Signs My Home Will Close On Time

A seller put his Phoenix, Arizona home on the market to move out of state. A buyer viewed the home and found it to be perfect for their growing family. The buyer and seller negotiated a contract to sell a home. The buyer completed inspections and found few repairs. The seller boxed up a lifetime of memories and loaded the moving truck! The home selling process appears to be going very smoothly… But wait! Will this home close on time, or are there problems ahead? Here are a few indicators to look for:

Close on time

Buyer Qualifications Reviewed – When a buyer writes a contract to purchase a home, the buyer should present a list of pre-qualifications with the contract. In Arizona there is a standard Pre-Qualification form that should be completed by the buyer’s lender. This form is loaded with information about the perspective buyer. Important are items that the lender requires from the buyer in order to start and complete the loan. Completing these items sooner will allow for a quicker close – overlooking them will certainly slow the process. How these items are managed is a clear indication of whether the home will close on time or not.

Appraisal Complete – The appraisal should be ordered within the first few days of an accepted contract. While there is no hard and fast rule for completion of the appraisal, all parties agree that sooner is better than later. The appraisal should be good news, but there could be bad news lurking. Certainly, when the buyer’s financing depends upon completion of the appraisal, a good sign that the closing of the home will occur is completing this important step.

Loan Package Submitted to Underwriter – Another big step for every home purchase is submitting the loan package to the underwriter. Included in the loan package is the title report, the completed appraisal, terms of the loan, the buyer’s application, and a bunch of documentation that none of us think about on a regular basis. The underwriter reviews the loan package for a few days and generally will give loan approval with prior to document (PTD) conditions. If this step is completed early enough in the escrow process, clearing the PTD conditions should not hold up the closing day. However, at times, the PTD conditions may require documentation not readily available, thereby delaying the closing date.

Don’t Forget About the Home Owner Association (HOA) Disclosures! –While the Arizona contract calls for delivery of all HOA information to the buyer, state law allows HOAs 14 calendar days from the time of the request to delivery to provide all necessary information. Normally, the title agency involved will make the request for HOA documents early, after contract acceptance. However, delivery of these documents to the buyer may not happen for sometime and the buyer receives 5 days to review the HOA documents. While review of HOA documents should not hold up a typical 30-day COE, it may delay shorter escrows.

Buyer Loan Docs to Title – A great sign! No matter how choppy the last few weeks may have been, delivery of buyer loan docs to title is a sign that the closing will occur in 3 days. All parties will be in a hurry to complete the last tasks of the transaction and there may be some extra drama and stress. However, be assured that closing of the home generally happens for most Phoenix Real Estate transactions.

Short Sale Exception – If you are purchasing a short sale transaction, the seller’s bank may delay the closing date for 1-3 business days in order to approve the final settlement statement. While very annoying to all parties, this is a necessary extra step for most short sales. Some listing agents and title companies are proactive here and initiate the bank approval early. If so, then you have a sign that closing will happen on time!

Do you want to learn more about how to make your home buying or selling process go smoothly? Want to know more about Phoenix homes for sale? Our knowledgeable Phoenix AZ Realtors can help find the gems in the Phoenix MLS as well as make sure that your sale goes as smoothly as it can.

Contact us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or (602) 753-0177

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Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing a Home

Home SearchThere are lots of great houses on the market, and finding your home can be a lot of fun – especially avoid trouble as you shop. Here are a few misconception pitfalls to avoid:

