Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Looking For a Place for a Family?

by Karen Picarello

Family dynamics are often at the heart of home purchases. People might be looking to start a new family, and want a quiet place to start. They might have several kids, and are looking to expand so that everyone has enough room to grow comfortably.  Or maybe their old neighborhood just wasn’t safe enough for them to feel comfortable allowing their kids to roam free. Whatever the reason, many home buyers are looking to find neighborhood which are family friendly. But how do you find out if the neighborhood you are moving into will be a good fit for a family?

First, you can find a lot about a house without having to visit it at all. If you have the address, two critical things to look up are the crime rate, and the local schools. The crime rate should be a now brainer. If you are going to move somewhere, you should have a good idea of how safe the area is. Are you going to be comfortable with your children out at night? Or is it an area where you wont even want them around the neighborhood during the day? Living in a safer neighborhood will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are doing everything that you can to provide a suitable environment for your children to grow.

The schools are also important. Top rated schools are great incentives to move in, and they can affect the value of local land. As both low crime rate and good schools are highly desirable, they can substantially increase the asking price for a home. However, they are absolutely worth it. Investing in your children’s future while also having an asset likely to appreciate is a great deal.

Next, check out the area in person. Showing up and driving around the neighborhood at all hours can help you get a great idea of the atmosphere. Are there college kids having loud block parties? Or are there parks filled with other children and community engagement? Understanding the demographics and culture in prospective neighborhoods will help you to obtain a good idea of whether you would live there. Additionally, figure out the distance to local attractions. Parks, community centers and pools, and other family friendly attractions can be a great incentive to move into a neighborhood. This scouting in person should be done more than once, making an effort to show up at different times of the day, or on weekends and weekdays.            

Why Do People Buy?

by Karen Picarello

As with any transaction, understanding what the buyer wants is a critical factor in how you should present and advertise your asset. Understanding what they are looking for is a great way to change your approach and emphasis, as well as a good way to prioritize any last-minute renovations before your listing. Therefore, let us review a few of the most common reasons that people buy a property.


In this article, we will ignore investment properties. Some people buy properties they have no intention of living in. Whether they are flippers, want to rent, or are interested in your home for another reason, their priorities are often different than the average buyer. For example, they might be looking more closely for things like easy renovations, or the ease of upkeep of the property.


When people go to buy a new home with the expectation of living in it, there are typically three different scenarios. First, people are looking to upgrade their standard of living. If they have been renting or living in a smaller house, they might eventually decide they want an upgrade. This could be because of financial success, leading to a desire to invest their larger income in a nicer place to stay, or even because of a growing family. Many times, couples will seek larger homes if they have several children, realizing that the additional space is necessary. To these people, the quality of living experience is the most important factor. They want a home which is pleasant to live in, which might have nearby amenities such as public schools, parks, or urban centers. Renovating your home or doing research on local activities and services can help you appeal to these buyers.


Others are buying a house for the opposite reason. Whether they are undergoing financial stress, no longer have a large household, or simply want a property which is less of a hassle to maintain, these buyers are focused on value. They want a property which they can get at a good price, but that will not significantly decrease their standard of living. Comparing your price to other nearby sales, or appearing to negotiate on price (build some negotiation room on your initial listing) can help you appeal to this buyer.


Finally, there are people moving for geographical reasons. Maybe they want to be closer to family, work, or simply want to live in a certain neighborhood. You can't change your location, obviously, but on your internet ads, use keywords which will be picked up by those far away, such as the names of local business centers.



3 Things to do Before Buying Your First House

by Karen Picarello

Home ownership is a goal for most Americans. But it is also at an all-time low. Millennials are waiting longer to accomplish traditional milestones of American life such as marriage, parenthood, and home buying. As surveys still show strong interest in eventual home ownership, it is likely that the next decade will see an increase in the percentage of home buyers who are looking to purchase a home for the first time. So, here are 3 things to keep in mind and accomplish before you go and try to buy your first home.

First, figure out what you can afford. With the great recession still fresh in public memory, I’m sure you all understand the importance of ensuring that you purchase a home that will be within your financial means. While it can certainly be tempting to go and purchase an expensive and large home, this could leave you very vulnerable to any unexpected financial costs. Even if you do manage to get approved for a loan, if you are spending the bulk of your monthly paychecks on your mortgage, your budget will feel very tight.

