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Nine Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Phoenix Arizona

What are the nine things to know before moving to Phoenix Arizona? We’re here to talk about everything Phoenix and what it looks like to live in the 5th largest metropolitan area. Now, let’s start this list with everything you should know!

To kick it off, car registration is more expensive to register your car in Arizona than in most states across the United States, but don’t let that scare you. If you’re into crunching numbers, it’s about two dollars and 80 cents for a new car out of 100, so it comes in at 2.8 percent. The nice thing about cars is that they are a depreciated asset, so over time, you’ll end up paying less for the car registration. The 2nd thing to know before moving to Phoenix is that you live in the desert. Even though this is a given, the Sonoran Desert is one of the few deserts in the entire world that has cacti, specifically saguaros here in Arizona. With the desert comes creepy crawlies and other animals that are out of the ordinary for other states. Here’s a little piece of advice, do not pet the coyotes or javelina – also known as desert pigs. They may look friendly and all, but they will bite you. Watch out for your small dogs or even cats in the backyard of your home because they could jump the fence. Scorpions, as you all know, are very common in the desert. They are typically in the more mountainous areas but having consistent pest control is the key to keeping them away. The 3rd thing to know before moving to Phoenix is that pools are the move when you reside here. The summertime gets hot, and you will most likely want a pool or to have access to a pool. The average pool right now use to start around $30,000 but because of the increase of supply and demand, those pools run upward to $50,000. The advantage of that is you can roll the cost right into your mortgage loan at 3-4% and it will become subsidized.

The 4th thing to know before moving to Phoenix Arizona is that the commute time is extremely spread out. Being one of the largest cities in the entire country per square mile, everything will be about 20 minutes away or more. Buying an energy-efficient car is a popular thing to do, especially living in large metropolitan areas or saving more money long term. The 5th factor to living in Arizona is the overall cost of utilities. In Phoenix, they are not badly ranked in comparison to other states. Living in a state with plenty of sunshine means solar panels are huge. One reason you may want to consider, is you’re able to lock in on a 20-year lease or maybe a 20-year purchase contract when you buy your next home. Having a solar system may be a big plus, as homes down here are built very energy efficient. Other than that, electric companies allow you to have a monthly equalizer plan, so you’ll be able to pay the same amount monthly every single year. The 6th thing to know before moving to Phoenix is how amazing the food scene is. The food scene here has an amazing variety of options, from Mexican, Middle Eastern, Italian, and so on. I mean, you must try the Mexican food! The cool thing about dining in the Valley is the ambiance standpoint to have the indoor and outdoor dining feel for 7 to 8 months out of the year. And the wait staff is very friendly!

The 7th thing to know before moving to Phoenix Arizona is the plethora of options kids have for schooling systems. Now, it’s no secret that Arizona on the public school system scale doesn’t have the best ratings in the country, however, there are some niche great public-school systems with higher ratings. You got to do your research to see which one will fit best if you have kids. Just to name a few, you got the Scottsdale Unified School District, the Paradise Valley Unified School District, the Kyrene School District, etc. There are a lot of options when it comes to private schools or charter schools. The unique thing about Arizona is the Arizona private school tuition tax credit. What that allows you to do is donate part of your state income tax to pay for a student’s education at a private school. On to the 8th important thing to know before moving is the housing. Housing will likely be your biggest expense in terms of cost of living, but the median price point of all homes in Maricopa County is $385,000. It’s rare to find homes at that price point in the Scottsdale area, but Chandler, Buckeye, and across the valley has different pricing for homes. Lastly, the 9th thing to know before moving to Phoenix is the lifestyle of living here. There are so many different things down here in Phoenix they have to offer, that’s right, from indoor to outdoor, to entertainment, the cultures, the arts, etc is located right in your backyard. It’s very easy to get the family out and about to do whatever y’all like to do. The Phoenix valley has it all.

To end this all, Phoenix has an array of options in so many areas that makes it very easy to please every single person that moves here. We have so many people contacting us who are moving to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, and we are so happy to make the transition easier for them. If you have any additional questions about all the things that come with living in Phoenix Arizona, reach out to us at info@kellycookhomes.com

Cost of Living in Phoenix AZ

Have you ever wondered what the total cost of living in Phoenix Arizona is and how that compares to other cities across the US? We are going to discuss the cost of living with everything from property taxes to housing, to a night out on the town, to utilities, and everything in between. Phoenix now is the 5th largest metropolitan area in the whole country, and it will continue to grow. We are going to break down several areas that contribute to the ost of living in Phoenix Arizona. The first is housing, which of course is going to be the biggest expense of living in any city. Normally, housing should be about 28%-30% of your total income. Depending on which city you live in, housing expenses will range. Now, let’s rate this on a scale. The national average is always at 100. Phoenix housing comes in at 103.5, which is above the average according to that national scale. What makes up the housing costs? Owning a house or even renting contribute to the overall score for the Phoenix metro area. A few years back, the Phoenix valley ranked in the mid 90s, but with the shifting market and constant growth of the area, our overall score will be ranked higher. Phoenix, Arizona is becoming a destination for retirees and second homeowners.