  • “Don’t worry about the particulars – the financing will take care of itself. Just start looking.” Understanding your financing is a crucial part of the process. Many buyers start out immediately looking for that perfect home and fail to prepare by asking their lender lots of questions. What will your closing costs include? What is a GFE? What will your monthly payments be and what will they include? What is PITI? Fixed rate or variable? Being well-informed and having a good understanding of the financial options in front of you will help avoid finance problems.
  • “Focus on the home you need – you’ll be there for a long time.” Many buyers only think about the here-and-now and few think about resale when they purchase a new home. After all, you’re just now *buying* a home – why worry about selling, right? Wrong. Buying a home is usually about making an investment in the real estate as well as selecting a great place to live. At some point in the future, it’s likely that your family will get bigger, a job will relocate you or some other reason to move will come up. Considering *now* what future buyers may like in your home can be very important to maximizing your future resale value. Future buyers may not be shopping for the same reasons you are – as you consider homes to buy, think about the future.
  • “We’ll find what we like, negotiate a price, and then we’ll worry about making an offer.” Sellers want to know that you are a solid, “bona-fide” good buyer who will be able to perform, before they will enter into a contract to sell their home. Sellers generally will go with the first bona-fide buyer who will pay their price, and it is very unlikely a seller will wait for an unprepared buyer if another well-prepared buyer shows up to purchase their home. Get your financial “ducks in a row”, and when you find a home you like and are prepared to make an offer, you’ll be able to make a serious offer that will be fairly considered.
  • “I’ve looked the house over; we don’t need a fancy inspection.” Over and over again, I hear buyers tell me that they don’t want to pay $300-$400 for the inspection of a home that’s for sale. While it’s true that most home inspections find relatively minor defects typically less than $1000 to correct, some inspections turn up issues in excess of $2000-$4000. You’re about to invest tens of thousands of dollars into a home – it makes great sense to invest a few hundred to help assure that your investment is a wise one.
  • Find a great real estate agent to help! Working with the *right* agent will greatly improve your whole buying experience. A real estate agent with the right background can help with every step of the buying process, from analyzing your home needs, to finding the right home, to negotiating and closing the deal. An agent should be working with you to make your home-buying dreams come true.

Find us today at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 602-753-0177 to get started on a home purchase!

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Trusted Counsel — Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent

Buying a home is not like buying a TV, a couch, or a car. There are no returns, no money-back guarantees and no extended warranties. In most situations, you won’t be able to change your mind and sell your new home and break even – at least for 3-5 years. Instead, the purchase of a home is a rather important long-term decision. Still, some buyers of Phoenix Arizona Homes ask the question: Do I need a real estate agent to help? Here are a few questions to ask before you make a great home-buying decision:

  • Planning for the Purchase – How much should I put down? Who can help me with financing? How long is a typical escrow period? Will my close of escrow change if I buy a short sale or if I build a home? How long is the inspection period? How do I build my negotiating power before I write a contract?
  • Knowledge of the Local Market – Searching the Phoenix MLS for Phoenix Homes for Sale is just part of the process. Equally important is understanding the Local Market. What are the local schools like? Are we near a superfund site? What are comparable homes recently sold? Who can help me paint, install carpet or make other repairs?
  • Finding That Special Home – Where can I find that perfect floor plan? Are there homes available that are not in HOAs? We really would like a diving pool, not a play pool, is that possible? Are there homes that allow horse privileges?
  • Troubleshooting Challenges That Arise – What happens when the seller needs a new roof? We love the home and our appraisal came in low—what’s next? The seller is a bank and is not going to fix the holes in the wall, should we cancel?
  • What Are the Best Deals in Town? – Is this home a good deal? What are typical costs for real estate transactions in the Phoenix Real Estate market? A great real estate agent knows what a good real estate transaction is for their market. Knowing the market is a key to knowing what kind of home a buyer may be able to purchase and what fees are typical. A good agent also knows where to find the best properties and floor plans.

Are you ready to get started finding that special home? Contact us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 602-753-0177 today!

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Home Purchase – How to Find a Great Loan Officer

Find a great loan officer for your home purchase

Don’t be afraid to ask your lender questions! How long have you been doing home loans? How long have you been working for your company? How many of your loans did not close in the last year?  How many days do you need to close a loan from contract date?

Getting full loan approval is more difficult now that it has never been. So, a great lender is looking to guide you through the loan process in a smooth manner. A great lender usually asks for required documents needed for the loan, so that the documents can be reviewed sooner rather than later. Likely if there are problems with any documents, the lender can put together a plan to resolve the problem before you are under contract. If your lender is not asking needed documents, it may be a sign that you are working with the wrong loan officer.