Second, figure out what you want. This can be more complicated than you might initially think. Homes are much more than simply their interior and exterior. Sure, it is important to have good ideas about things like size, design, and layout, but you will also want to examine the neighborhood and location. Finding a good home in a neighborhood where you are comfortable can lead to a much better living experience than a great one in a neighborhood that doesn’t match up with your goals. For example, if you are looking to have children, nearness to parks and public areas might be a consideration. Additionally, you should look at schools in the area around your prospective future homes. A bad school can certainly be a deal breaker.

Third, and finally, get your finances in order. This means more than just having a job with steady income. Pay down your loans, and try to make sure that your credit cards are mostly paid off. Avoid purchases that will require a credit check, as this can sometimes hurt your score. Also, collect pay stubs. You will want to not only be able to show that you are making money, but that you have a history of making money. Showing this dependable income can be a huge factor in getting a loan. Finally, save a down payment, to show lenders that you are serious about this purchase. 

Finding Value in Real Estate

by Karen Picarello

Real estate can be more than just a place to live. For many people, it can be a way to make money, an investment, or even a hobby. No matter your walk in life, looking at real estate in terms of more than your living needs is a great way to further your financial stability and diversify your income. However, I would caution against any thought that it is easy or completely safe to make money in real estate. Here are a few different ways to look at real estate as an investment, as well as a few cautions to keep in mind.

Rental Properties

It seems like everyone wants to have a rental property nowadays. And the thought is certainly appealing. At its best, it allows you to hold an appreciating asset while getting monthly payments to offset your purchasing costs. However, getting a loan to purchase an investment property such as this is not always easy. And a loan will be necessary unless you have substantial liquid assets. Secondly, most people wanting to be landlords forget about the amount of work that goes into maintaining a successful rental. Not only will you be required to provide substantial amounts of expertise and labor, but maintaining tenants will have its own sets of challenges. You can’t buy a property and simply expect money to start coming in every month. There will be insurance, financial, and legal steps to take before you can even consider finding a tenant. And once you do, you will have to deal with them. Hopefully they will be respectful and prompt with payments, but this is not always the case, and you should be prepared for the worst.

Flipping Houses

Another common method for using the real estate market to earn money, some people look to buy properties with the intent to resell them for a higher price, typically within a year of purchase. Flippers will typically renovate the property, although what this entails can vary wildly depending on the person in question. Again, this is not a risk free or easy endeavor. You will need to be quite knowledgeable about many types of renovating work if you plan on doing it yourself, or have a sizeable budget if looking to pay a contractor. Additionally, you will need to avoid downturns in the housing market, as these can drastically decrease your chances of reselling at good value. 

3 Mistakes when selling a home

by Karen Picarello


While realtors and experienced sellers are quite aware of difficulties involved with selling a home, first time buyers and sellers make up a substantial portion of the market. First time sellers have a lot to learn, and getting help from a reputable agent can drastically affect their experience. With that said, here are a few things that many inexperienced sellers do which can drastically decrease the likelihood that they sell their house quickly and at a good price.

  1. Dishonesty. Sometimes, sellers are aware of problems with their house, but they are not willing to admit these problems to potential buyers. For example, sellers might be aware that there is un permitted electrical work, a leaky roof, or a defective duct somewhere. While disclosing this can decrease the appeal of your property, failure to disclose could cause more damaging problems down the line. For example, disclosing the problems with your house could mean that you will need to concede slightly on the price of the house, but if you fail to disclose, when it comes out in the home inspection, the buyer is likely to react even more negatively. This could mean that you get fewer offers, pushing your home even further below market value.
  2. Being Unwilling to Negotiate. Another common problem first time sellers have is that they are unwilling to budge on their initial asking price.  While you may want to get a good price for your house, failing to understand the purpose of your initial offer will decrease your ability to sell effectively. When pricing your initial offer, there are two factors which you must balance with the help of a professional. Lowering your initial asking price will generate interest, possibly creating bidding and certainly letting you sell more rapidly. Raising your initial asking price means that you will have less initial interest, but that you will be able to negotiate and make the buyer feel that they are getting a deal, while still getting the price you want.
  3. Vetting Potential Buyers. While a first time seller may be at a loss for what is considered polite or normal, failing to properly vet your potential buyers could cost you. Seeing if they are pre approved for a loan, or looking at their ability to pay will be key in whether or not you should be willing to sign a contract with them Take the time to ensure that you properly examine any potential buyer before you sign anything.


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

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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