it in good condition. Not only will you need to do things like keep the grounds clean, but you will periodically need electrical work, plumbing, roofing, and all appliances will need replacing and repair from time to time. A decent rule of thumb is to keep 2% of the value of the home as the expected yearly maintenance cost. However, if your home is older, or has other mitigating factors, this cost could be higher. A pool, or a large footprint could both increase cost.
  3. Finally, there will need to be expensive repairs which fall outside of normal upkeep which will need to happen periodically. A new roof, or kitchen is a good example. Sometimes, you will need to spend 10-20000 dollars or more at once to make a major repair. It is recommended that you put away a decent chunk of change so that when these large bills come due, you are able to pay them off immediately. A mortgage is generally a fairly reasonable loan, but if you are forced to put repairs on something like a credit card, you will quickly be racking up a lot of interest.

Before you purchase a home, make sure that you take into account more than just the sticker price when budgeting. If you do not have a strong consistent source of income, you may come to regret your purchase.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Team Picarello Real Estate
Team Picarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
Fax: (480)860-8755