AT HOME WITH THE SAKALA GROUP

 

 

Sept. 27, 2022

Why Phoenix is The Perfect Place to Live

The Best Thing About Living in Phoenix? The Weather! 

 

 

Posted in Phoenix Living
Sept. 19, 2022

Phoenix Police Department Raises Starting Salary for New Recruits

The Phoenix Police Department is Raising New Recruit Salaries to $68,000! 

 

 

Are you a police officer thinking about relocating? Looking for a climate where there are almost 300 days of sunshine? Well, Phoenix, Arizona may be the place for you. The Phoenix Police Department recently announced that it is raising the rookie salary to $68,000! 

This is great news for anyone looking to relocate to Phoenix and become a police officer. So if you are thinking about making the move to Phoenix, here are a few things you should know. 

Cost of Living in Phoenix 

The cost of living in Phoenix is relatively low when compared to other major metropolitan areas. The median home price in Phoenix is $265,800 and the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,261. The cost of food and transportation is also relatively low when compared to other parts of the country. 

The Job Market in Phoenix 

The job market in Phoenix is strong. The unemployment rate in Phoenix was 3.9% in 2019, which was below the national average of 4%. Moreover, job growth in Phoenix has been strong in recent years. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of jobs in Phoenix increased by 2.7%. This is good news for anyone looking to relocate to Phoenix and find a job. 

Phoenix Weather

One of the things that makes Phoenix such a desirable place to live is the weather. On average, there are 296 sunny days per year in Phoenix. The temperatures can get hot during the summer months, but they cool down considerably during the winter months. 

 

Overall, Phoenix is a great place to relocate if you are looking for a change of pace. The cost of living is relatively low and the job market is strong. Additionally, the weather in Phoenix is hard to beat! 

 

Our team has two retired Phoenix PD officers turned real estate agents, so we’d love to be your resource for any questions you have about the department, housing, or Arizona life in general! Call us today to get started on your next journey. 

Posted in Phoenix Living
Sept. 19, 2022

How to Get Mortgage Pre-Approval in Phoenix

What is Mortgage pre-approval and why is it important? 

 

A mortgage pre-approval is an important first step on the home-buying journey. In this post, we'll break down everything you need to know about mortgage pre-approvals in Phoenix Arizona -  including what they are, how they work, and what you need to do to get one. 

What is a mortgage pre-approval? 

A mortgage pre-approval means a lender has reviewed your finances and, based on factors like your income, debt, and credit history, determined how much you're qualified to borrow. 

Having a pre-approval in hand helps you understand what price point you should be shopping for homes at and gives you the bargaining power of a serious buyer when you make an offer on a home. 

It's important to note that being pre-approved is not the same thing as being approved for a loan - the final loan approval happens after you've found a home and made an offer. 

How does the mortgage pre-approval process work? 

The first step in getting pre-approved for a loan is working with a lender to complete a loan application. This document will ask for information about your employment history, income, debts, and assets. Once you've completed the application, the lender will pull your credit report and assess your financial situation. Based on this review, the lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter that outlines how much money you're qualified to borrow. 

What do I need to get pre-approved for a loan? 

In order to get pre-approved for a loan, you'll need to have the following documentation on hand: 

• W2 forms from your employer for the last two years 

• Your most recent pay stubs 

• Federal tax returns from the last two years 

• Statements from any investment accounts or retirement savings accounts you have 

• Documentation of any other income you receive (alimony, child support, etc.) 

• Your most recent statement from any debts you have (student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.) 

Once you have all of this documentation gathered up, you're ready to begin the pre-approval process! 

So there you have it - everything you need to know about mortgage pre-approvals. Getting pre-approved is an important first step in securing financing for your new home purchase. If you're looking to get started on the home buying journey in Phoenix, AZ connect with us today - we would be happy to help!

Posted in Buyers
Sept. 15, 2022

Shrinkflation 2022 | Phoenix Housing Market

Shrinkflation: Why Million-dollar Homes Are Getting Smaller

 

If you’ve been shopping for a home in Phoenix, you may have noticed that the average size of a million-dollar home has shrunk. In 2020, the average size of a million-dollar home in Phoenix was 3,021 square feet. But by 2022, the average size had shrunk to 2,350 square feet. 

Why is this happening? There are a few factors at play. 

The first factor is that land prices have increased dramatically in recent years. The cost of an acre of land in Maricopa County has quadrupled since 2000, according to the Arizona Republic. This increase in land prices has made it more expensive to build larger homes. 

The second factor is that Millennials, who are now entering their 30s and 40s, are more interested in living in smaller homes than Baby Boomers. They want to live in walkable neighborhoods with easy access to restaurants and nightlife. They prefer smaller homes that require less maintenance than larger ones. 

The third factor is that many people are working from home these days and don’t need as much space as they did before. With more people working remotely, there’s less need for formal living rooms and dining rooms. Home offices are becoming more important than living rooms. 

If you’re looking for a million-dollar home in Phoenix, don’t expect to find one with 3,000 square feet of living space like you could have a few years ago. The average size of a million-dollar home has shrunk and will continue to do so as land prices increase and Millennials enter the housing market. But despite being smaller, these homes are still luxurious and offer all the amenities that buyers are looking for.

Posted in Buyers
Sept. 14, 2022

Friday's NEW 20/20 Preview: “Zambia Safari Murder”

ABC 20/20: The Larry Ruldoph Trial

 

True Crime fans, don't miss this one! I'm dishing on the Paradise Valley real estate market as it ties into this case. 

Posted in Around Town
Sept. 13, 2022

5 Reasons to Move to Arizona

5 Great Reasons to Consider Living in Phoenix, Arizona

 

Even if you think it’s too hot to live in Arizona, there are several inviting reasons that make it one of the best places to live in the US! As the top realtors in North Phoenix, The Sakala Group may be biased but here's our list of why we know you'll the Valley.