Utility cost is going to fluctuate dramatically based on how much you use. Gas has risen over the past 20 years for price and most people only use it just for the dryer or even fireplaces in the home. Air conditioning costs will rise drastically in the summertime because of the heat. One AC unit will cover about 2000 Sq. ft of the home, but if you have a two-story, you more than likely will have a couple of AC units. In terms of electricity, APS and SRP are the two main electrical companies, and they have different plans for on-peak and off-peak usage. A very common practice here in Arizona for electricity is not using any electrical components in the house from 3pm-8pm. Home maintenance also contributes to the cost of living in Phoenix Arizona. Most homes in Arizona have a pool and the costs for maintenance will run you anywhere between $80-$100 a month. Having a landscaper is common to have while living here, with most homes having a desert front. There are areas of town where homes do have grass front and depending on what you have in terms of landscaping, the cost will vary. Pest control is the other area of cost that’s important to know. Living in the desert brings a plethora of creepy crawlies and maintaining a constant rhythm to your pest control is important. Lastly, if you preferred to hire a cleaning service to clean your home professional, and let’s say you have a house around 4000 Sq.ft, you’re looking anywhere from 125-200 a month on average to come every two weeks.

Going straight from utilities and housing, property taxes are one of the reasons why you’d want to live in Arizona. Why? Because they are LOW! Arizona is one of the only states in the country with the lowest property taxes overall. For most people, that is a determining factor to where they want to live. On the topic of taxes, Arizona also has a decent sales tax, coming in at 8.3%. Across the board, that is average in the country. There are some items here that do not have a sales tax, such as groceries, medical supplies, etc. The fourth area of discussion for the ost of living in Phoenix Arizona is state income tax. Now there are some states across the country that have zero state income tax. Arizona comes in at a lower rate overall. Our state income tax is 4.5%, which is up to $159,000 for an individual, and $318,000 for a married couple. However, proposition 208 did pass on the ballot in 2020, which means that any income above $318,00 will be taxed 4.5% with an extra 3.5%. That brings the total to 8%. Recently, there has been a lawsuit filed against the state of Arizona stating that the passing of that is illegal. We are waiting to see if the passes officially or not.

Now, let’s go to car expenses, yes, everyone has car expenses. Since the valley is so big and spread out, having a car is a necessity to getting around. The average price per gallon in Phoenix is $2.86 cents, where the national average is $2.89. Now, here’s the kicker. Car registration and vehicle license tax comes in a bit higher in Arizona, which makes up for the lower property taxes. The good thing overall is that after you pay the initial registration of the vehicle, the vehicle license tax amount will go down because cars depreciate over the years. Another car factor you’ll notice in the state of Arizona is that you don’t see many do-it-yourself car washes, with it being more popular in other parts of the country. Pretty much everything is automation, and you’ll see a car wash every few minutes around the valley. With it being so dusty, having a monthly membership for the car wash is a big way you can save money.

To end this all, the overall cost of living in Phoenix Arizona is all around affordable compared to other states. Entertainment, health care, and other areas also contribute but we wanted to cover the more important area of costs. We have so any people contacting us who are either moving to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and we are so happy to make the transition easier for them. If you have any additional questions about the cost of living in Phoenix Arizona, reach out to us at info@kellycookhomes.com

How You Can Make a Cash Offer

We have a program that will let you make a cash offer on your next home.

Why don’t you buy your next house with cash? Most people would say they don’t have enough cash or that they don’t want to use that much cash. According to a recent study, 43% of Americans have to sell their current house to afford their next house. We have a solution to both of these problems.

We have partnered with a cash solution source that is willing to lend you up to $3 million cash to buy your next property. You can shop for your new house with cash, and after you move, you can sell your old home. You don’t have to write a contingent offer, and you don’t have to worry about double moves.   

Cash is king.

Maybe you don’t have to sell your old home, but you’re just tired of losing to cash offers. With this program, you can turn your financed offer into a cash offer and win those multiple-offer situations. You might want to buy with cash because people have proven that cash gives you about a 3% to 5% discount on your home purchase.  

