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Karen Picarello

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Why Buying a Vacation Rental is a Good Investment in Scottsdale, AZ

by Karen Picarello

Buying real estate can be a lucrative business, but it is risky. The market fluctuates, tenants may not pay dependably, and cash flow can be a struggle. First time real estate investors may want to go big with their investment, but many of us would struggle to make multiple mortgage payments. This risk is lessened when buying a vacation rental in Scottsdale, AZ.

Why Buy a Vacation Rental?

  • The best reason to buy a vacation rental instead of a long-term rental property is because you can use it! It can also be your second home you visit when you need to get away from the toils of life.
  • It’s a side hustle! Yes, you can have a second home and have other people pay for it. You aren’t going to use it all the time, so why not have it make its own money on the side?
  • The property will likely appreciate. Over time, most properties do become more valuable. Add any improvements, and it will appreciate that much more. This way, if you have to sell it, you’ll end up with a profit.
  • Options. There are many options for managing vacation rentals. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire a vacations rental management service. This allows you to do practically nothing and watch your mortgage, insurance, and repairs pay for themselves through rental income.

Why Buy a Vacation Rental in Scottsdale?

It is important to buy a vacation rental in an area that is rated highly for the tourism industry. Scottsdale is definitely rated as a good place for vacation rentals. The hiking opportunities, proximity to Phoenix, Old Town, clubs, spas, and swimming pools (not to mention the weather!) make this one hot spot for tourism.

According to Mashvisor, Scottsdale had 4.5 million tourists there for overnight visits bringing 2.4 billion dollars for the city in 2017. Rental rates averaged $2,788 but were much higher at $3,308 in South Scottsdale.

Vacation rentals are good investments in Scottsdale because of the tourism, but they are also good investments because they make a good amount of money for the investor without a lot of work or risk. Tourism isn’t leaving the Scottsdale market, and many people enjoy the comfort of staying in a home rather than a hotel, so they can truly have the luxury of a home during vacation without the upkeep. Hire a vacation rental management service, and when it comes time for your vacation, you won’t even know they were there.

Fall Maintenance to Keep Your Home Sell-Ready

by Karen Picarello

There are a number of things you can do while you are living in your home that make it ready to go when you want to sell it. Think about it. How many people frantically rush to make improvements on their home just to turn it over for someone else to enjoy?

Instead of emergency maintenance for someone else’s pleasure, maintain your home and keep it sell-ready with these recommendations. Here are a few things you can do during the fall months.

Fall Maintenance to Keep Your Home Sell-Ready

1. Clean Out Gutters

Before the water falling from the sky turns to snow and ice, you want your gutters to be free and clear of debris that could cause things to back up. If water cannot flow, it will freeze, and ice damages roofs and gutters. Scottsdale may rarely get this type of weather, but it does happen. Instead of dealing with gutter replacement in the spring, make sure you are cleaning out your gutters all the way past the downspout, so you don’t end up with a mess.

2. Check Screens

Fall and winter are perfect times to work on any torn or damaged screens because your windows aren’t likely to be open in the cool weather. Inspect your screens, and handle screens one at a time. This ensures that you don’t bite off more than you can chew, and you have most of your windows in full working order in case they are needed.

3. Prune Trees

Hire a professional if you have to, but make sure your trees are properly pruned every fall. This ensures that any dead branches are removed, so they don’t fall on your car or house during the winter. Annual prunings also make sure that your tree grows as it should.

4. Sprinkler Maintenance

Depending on the type of grass you have, you may or may not have lawn maintenance to do in the fall, but your sprinklers definitely deserve a checkup during this time. This is especially true since any repairs that need to be made can occur or be planned while the water isn’t needed as much.

5. Paint

Early fall is a great time to paint because it isn’t too hot or humid, which means paint will have the proper time to dry and cure, so it doesn’t crack and peel. Don’t wait to sell your home to make it look good. Enjoy the new paint, and enjoy your home while you are in it!

Not only do these five maintenance moves keep your home sell-ready, but they make it more enjoyable while you are still here. When it is time to go, you won’t have to stress. Your house will look great.