The amount of sunshine! In Arizona, you can expect to enjoy sunny skies about 85% of the year. That’s right, only about 15% of the days are overcast. And even on those days, the sun usually peeks out at some point. This is great news for those who love to spend time outdoors and soak up those vitamin D rays. 

It’s a fabulous place to raise a family and live a healthy, active lifestyle. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Arizona, and the weather is almost always perfect for playing tennis, hiking, biking, etc. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly events and attractions. And if you’re looking for a great school district, Arizona has plenty to choose from. 

Taxes are still relatively low. When compared to other states in the US, Arizona’s income taxes are quite low. In fact, there is no tax on personal income at all! That means more money in your pocket each month. Sales tax is also lower than average, which is good news for shoppers. 

Traffic is manageable as compared to most major cities. If you’ve ever lived in or visited a large city during rush hour, then you know how frustrating stop-and-go traffic can be. You won’t find that here in Arizona! Even during the busiest times of the day, traffic flows pretty smoothly. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions (like construction), but overall it’s much better than other places. 

Homes are still affordable! As a Realtor®, this is a big one! Although prices have been slowly rising over the past few years, homes in Arizona are still very affordable when compared to other parts of the country. So if you’re thinking about making a move soon, now is a great time to buy a home in Arizona. 

There are so many great reasons to live in Arizona! Whether you’re looking for sunny skies and outdoor adventures or affordable housing and low taxes, Arizona has it all. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready for a great life in the Grand Canyon State!

Posted in Phoenix Living
Aug. 17, 2022

A Day In The Life Of A Realtor®

Story time: My Most Cringe-Worthy Moment As An Agent 

 

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment while working your job? If so, you're certainly not alone.

 

When I became a Realtor®, people always said what a flexible job it is. You can work when you want. You can even bring your kids with you if you need to. But what they didn't tell me is that there would be plenty of embarrassing moments.

 

Watch this video to see how this cringe-worthy moment went down! Also the reason I no longer bring my kids to work with me.

Posted in Phoenix Living
Aug. 16, 2022

3 Strategies For Pricing Your Home To Sell | Phoenix, Arizona

Pricing Your Home To Sell 

When you're ready to put your home on the market in Arizona, you'll need to decide how to price it. There are three main strategies you can use: pricing as high as you think you can go, pricing in line with other listings in your area, or pricing slightly below the competition.

 

Pricing as high as you can go may seem like a risky move, but in today's market it could pay off. With buyers increasingly willing to pay top dollar for properties, listing your home at a high price could result in a quick sale.

 

If you're not comfortable with the idea of pricing your home on the high end, you can follow the lead of other sellers in your area. Your REALTOR® will check the local listings and help you determine a competitive price for your home.

 

If you want to generate a little buzz and get more people interested in your property, consider pricing slightly below the competition. This could help your home stand out from the rest and attract buyers who are looking for a great deal.

 

No matter what strategy you choose, it's important to communicate with us, your agents so we can help you navigate the selling process and get the best price for your home. We know the market and we're here to help you every step of the way.

 

Have questions about selling your home in Phoenix, Arizona? We can help. Give us a call today.

 

Posted in Sellers
Aug. 1, 2022

Missed The Boat on Buying/Selling in Phoenix?

Here's How Shelley Sees It - Your Real Estate Questions Answered 

Dear Shelley,

I keep seeing headlines about real estate, and they’re not good. Interest

rates are up. Inventory is down. Did I miss the boat for buying a house? Did

I miss the boat for selling my house?

-Amanda, Phoenix

 

Dear Amanda,

Good news… No boats have been missed! I’ve seen those same

headlines. Lots of doomsayers and naysayers talking about interest rates

rising, bubbles bursting, and buyers disappearing. Just remember that

headlines are designed to grab your attention so you’ll click on the article.

Truth can be stretched, exaggerated, and filled with conjecture. So, allow

me to add some important perspective to the conversation.

For home buyers…

Yes, interest rates have gone up. Yes, this affects mortgage payments. I

can’t tell you whether a home is “affordable” (That’s a matter of personal

finances). What I can say is that even though rates have gone up, they’re

not what people would call “outrageous.” We’re coming off a period of

historically low interest rates, so any increase in rates will be noticeable. A

home in your price range today will have roughly the same mortgage

payment as a similarly priced home pre-Covid. If you still have an

opportunity to get into a home with a mortgage rate in the low, single digits,

you’re in good shape. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a 14%

home mortgage rate. Yikes!

For home sellers…

Yes, the number of buyers bidding on homes have gone down since the

beginning of the year. We saw homes selling in record time for record

sums, and sellers couldn’t wait to get in on the action. The local real estate

market isn’t quite the same these days, but demand is still strong.

Remember that Arizona has done nothing but grow since the pandemic.

Our state leads the country in nearly every category of growth, including

population, jobs, rent, and new employers. So long as AZ remains an

attractive place to live and work, there will be people in need of a place to

live. You might not have 20 bidders fighting over your house, but you’ll still

have two or three. And all it takes is one!

Posted in Buyers
July 22, 2022

Land For Sale In North Phoenix | Desert Hills

The Perfect Spot For Your Custom Home

 

 

Do your home goals include a custom home, now or in the future? 

Build your own custom dream home or utilize plans that have already been completed for a three bedroom home with guest house! This scenic hillside lot is located in the highly sought after Desert Hills area of North Phoenix. Picturesque, gently east sloping 1.25+ acre parcel with natural desert vegetation and low traffic. Custom homes are developed throughout the area. Electricity is on-site with APS, 2-party shared well.

Conveniently located near I-17 and Carefree Highway! 

Posted in Buyers