This is an amazing resource that we want to give to you all. There are a lot of details that go into this, but to give you an idea, this offer has a 14 to 21 day close with as low as a six-day inspection period. On top of that, there is no cap to the amount you can bid. All of this makes our offer extremely enticing.

If you have any questions about what it would take to turn your offer into cash, give us a call at 480-277-2028 or send us an email at info@kellycookhomes.com. We appreciate all our clients, and happy Thanksgiving if I don’t hear from you until then.

 

If you are looking for an informative, educational Youtube channel that keeps you fully informed on everything that has to do with Phoenix, AZ, please visit our Youtube Channel below that is titled “Everything Phoenix by Kelly Cook”.  This channel will give you everything you need to know about our wonderful city and all surrounding suburbs and towns. Have fun binge watching!😊

https://youtu.be/10NZ4gf2xlU

6 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Here’s how to spruce up and refresh your home, even on a budget.

Are you thinking of selling or sprucing up your house a little to make it more inviting? If so, today I’m covering the six top, proven strategies to maximize your home value—even if you don’t have a high budget.

Feel free to follow along in the video above or else use the timestamps below to navigate the conversation at your leisure:

0:00—Introduction

1:40—Declutter your home

2:47—Make your house certified pre-owned (CPO)

4:50—Change your front door handle

5:41—Fresh paint and carpet

6:51—Curb appeal

8:07—Make your handles and hardware uniform

9:30—Wrapping up

If you have any questions or would like more advice about reinvigorating your home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.

We are your ONE-STOP shop for all possible options when selling your home!

Here’s how we can help represent your interest in real estate deals.

If you’ve been thinking of selling in this market, you have a lot of options. Prices are up and demand is high, so if you are looking for something specific from a buyer, you can probably find it. For example, if you want to sell to a cash buyer, one option is to sell to a venture capital company like OpenDoor or Zillow.

If this is the path you want to take, please give my team a call. We can represent your interests in the transactions and fight to get you the best deal possible. If you go to one of these companies directly, they won’t offer you the best price they are willing to pay. We can leverage our existing relationships with these companies to maximize your profit.

This is a similar situation to new-build properties. If you walk into a new-build situation without an agent, you have relinquished your right to representation during the negotiation phase. Sometimes this isn’t an issue, but often, builders and venture capital companies take advantage of your lack of experience.

 

We can leverage our existing relationships with these companies to maximize your profit.

 

The second thing I want to talk about today is a program for sellers that want to buy before they sell. This program will buy your house to alleviate your debt obligations until you buy your new home. After you move into your new home, you can then sell your old home at your leisure.

If you’d like to hear the details of this program or if you have any other questions, please give me or my team a call. We’d love to help you in any way we can.

What Is Happening To Lumber Prices?

Here’s how lumber prices have been affecting the real estate market.

One of the most common questions I get is, “What’s up with lumber prices?”

The height of the lumber price bubble was last May when it cost $1,515 per thousand board feet. Right now, lumber prices are down 68% to $479 per thousand board feet. That’s actually lower than it was this time last year. The price probably would’ve fallen further if it weren’t for the wildfires in British Columbia. At 2:07 in the video, you can see a graph of lumber prices over the last year.

What does this mean to you as a homeowner? If you’re looking to build, I would wait another three to six months to see an actual price drop for a new-build home. If there’s more lumber supply, more homes will be built, and that could slow down the increasing home values across the country. If you’re looking to sell, it’s a very good time because demand is still much higher than supply.

If you have any questions, please call or text me at 480-227-2028. 

Should You Still Consider Buying in This Market?

It is still a good time to buy in this market.

Anyone who’s even halfway interested in the housing market has this question on their mind: Is right now still a good time to buy? I’ll answer that question and more in today’s video. Activity is starting to curtail in our Phoenix market. Additionally, the supply and demand imbalance is starting to level out a bit. 

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch it in its entirety or use these timestamps to browse specific points at your leisure:

0:00—Introduction to today’s topic

0:50—The frenzy has died down, but prices will continue to increase 

1:41—Why it is, in fact, still a good time to buy 

3:40—The No. 1 thing you can do to hedge against inflation 

4:25—Lending practices have tightened 

4:45—Affordability has increased 

6:14—It’s actually cheaper to buy right now than rent 

6:57—The influence of economic growth and annual median income

7:27—Wrapping things up

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic or are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

3 Ways to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

These strategies can help you secure a home after selling your current one.

