Is This a Good Neighborhood? – The Answer at Last!

I get asked all the time: Is this a GOOD Neighborhood. My answer - How the Heck Should I Know?  I don't blame you for asking the question. I mean, who wants to live in a "bad" neighborhood, right?! But, I really don't know because my idea of a "good" neighborhood is probably not the same as yours. Everyone has a different comfort zone and a different perspective on what makes a neighborhood feel like home. The reality is that I can't really answer that question for you. It depends on what you are looking for. For some people, a gated community with big fancy houses is good.  For others, that gated community might seem pretentious and cold … [Read more...]

Phoenix Real Estate – Myth Busters Edition 2014

Are the rumors true? Find out now! With the end of 2014 fast approaching, I thought it might be fun to look at some of the myths associated with the Phoenix real estate market! Are Interest Rates Soaring? Is the Market at a Standstill? Are Home Prices Dropping Like a Rock? Is it Impossible to Get a Home Loan? You know you want to know! If you have questions or comments, you can reach me at: Kristin LaVanway 480-282-7464 Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod, … [Read more...]

Identity Crisis – Phoenix Real Estate

The shift in the Phoenix Real Estate Market has left some real estate agents with a major identity crisis. After years of rescuing underwater homeowners, dealing the evil banks and constantly changing government regulations, we are left in a fairly normal market. What do we do know!!? I guess, when it gets right down to it, we all have to adjust to this new "normal" market. Once the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder starts to wind down, anyway!! Don't be afraid to reach out for help during these changing times... Kristin LaVanway 480-282-7464 Special appearance by Jane Fendelmen :) Outro: Feeling Good, Kevin MacLeod … [Read more...]

Paging Mr. Spock – How Much is My House Worth, huh?

It's the $64,000,000 questions these days as values have shot up 20% since the beginning of the year. How much is YOUR house worth? Despite the fact that there are many online resources available that can provide an answer to that question - Zillow, bank websites, county tax records, and more - how accurate are those estimates? Because they are estimates, and ballpark ones at that. I am sure you have figured out that the only way to get an accurate market value for your home - one that includes all the intangibles that affect the price a buyer would be willing to pay for your home - is to talk to an experienced real estate me! … [Read more...]

Landlord! Take My House Please!

I hate moving! But the worst part of this move was not loading the moving van, packing, unpacking, or even the fact that it's a hot Arizona summer (the season I always move). No, the worst part of this move is turning the house back over to the landlord and realizing that he is planning to squeeze me for that security deposit. Despite the fact that we have spent over $700 cleaning and sprucing, the landlord's representative, "Janet", nit-picksevery little thing she can in the final walk-through inspection. Not only do I get to forfeit whatever "accounting" decides to deduct for dead light bulbs, a dead fly, a piece of paper that blew into … [Read more...]

Introducing the East Valley Team – The Best Darn Team in the Valley!

Kristin LaVanway & Dean Ouellette join forces to provide the best real estate service in the East Valley I am very excited to announce that fellow video blogger and Phoenix Real Estate FAQs reporter Dean Ouellette and I have decided to join forces to form the East Valley Team. With our growing businesses and the complexity of today's real estate transaction, working together provides us with a stronger and more efficient way to provide the excellent service our client deserve. And, I had to counter all that country music that Dean's always playing with a little rock...thank you Red Hot Chili Peppers! We would love to hear from … [Read more...]

How Do I Select The Right Real Estate Agent?

How can I pick the best real estate agent when buying or selling my home? Dean Ouellette and I offer some tips to help you choose the right real estate agent to help you when buying or selling a home. Choosing the right agent can make the whole transaction process go a lot smoother. The best agent is typically the agent who knows what they are doing and who you can develop a good workign relationship with. Buying or selling your home is a very personal process and you need to find an agent whom you trust. Interview several agents...check out their websites...ask for whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable with your … [Read more...]

What is the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS)

What is the SPDS and who fills it out? Dean Ouellette and I discuss the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement that Sellers must complete when listing their home for sale here in Arizona. Although it is a required document, some sellers opt out of completing the disclosure because as investors, or banks taking a house back in foreclosure, they claim they cannot fill out the document because they never lived in the house. Much of the information in the SPDS is very generic information, such as utility companies that service the property, HOA information, etc that should be know by any owner whether they live there or not. Our apologies to … [Read more...]

How Much Should My Earnest Money Deposit Be?

Earnest Money Shows the Seller You Mean Business The earnest money deposit on the purchase of a house shows good faith on the part of the buyer to perform. Kristin LaVanway and Dean Ouellette discuss how much is an appropriate and effective amount to put down as a deposit. We also uncover the secret to pronouncing Dean's last name. … [Read more...]

Can My Dad Buy My House In A Short Sale?

Asking someone to buy your house for you at short sale may seem like a good idea...but it's not. Sure, you figure the bank is going to lose the money anyway, why not just have Mom and Dad buy that house in a short sale, then sell it back to you later at the reduced price. Dean Ouellette and I discuss why short sales must be arm's length transactions so the Seller does not benefit from the sale, not at the time of the sale or in the future. … [Read more...]