AT HOME WITH THE SAKALA GROUP

 

 

Jan. 26, 2023

North Phoenix Home For Sale

Just Listed In Fireside at Norterra 

 

 

This home is meticulously and generously proportioned!

You'll find space for everyone (kids, visitors, aging parents, work from home, home gym), beautifully appointed updates, manicured outdoor living space, PLUS all the amenities of Fireside at Norterra (pools, tennis, fitness center, hiking trails)

 

 

📍1528 W Red Bird Road | Fireside at Norterra

6 Bed | 4.5 Bath | 4,580 SF

 

1st Floor:

Primary bedroom with updated en suite

Office

Half bath

Attached casita with a private entrance

 

Sweeping staircase 

 

2nd Floor:

4 Bedrooms 

2 Bath (one is Jack and Jill layout)

Expansive Loft Space

 

See more now!

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 25, 2023

Our Secret To Getting Your Home Noticed

How We Get Your Home Maximum Exposure 

 

 

The secret to successfully showcasing your home to as many buyers as possible….

𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞. 

What do we mean by that? 

Most homebuyers will see your home online before they decide to schedule a tour. Did you know that they usually make a decision after seeing FIVE photos? 

So, we take extra time to ensure that your home is staged to look model home ready before the professional photographs are taken. 

 

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • busy decor and furnishings that catch your attention instead of the beauty of the space
  • too much furniture which makes the rooms feel smaller and cluttered
  • keep bathrooms countertops cleared off - add a simple plant, hand towel, and rug to compliment the space and that’s it
Posted in Sellers
Jan. 23, 2023

How Does Inflation Impact Mortgage Rates

Dear Shelley,

I saw a report that says inflation is going down. Does that mean mortgage rates are going down, too? Is it finally time to buy?

 -Alex, Phoenix

 We are witnessing the relationship between inflation and interest rates. In order to combat inflation, the Fed has been adjusting (raising) interest rates. People borrowing money for car loans, personal loans, or home loans will pay higher interest rates than they did last year. Higher rates make homes less affordable, which has chased away many potential home buyers. Gone are the investors, the house flippers, and those looking to upsize or downsize. Most home sales these days are to those who have to move for reasons such as a new job or a relocation. The net result is that the housing market has hit the pause button as buyers await a more opportune time to jump back into the game.

 But market data from early January show signs of relief for buyers. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates averaged 6.33% for 30-year fixed-rate loans. By the end of February, we might see those rates dip below 6%.  With this in mind, you may be wondering whether now is the time to buy. If you keep waiting you might see rates drop even lower. But if you wait too long more buyers might jump back into the game, driving up home prices. The answer depends on your individual situation. If you decide to take the plunge you might consider locking in a loan that lets you plug in a lower interest rate if the rates happen to go down before your loan closes. Another option is to choose a loan with no prepayment penalty. This gives you the freedom to refinance your loan sometime down the road when (fingers crossed) mortgage rates drop even more.

 Whatever you decide, I recommend three steps every buyer should take prior to purchasing a home:

 1)    Keep an eye on the financial news. Having even a basic knowledge of what’s going on will make you a better, smarter home buyer.

2)    Know your numbers – what you can afford, what you need to save – and stick to those numbers. It’s easy to get seduced by the thrill of home buying. That’s when people tend to convince themselves they can stretch past their established budget. But that extra $50 or $100 in monthly payments stays with you for up to thirty years!

3)    Work with a professional mortgage broker. An experienced pro has a good feel for all of your mortgage options and can find home loan products you didn’t even know about.

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 22, 2023

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Home?

Are You Trying To Time The Real Estate Market? 

 

Timing the market can be a risky move. What's a better way to decide on your next move? When you find the home you love, in the perfect location, that you can afford. That's the time to buy a home. 

And the best way to keep an eye on your desired neighborhood? Start a search so you're notified each time a new listing in that area becomes available. We can help with that! Start your search now in the right sidebar of this page. Be sure to select how often you'd like to receive updates!

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 19, 2023

Staging Your Home To Sell

Staging Tips To Sell Your Home

 

 

One of my favorite days in the selling process - and one of the most important! Our goal is to focus on the first impression of the home and allow potential buyers to really visualize themself living there. The flooring and kitchen are gorgeous. The light, airy feeling you immediately feel when you walk into this home is priceless. So, that’s what we want buyers to notice! 

 

Here are a few simple tweaks we made:

  • Clearing off the kitchen cabinets completely to show off the gorgeous countertops and cabinets
  • Swapping out colorful decor for more neutral touches - again we want to see the house not your stuff
  • Removing extra furniture in rooms so things look open and spacious
  • Organize/edit electronics so cords, components, speakers, etc aren’t distracting
  • Adding some staging to bonus rooms - ie a game displayed on the table in your game room so buyers can visualize a fun game night with friends or family
  • Painting the front door to a neutral color - the homeowner painted the blue front door to match the neutral paint palette of the exterior - again, think first impression as you approach the house

 

All of these things may seem simple, but make a BIG difference not only in the feel of the house but in the 📸 LISTING PHOTOS! 

 

Need help staging your home? We would love to help - it’s definitely a passion of ours! 

Posted in Sellers
Dec. 15, 2022

Should I Wait For Interest Rates To Go Down Before I Buy?

Will Interest Rates Drop Again Soon?

Dear Shelley,

We’ve been waiting and waiting for home prices to come down, but now mortgage rates keep going up! Do you think rates will return to where they were last year?