Buyer demand is incredibly high right now, which means homes can sell very quickly. Unfortunately, this leaves some sellers worried about what happens afterward. If there’s so much competition among buyers, how can a seller find a new place to live? This uncertainty is stopping some would-be sellers from jumping into the market.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to ensure you don’t end up without a home after you sell. Your purchase of a new home likely depends on the sale of your old one, so here are some ways you can navigate this situation:

1. Sell now and negotiate a post-possession deal: You can go ahead and list your home, and we will negotiate a post-possession clause that allows you to stay in the home for up to 60 days after selling. After 60 days, it technically becomes a lease agreement, and some of our clients have been able to secure a lease for as long as six months after selling. And because our market has been so crazy, the costs of the lease are usually waived completely. This gives the seller plenty of time to find a new place to live, and their next purchase is no longer contingent on their previous home’s sale.

 

All of these approaches can help ensure that you don’t end up without a home after selling.

 

2. Get qualified to purchase without having to sell first: There are things you can do that involve leasing your property. This can lower your debt-to-income ratio and give you the funds needed to purchase another home while still owning your old one.

3. Buy first and then sell: If your purchase is contingent on the sale of your old home, there’s still a way you can buy a new home before selling. How? We have an investor that will give you the money up front, allowing you to buy the home in cash. As soon as it closes, you’ll have a temporary loan on the property. You then sell your old home (which will sell quickly), get the money from the sale, and get financing for your new property. This investor option is essentially a short-term loan that acts the same as cash. You may pay around 9% to 12% interest for a few months before refinancing into your new mortgage. 

All of these approaches can help ensure that you don’t end up without a home after selling. If you’re thinking about selling and then buying a new home, contact us to learn more about which strategy may work best for your situation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

What’s Happening in the Phoenix Market Right Now?

Here’s what you need to know about the Phoenix housing market right now.

Today we have a quick update for you on the Phoenix housing market. The latest numbers are in, and we’re excited to share them with you. We currently have 9,500 active listings for sale. That’s a big 49% decrease from last year when we had 18,300 at this time. As of March 2021, there were about 8,800 homes available, so we’ve seen an 8% increase in inventory month over month. We’ll keep a close eye on this trend. Home sales are up by 15% from this time last year. We had 9,900 homes sell last month compared to 8,400 in 2020. We have just a 0.5-month supply of inventory, down 70% from the already-low 1.7-month supply we had at this time last year. Homes are selling in an average of 32 days right now, which is down 39% from the 52-day average last year.

The population migration to Phoenix right now is incredible.

Here’s a great stat for homeowners: Home appreciation is up 16.8% year to date across the board. Last year during this time, we saw a 6.6% increase. The market has been going up for years, but the appreciation we’ve seen so far this year is simply insane. These numbers aren’t great for buyers, but there are still strategies you can use to win as a buyer in this market. With interest rates still in the 3.5% range after a slight bump, homes are still affordable. If rates were to go up another 0.5%, you’d see about a 5% drop in buying power. Where do we go from here? Right now, 5,500 people are moving here just from California. People are moving here from other parts of the country as well. Our population migration is huge, and the trend is only going to continue. If you have any questions for me about the market or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

This Secret Will Help You Find a Home, Even in a Hot Seller’s Market

Here’s the secret to easily finding homes as a buyer in today’s market.

The market is on fire right now for sellers, so many people have been deciding to capitalize by putting their homes up for sale. However, there’s one question stopping some homeowners from jumping into this crazy real estate situation: If I sell, where will I go?

I’ll admit, it’s difficult to find a property in today’s market. It’s helpful to have an agent who has good relationships with other agents, a good reputation, and the tenacity to make sure your offer is accepted. There’s one little secret that can help you find the perfect home with minimal competition, though: the “coming soon” status on the MLS. 

There’s a large percentage of people who don’t know about this feature, which means they don’t know when a home is about to be listed. This gives you a chance to get in and buy the property before it comes onto the open market (which is full of competition right now). I’ll give you an example: This last weekend, we were helping a buyer and found a property that was coming soon. It never hit the market. Do you know why?

There’s a large percentage of people who don’t know about this feature, which means they don’t know when a home is about to be listed.

Our client purchased it. Nobody knew about it, and we were able to get into the property, see it, write an offer, and get it accepted. We did work to eliminate any possible friction from the transaction and essentially gave them what they wanted, and everyone walked away happy. It was truly a win-win situation.

If you’re looking to buy a home, we can find you properties before they hit the market and get you into the home of your dreams. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.