During the escrow period, the number one thing for a lender to do is over communicate and be proactive in solving any issues. The lender should never keep you guessing about problems that may occur with your home purchase. Remember: costs of inspections and appraisal may be upwards of $1000 and you are going to be in the process of packing up to make the move. If your loan officer cannot complete the mortgage, then you are out money and do not get to move into your new place.

Do you need a great lender or do you have more questions about getting started on a home purchase? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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Real Estate Market Update — 2015

Real Estate UpdatesThe Phoenix summer temperature is heating new highs. The Phoenix real estate market is heating up also. Buyer activity is brisk and interest rates remain low. Here are a few highlights!

  • Overall Home Supply – Year to date, the total number of Phoenix Homes for Sale for the entire MLS is 24,182. Year over year, this is a decrease in housing inventory of 4,638 units or a decrease of 16.1%. So, active listing inventory is seeing a large reduction since 2014. With monthly sales of listings being around 8,282, the total supply of listings represents a supply of 2.92 months. With tight supply of homes, sellers should be seeing good appreciation on their Phoenix Homes.
  • Local ZIP code of 85224 – The Chandler ZIP code of 85224 shows a total number of 80 active real estate listings, with the total number of sold listings for the recent month at 61 homes. In other words: there is about a 1.3month supply for this popular Chandler ZIP code.
  • City of Chandler –If you are looking for a “starter” home in Chandler, inventory remains low. For the entire city of Chandler, the number of active listings for single family homes between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet is 50. The number of sold listings for the last month is 71, meaning that there is about a 0.07 month supply of starter homes in Chandler
  • Phoenix Home Sales –Year to date, the Phoenix MLS recorded sales of 35086 homes – or an average of 7017 homes per month. That puts the Phoenix market on pace to sell over 80,000 homes for 2015.

Do you need to make a move in the near future? Here at the Thompson Group, our goal is to show you the BEST options for your situation. Give us a call at 480-776-5214 or find us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com .

 

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Challenge Accepted AND Met: We’ve got one weekend to find a new home!

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a buyer relocating to the valley. The phone call began, “Jamie, we will be in town this month on the weekend of the 29th and we will need to identify and purchase the home before returning home on Monday. Are you able to make that happen?”

Wow, what a challenge! These buyers are relocating to the valley and had a deadline to begin work. Not being able to purchase a home is not an option for them. The challenge for me as their agent is to find a special home that they will love for years to come and to negotiate a great deal in the process without giving away the situation and lots of their negotiating power.

I am happy to say that we pulled off the challenge without any hitches! The buyer found a great home and got a fantastic deal. A big part of the success is attributed to up front planning. Identifying areas that would work for the buyer’s work commutes, educating the buyers on crime statistics, school statistics and amenities of the those areas, and helping prepare the buyers financing package all allowed the buyer to make quicker decisions when arriving to town and allowed them to negotiate with confidence.

As you move through your daily business, if I or my staff can be of help to you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. I appreciate your referrals and always want to return the favor.

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Kennedy’s Housewarming Party

In the summer of 2013, Bonnie and Melinda Kennedy closed on their beautiful home in Mesa. The Kennedy family wanted to wait until the weather cooled off and then decided on an autumn theme for their party.  Tammy Brown represented them in their home purchase and The Thompson Group hosted their housewarming party with food and door prizes. 

In the photos below you can see what a nice family they are and how enjoyable this event was to host.  We even had the pleasure of very talented Connie on her violin playing wonderful music for our listening pleasure.  The housewarming was a fabulous autumn event for friends and family to gather and celebrate.    Congratulations Kennedy Family!

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Congratulations!

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Connie playing the violin!