 

5 Reasons to Get a Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

by Karen Picarello

The Phoenix area is booming, and housing for all of the incoming out-of-staters has been an excellent shift in the housing market for home sellers. However, it also makes it difficult for those entering the Phoenix-Scottsdale area to find the home they are looking for.

Many opt for rentals upon arrival in order to bide their time while looking for a more permanent location. This has caused a rental crunch that has driven up the prices of rentals, but the Phoenix area still maintains low rental rates in comparison to most other states.

Even then, it can be frustrating to wait it out in a rental knowing that your long-term residence is out their waiting to become available. That is why you need a real estate agent, especially if you are looking for a home in Scottsdale.

5 Reasons to Get a Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

1. Local Knowledge

Scottsdale is known for its luxury neighborhoods, but you want to make sure you are getting into the right one. If you are looking for a family-friendly neighborhood, you won’t want to be in a neighborhood that caters to single night life and vice versa. Your local real estate agent can help you look for the neighborhood that fits your exact needs, so you won’t have headaches about your living region when you’ve already purchased the home.

2. Improved Communication

There are a lot of big corporations getting into the real estate game. Internet buyers and sellers aim to streamline the home transaction process, but they remove the intimacy that comes with a home purchase. These corporations are trying to make home buying about as convenient as getting an ice cream cone, and that leaves a lot to desire. One of the major things that is lacking in these sort of transactions is communication because there is no accountability. If you don’t like your home purchase, and you think your seller should have disclosed more, a large corporation won’t care. Local real estate agents have to communicate well and transparently because they have reputations to uphold.

3. Quality Homes

Speaking of large corporations who are getting in the real estate business, they are also getting in the home flipping business at the same time. This means the home you buy may have been flipped simply for profit, which could result in a lesser quality home. Home flippers may sell through real estate agents too, but a local agent is more likely to know the reputation of the flipper and only work with people who make sure their improvements are done well.

4. Improved Commute

Scottsdale is a short commute to Phoenix, but if you are making it daily, it can seem very long. Your local agent will know what neighborhoods have easy access to Route 202 and any other transportation tips for the area. You aren’t going to find that from real estate companies who aren’t familiar with the area.

5. Access to Amenities

If you are looking to live in Scottsdale, you’ve probably checked out some of the city’s amenities. Your real estate agent can make sure you are near your favorite golf course or country club, or you can look to live near shopping centers. The local real estate will know the nitty gritty of every area in Scottsdale, so you will enjoy your new life.

Do You Have to Tell a Buyer that Someone Died in Your Home?

by Karen Picarello

Many people (in Arizona) falsely believe that they must disclose information about prior inhabitants of a home including if there was a murder in the home or if a criminal lived there. In reality, homeowners do not have to disclose any of this information.

Stigmatized Property Law

Arizona passed A.R.S. § 32-2156, or the stigmatized property law, in 1995. This prevents homeowners from having to disclose things about a property to a buyer that may have a negative psychological impact.

Examples:

  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Natural Death
  • Sex Offender
  • HIV infected occupants or other diseases not known to be transmitted through housing
  • Neighbors with Criminal History

Why Would a Future Homeowner Want to Know?

Much of the reason that a homeowner may want to know about previous issues with psychological impact is superstition. It may make a person think the home is haunted or has bad luck. Many people don’t feel right about living in a place where they know someone has died. Superstition may not be an appropriate reason to not purchase a home, but there are other reasons a homeowner would want this type of information disclosed.

If there was a publicized incident with any notoriety, the event may have a psychological and monetary impact on the property. There was a California court case that argued that a multiple murder that had taken place in the home should have been disclosed because it affected the resale value of the home. Since then, California has changed its law to read that people must disclose how any death occurred in the home for the past three years. Arizona does not have that same rule.

Why is stigmatized property law a good thing?

Arizona’s stigmatized property law is a good thing because people can claim that practically any adverse event can “stigmatize” a property and lower its value psychologically. While it may be unsettling to dig up an old pet that may have been buried in the back yard, this should have no impact on the sale or the purchase of a home. Allowing anything to stigmatize property that only has psychological effects opens a can of worms that would be difficult to close.