-Nina, Phoenix

___________________

No one can blame you for wanting to turn back the clock to the days of super-low interest rates. 3%, 4%, and even 5% seemed like a bargain compared to today. The rates were so low last year that they were hardly a factor when calculating the affordability of a home. But now it’s a whole different story. According to realtor.com, the median mortgage payment is $900 a month higher than it was a year ago. For most buyers, that’s a deal breaker. Not only does it change how much house you can buy, but it can also sometimes determine whether you can even afford to buy at all.

Allow me to offer some perspective… Yes, interest rates were lower last year. But you may also recall that last year we went through several months of homes flying off the market in a matter of hours. Cash buyers and investors were gobbling up what little inventory there was, boxing out the average home buyer. There was no negotiation of prices. No concessions. Sellers were able to get the inspections and appraisals waived. If there is any upside to today’s higher interest rates it’s that the real estate market is now a little better balanced. Home prices are back to being determined by fair market value rather than the hyper-demand of a buying frenzy.

As to whether you should wait and see what happens to interest rates, here’s what experience tells me:

1) You can’t go back in time, so it does you no good to keep comparing today’s reality with yesterday’s history.

2) Everything is cyclical. Rates will go up. Rates will come down. You can spend a lifetime charting and predicting mortgage rates and never actually pull the proverbial trigger because you’re afraid a better deal is right around the corner. They call this paralysis by analysis, and I don’t recommend it.

3) The current market allows you some time to be patient, shop around, and even ask for concessions from the seller to help lower your monthly payments. You may be paying more for a home, but the overall experience is far calmer and less stressful than it’s been in quite a while. And that’s gotta be worth something!

Bottom line: If you love the house and you can afford it, then now is the perfect time to buy it.

Posted in Buyers
Dec. 15, 2022

Working At TSMC Phoenix, Arizona

Benefits Of Living In North Phoenix 

 

Whether you're considering North Phoenix to work at the TSMC Phoenix or another reason brings you to this hugely popular area of Phoenix, we want to share some of the many benefits of living in North Phoenix.

• The proximity to Northern Arizona destinations - Flagstaff, Sedona, and Prescott are just a quick drive up I-17.

• Close to world-class shopping and dining in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale.

• Just a quick 30-minute drive to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

• Hiking trails along the Sonoran Preserve - just out your front door in many communities. 

• Close to professional sports venues (AZ Cardinals) and concert venues.

• And our favorite part - the neighborhoods! We have master-planned communities like Sonoran Foothills, Fireside at Norterra, and Union Park with homes ranging from lock and leave condos to large single-family homes. Also, areas like Desert Hills offer acreage if you like to have outdoor space for recreational toys and a little distance between your neighbors. 

Have questions about living in North Phoenix? We are your resource! Let's connect today. 

 

And since you're already on our site, why not start a simple home search to check out communities, pricing, and amenities? It's simple, quick, and FREE. You can even select how often you're updated when changes take place on properties that fall within your ideal home features.

 

START MY HOME SEARCH NOW! 

 

 

Posted in Phoenix Living
Nov. 14, 2022

The Impact of a Recession on Arizona Home Prices

What Does A Recession Mean For Homeowners In Arizona 

Inflation tends to affect the price of new build homes because of the rising costs of building materials, supplies, and fuel. For an existing home such as yours, home prices are affected more by supply & demand, plus interest rates. Higher interest rates normally mean fewer buyers and lower demand, which will push down home prices – but not here in Arizona. 

We’ve got a secret weapon to help keep our real estate market strong: Economics.

Low taxes and surging job growth have made AZ a destination for job seekers, especially in the tech sector. Companies are hiring to fill high-paying jobs, and people are moving here to fill them. This is the result of a concerted effort over the last eight years by our Governor’s office to create a business-friendly environment conducive to job creation. This includes economic and workforce development programs that are about to pay dividends. According to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, Arizona is projected to add 700,000 new jobs over the next ten years. That’s more than three times the projected job growth of the rest of the country. A recent story in AZBigMedia.com tells us that we’re also recovering jobs lost during the pandemic at a faster rate than almost every other state.

What does this all mean?

It means people are moving here for work and will continue to do so. And they need a place to live. With new home construction remaining somewhat modest home buyers are forced to seek existing homes. For this reason, anyone looking to sell his/her home will be in the driver’s seat for quite some time, despite the recent cooling off in the housing market. You might not sell your home in three hours at $100,000 over the list price like last year, but by all accounts, your home value will hold strong and grow steadily.

Posted in Sellers
Oct. 21, 2022

Seller Priorities in 2022

5 Seller Priorities in Today's Market 

 

 

According to the National Association of Realtors, here are the top five things sellers are focusing on when selling their home/hiring an agent:

1. Price Home Competitively - we’ve mentioned this MANY times and it’s critical in our market today as things balance back to a pre-pandemic norm. Comps from a month ago may look way different than they did 6 months ago.

2. Market Their Home To Potential Buyers - today’s market requires a savvy, new approach to marketing.

3. Sell Within A Specific Timeframe - many sellers today are selling because of a life change - company move, divorce, etc. so it’s important for them to be realistic about how long the process will actually take.

4. Advice On What To Fix To Sell For Top Dollar - what should you or shouldn’t you worry about fixing/updating before you list?

5. Finding A Buyer - this goes back to marketing and your agent’s experience to put your home in front of as many buyers as possible.

Are these your top five?

Posted in Sellers
Sept. 27, 2022

Why Phoenix is The Perfect Place to Live

The Best Thing About Living in Phoenix? The Weather! 

 

 

Posted in Phoenix Living