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Chandler Home

 

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Housewarming Party for Real Estate Clients

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Client Halloween Party

In the spring of 2013, Christina Bernhardt closed on her beautiful home in the East Valley. Tammy Brown represented her in her home purchase and The Thompson Group hosted her housewarming party with food and door prizes.  Christina wanted to wait until the weather cooled off and then decided on a Halloween theme for her party.  In the photos below you can see that our German beer wench made it a spooktacular time.  We even had the cutest 4 legged pumpkins walking among us!   Congratulations Christina!

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Congratulations Christina!

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So cute!

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Six Ghoulish Reasons to Buy a House Right Now

Halloween is just upon us – and it’s that time of year that prompts many of us to start thinking about ghouls and goblins, witches and jack-o’-lanterns, and of course, haunted houses.

But, right now is also a GREAT time to think about houses that aren’t haunted – ones that are more hospitable and inhabitable, and ripe for the purchasing. Here are six “ghoulish” reasons to consider buying Phoenix Arizona Homes TODAY:

  • Howlingly high home affordability – The measure of affordability is the relationship of household income to mortgage payments. And right now, with current median income levels compared to low, low interest rates and low, low selling prices, the percentage of median income required to pay median mortgage payments is the lowest it’s been in the last twenty years.
  • Moaning mortgage interest rates – Today’s interest rates are very, very low, and are only likely to climb from here.
  • Home prices are starting to rise from the dead – After the declines of the last several years, home prices are starting to trend upward.  So, NOW is time to buy!
  • Spooked sellers – In today’s market, many sellers are not only wanting to sell, they have to sell – and that means that buyers have the advantage. From homeowners with Phoenix homes for sale trying to avoid foreclosure to banks trying to sell off their foreclosed properties, the reasons for sellers to sell are powerful – leaving buyers in a great position.
  • The best Jack-Own-Lantern: owning is cheaper than renting – The average mortgage principal and interest payment has been below the average rental rate since 2009, and in fact, hasn’t been this favorable in over twenty years!
  • The core of the carmel apple: home ownership remains the core of the American Dream – Owning a home is still essential to financial stability and growth. Despite recent short-term trends, the long-term trend of Phoenix Real Estate value is still unchanged. Owning a home allows you to take care of your day-to-day shelter and living needs, while at the same time allows you to invest in your own future.

As the time approaches for kids to think about knocking on doors looking for treats, it’s an ideal time for you to consider “knocking on doors” in the Phoenix MLS and looking for deals. This storm of buying conditions may not be spooky, but it certainly is exciting, and our knowledgeable Phoenix AZ Realtors can help you separate the tricks from the treats and make an excellent choice for your future. Give us a call today, and we’ll help!

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Buying a Home: A Great Investment!

Back as a little boy, my father read me the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. At the time it was a fun story, but my father was setting me up to teach me a lesson about life. And, it is a great lesson to learn in regards to investing. He would say, “A good investment is not a get rich quick scheme, but a disciplined approach to saving/making a little money every month.” In other words, be like the Tortoise with your money and not the Hare.

My father paid his house off long ago and now lives rent fee! Great advice! Analysis of his advice shows some statistics that are very advantageous for new buyers.

If  a buyer purchases  a home with a loan amount of $120,000 at 4.75% for 30 years, bankrate.com tells us the payment is $625.98 per month. (Bankrate.com and will also provide a full amortization schedule.)

Based on the amortization schedule, a buyer after one year will have earned $1851.69 off of the principal balance and will have acquired tax deductions of over $5660.03 in interest payments.

After 5 years, the buyer will have earned $10,202.14 off of the principal balance and acquired tax deductions of $27,356.49 from interest payments.

After 10 years, the buyer will have earned $23,133.1 off of the principal balance and acquired tax deductions of $51,984.12 from interest payments.

After 15 years, the buyer will have earned $39,522.87 off of the principal balance and acquired tax deductions of $ 73,152.95 from interest payments.

Not bad return for making the monthly mortgage payment! If you were to rent an apartment for the same period of time, then you get ZERO!

If you are tired of waiting and ready to consider a purchase, we certainly would like to help you! Not only do we want you to have a great investment, but a home that you will enjoy for years to come. To get started, give contact us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or (480) 776-5214.

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