Why do you need to know about stigmatized property law?

As a home seller, you need to know about stigmatized property law because there is no need to disclose things about your property that have no real impact. As a home buyer, you need to know that these things may not be disclosed. If it is important to you, ask. Do your research. In some cases, it has been found illegal to lie about certain things that may have psychological impacts.

Getting a Mortgage in Scottsdale, Arizona

by Karen Picarello

When you go to get a loan in Arizona, the process is dependent on your credit and how much you have available for a down payment. For first-time home buyers or those who don’t have enough for a down payment, there are programs available such as the Home Plus Mortgage Program, that offer down payment assistance to help you on the path to home ownership. Still, the process can seem a bit confusing. That is why we’ve created this general explanation of how to get a mortgage in Arizona.

Getting a Mortgage in Scottsdale, Arizona

According to Zillow, the median home value in Scottsdale is $480,400. This means there aren’t a lot of people using the Home Plus Program because it sets a price cap at $396,680. However, there are other assistance programs if you have a high enough income.

In order to get a mortgage, one must first go to a loan officer and fill out an application. In the application, you will disclose your assets and income along with any negative credit occurrences such as foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Once you’ve filled out an application, the loan officer will run a credit check. This will confirm the information on your application, let them see your monthly liabilities, and they will get your credit score. For most loan assistance programs, you must have a score above 640. Your score impacts whether or not you will be approved along with what interest rate will be available.

Assuming all goes well, the loan is submitted to an underwriter for pre-approval. Once approved, you will have to submit more paperwork such as tax returns, proof of income, bank statements, drivers licenses, letters of explanation, and proof of homeowner’s insurance.

An underwriter will give the final approval of your loan, and once this is done, the loan is sent to the title company. The title company coordinates and records all the information with the mortgage company and holds the title to the home, and once this is wrapped up, you are the proud owner of a new home!

It’s Not Always Easy

There can be many bumps in the road during the process of getting a home loan, and the paperwork can take time. You may think the process is almost finished only to have underwriters request more information. Sometimes by the time you get your home purchased, you can’t believe it’s real because it takes so long. The key is being patient and keeping an open mind when going through the process. It will happen.

Should You Replace Your Appliances?

by Karen Picarello

Most home upgrades don’t actually make you more money on your home sale, but they can decrease your selling price if the new homeowner will have to buy replacements. In fact, may home warranties include appliance coverage because a person moving into a move-in ready home does not expect to replace appliances for the first year or so.

When people walk into a home with new stainless steel appliances, it is a major selling point. The person can envision their own food in the fridge, and they fondly picture themselves doing household chores like cooking or loading the dishwasher. A dated, cream-colored set of appliances does not have the same effect.

You don’t have to replace all of your appliances in order to sell a home, but it may affect how well the sale goes. Here are some considerations.

Replace as Needed

Many people make do with appliances that have broken functions but work generally well. They may have to use pliers to get the dishwasher to turn on, but the dishes turn out as clean as if they had a new dishwasher. This is not appropriate. One of the saddest reasons to buy new appliances is for someone else to use them. When your appliance starts breaking down, replace it with something that will be pleasing to the next homeowner. This way, you will get to enjoy a new appliance, and it won’t be an issue when selling.

Lower the Price of Your Home

If your appliances work but are outdated, note that you are reducing the cost in order to cover the cost of these upgrades. This can be a selling point for home buyers because they can save money during the move, but they are still moving into a functioning home.

Don’t Buy Luxury

If you are going to be using the appliances and feel like you need luxury, then go ahead and do it. If you are doing it to attract home buyers, it is not worth the expense. Not only may you opt for something that the homeowner wants to replace anyway, but you spend a large amount of money on something that doesn’t increase the value of the home. Don’t buy the bottom of the barrel appliances, and stick to quality levels that coincide with the price level of the home.

It’s tempting to deck out your home in order to get it to sell fast, but you won’t benefit from this expenditure unless you do it responsibly.

Advertisement Tips for Selling Your Home on Facebook

by Karen Picarello

You may be tempted to help out your real estate agent when selling your home, especially if your home has been on the market for a while. This is not the time to go rogue and take everything into your own hands. Discuss your plans to advertise your home on Facebook, and avoid these blunders.

Tips for Selling Your Home on Facebook

1. Don’t Make Excuses for the Neighborhood

You can mention how nice your neighborhood is, and most people will be looking for a place that has qualities like safety, privacy, or friendliness. However, all neighborhoods are based on perspective, and your view of your neighborhood may be different from your neighbor’s view. If you have negative feelings about your neighborhood, don’t mention them or make excuses for them. Saying that it is nice except for the occasional dog barking may be objective, but it sounds like a major dog barking problem to potential buyers.

2. Don’t Date the Home

If you are posting pictures, don’t mention how dated the home is. If it looks like the 1970s was somehow transported into your kitchen or living room, you don’t need to mention that it is vintage. Instead, mention the quality of the cabinetry or the potential for the space. Buyers don’t need you to tell them when you home looks out-of-vogue.

3. Don’t Address the Complaints of Others

If you have posted and received complaints about the home, don’t address them. If people have complained when visiting the home, don’t mention it. Noting the complaints of others may highlight things that would never be a problem to other viewers. Don’t make issues when they may not be issues for another buyer.

4. Use Proper Grammar

Don’t post without proofreading. Facebook tends to be casual, and most people don’t edit like they would if they were in their professional lives. Selling a home should be a professional activity, so make your post professional by avoiding spelling and grammar errors.

5. Don’t Get to Personal

Lastly, don’t get too personal about your sentiments about the home. You are looking for people to picture themselves living there. You don’t want them to picture you living there. This is why family photos should be kept to a minimum when showing your home. It’s about creating a place for potential memories, not maintaining the ghosts of memories from the past. Keep your descriptions to the facts, and let your potential buyers create their own ideas.

If You Like Sports, Scottsdale Delivers Via Its Neighbors

by Karen Picarello

If you’ve already been looking at Scottsdale as a potential future home, then you already know it is an affluent area of town known for its lower crime rates and nicer neighborhoods. However, you may not have thought of the sporting benefit. At less than 20 miles away from Phoenix, Scottsdale get you very close to the action of multiple sporting events.

Sports Teams You Can Watch Near Scottsdale (Phoenix Area)

1. Phoenix Cardinals

Not only is the State Farm Stadium (formerly University of Phoenix Stadium) the home to the Phoenix Cardinals, but it is also the location of the annual NFL Fiesta Bowl. Located in Glendale 20 minutes northwest of Phoenix, this modern stadium has a retractable roof and was the home of the 2015 Super Bowl. The Cardinals have not won a Super Bowl yet, but they typically make it to the play-offs and are a force to be reckoned with.

2. Arizona State University’s Sun Devils

The only thing wilder about sports than professional fans is college fans, and the ASU Sun Devils has 9 men’s and 11 women’s PAC-12 Varsity teams.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks are Arizona’s Major League Baseball team. Chase Field is located in downtown Phoenix and has everything MLB has to offer. Buy you some peanuts and cracker jacks because you won’t care if you never go back to watching any other sport.

4. Phoenix Suns

If pro basketball is more our style, you’ll have to make it to Talking Stick Resort Arena for a Suns game. They’ve had a little bit of a lackluster history, but almost any NBA game is worth seeing if you are a fan.

5. Arizona Coyotes

Glendale is also home to Arizona’s hockey team, the Arizona Coyotes. Gila River Arena is home to these ice warriors. If you want to see some good body checks and some amazing stick work, the Arizona Coyotes will deliver a game that is full of the intensity that only hockey can deliver.  

6. Phoenix Mercury

If you like the Suns, then you’re sure to love the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona’s WNBA team. Talking Stick Resort Arena is also home to this team, and they’ve won 3 WNBA Championships.

You may be thinking that if you want to be close to the sporting action of Arizona, you should move to Phoenix or Glendale. This may be true for some, but Scottsdale delivers that high-end lifestyle without taking away access to Arizona’s premium sporting events.

Solar Panels and Storage Batteries

by Karen Picarello

Solar panels are becoming very popular as their efficiency and ability to store power grows. As Arizona is one of the states with the most sunshine available, this is creating a significant change in the way people get power.

Furthermore, home storage batteries are making solar power more sustainable. No longer are people relying on the grid (at least not so much) on cloudy days because they are able to store power from sunny days in large home batteries such as Tesla’s Powerwall.  

California adopted a rule last year (2018) that new homes would be built with solar panels beginning in 2020. Arizona could be on track to do the same as climate change makes the world focus on more efficient and sustainable energy sources.

In order to include solar panels in the valuation of your home, you must own the solar panels. Leased solar panels would not be included in the price of the home because they would belong to another entity that the future homeowners would have to contract with in order to continue using them. In order to sell a home with leased solar panels, a homeowner would either have to buy the remaining amount on the lease or get the homeowner to agree to take over payments. This could actually deter homeowners who don’t want to get into the co-mingling of contractual agreements.

There was a study done in California about how much solar panels increased the value of homes on the market, and it was found that every Kilowatt of power that came from solar panels increased the resale value of a home by over $5,000. However, for each year that the panels had been installed, this value dropped by 9 percent. Additionally, the increase in valuation never exceeded the cost of installation.

Essentially, if you are going to sell your home, then let your lease on your solar panels run to completion. Don’t purchase them if you plan to sell your home soon because it won’t pay off in the end. However, if Arizona passes a law making solar panels mandatory on new construction, your home may end up looking very outdated without solar capabilities. It is a bit of a speculation whether or not your home sale will benefit from solar panels. It won’t pay off to buy a new solar system with a home storage battery or batteries, but it will make your home more attractive to potential buyers. A lot of it will depend on your particular situation.

How Pets Can Ruin Your Home Showing

by Karen Picarello

We love our adorable furry critters (or non-furry critters), but they can really damage the attractiveness of your home when it comes to selling it. Here are the reasons why and what you can do about it.

1. Fur:

If you have wood or laminate floors, hair may not be as much of a turnoff. However, if you have fur in carpeted floors, good luck appealing to the masses. People may see pet hair as a sign of uncleanliness, or they may see your home as an allergen haven. Nobody has ever said, “I love the home with all of the pet hair!” If you have fur-filled floors, get them professionally cleaned or rip them out before trying to sell. If you have a friend who can watch your pets for a month or so while you sell your home, it is strongly advised. Visible pets in the home can raise the hackles of potential buyers.

2. Poop:

If you cannot get rid of your pet during the sale, make sure there aren’t any land mines out in the yard. You don’t want any negative scents tainting the impression your potential buyers get. If your backyard is rough, do the best you can. It is better to look like you tried than that the home has spent years with a yard covered in feces.

3. Smells:

There are many different types of pets, and it seems like they all come with their own set of specific odors. Guinea pigs, terrariums, fish tanks, and litter boxes don’t smell good immediately after being removed from the home. Remove them prior to guests visiting, and run an air filter with a HEPA filter to get some of the scents out.

4. Pet doors:

It seems like all pet doors have mud on them from muddy dogs traipsing in and out. Many people have pets, so don’t feel like you have to replace the door, but make sure the dog door is cleaned.

5. Pet beds:

Pet beds should be on the newer side. Don’t display your home complete with a bed that has been gnawed on over the past couple years. A clean pet bed can send a message that a home was maintained appropriately despite the canine presence.

6. Clean windows:

Depending on where your windows are located and whether or not you have a cat or a dog, you may have licks and nose prints dirtying up your windows. Clean them up prior to your potential visitors viewing your home.

Pet ownership is not a bad thing, but showing off the gross side of pet ownership can be a real turn off for those looking to move in. Taking care of your pets’ messes will go a long way toward selling your home.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 119

Contact Information

Photo of TeamPicarello Real Estate
TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755