Do You Have A Home for Tomorrow?

Posted on May 16, 2018

Most people I talk to  seem to be afraid of a bubble bursting as it did in 2008. Statistically, that started in 2006, and some of us started to notice that early. I am asked about when prices will start to fall… that answer is when we see over 180 days on the market average for 2 straight months. Right now the average is 56 days on market. So it does not look like things will change anytime soon. Prices continue to move up at a quick pace indicating that if there is a move planned in the next 2-3 years, you should do it now to take advantage of the prices on the new place. It will not be cheaper in 2 years. . Now lets talk about retirement housing. For those who do not know I am a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and can help most folks with the issues they are facing. But read on…. As people near or enter retirement, one of the decisions that typically comes up is whether to sell their “big” home and buy a smaller one. If you know anyone who has been faced with that situation, selling one home and buying a smaller one may not save enough money to make it worthwhile. There are sales expenses on the property being sold and acquisition costs on the replacement home. Generally speaking, homeowners may not mind a home with less square footage, but they usually don’t want to give up amenities or locations that they’ve become accustomed. After a little number crunching, the move may not make enough difference in savings and they end up staying in their current home even if it doesn’t fit their needs anymore. What if while this couple were still in their peak earning years, they acquired a home in an area where they would consider retiring and rent it during the interim. They could put it on a 15-year mortgage and possibly, even accelerate the principal payments to have it paid off by their anticipated move. In the meantime, they could continue living in the “big” home until it is time to make the transition. Sell the “big” home that may be paid for by then and avoid up to $500,000 of capital gain. Take part of the proceeds and remodel the rental/transitional home and invest the proceeds for retirement income. Ideally, the former rental would be mortgage free by this point, so the retirees would not have a house payment. Even if at this point, they changed their mind about retiring to this particular home, they still have a property that acted as a hedge against rising prices and have sufficient equity to purchase something else without using the proceeds from the “big” home. It is difficult to know what the situation will be years from now when a person retires. It is clearly advantageous to have a plan that allows for options and choices. To find out more about purchasing your retirement home today, give me a call at 480.355.8645, or Email me at Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com Read More >>

Coming Soon to Carmel Bay at Ocotillo

Posted on May 03, 2018

This Fantastic Home is Located Close to Schools, Restaurants and Shopping. It Features a Large Eat-In Kitchen with Tile Floors and Gas Range. Master Includes a Walk-In Closet, Soaking Tub and Separate Shower. Lots of Windows Make it Bright and Cheery. Private Backyard Boasts Great Pool and Covered Patio For more information Call Us 480-355-8645 Or Email Us Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com     Read More >>

Are you overlooking your Recordkeeping?

Posted on May 02, 2018

There is great opportunity for  Home owners! Especially with the appreciation we have experienced over the last 5 years. When the tax laws changed last year I know I was excited that this part of the law did not change and that means we can keep our equity, tax free. Then you must ask, what is the cost of waiting? So as we have had  appreciation for 3 years that means your property is worth more today, and that may be tax free for a principle residence.   But read on about the tax law… Homeowners are familiar that they can deduct the interest and property taxes from their income tax returns. They also understand that there is a substantial capital gains exclusion for qualified sales of up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 for married filing jointly. However, ongoing record keeping tends to be overlooked. New homeowners should get in the habit of keeping all receipts and paperwork for any improvements or repairs to the home. Existing homeowners need to be reminded as well, in case they have become lax in doing so. These expenditures won’t necessarily benefit in the annual tax filing but may become valuable when it is time to sell the home because it raises the basis or cost of the home. For instance, let’s say a single person buys a $350,000 home that appreciates at 6% a year. Twelve years from now, the home will be worth $700,000. $250,000 of the gain will be exempt with no taxes due but the other $100,000 will be taxed at long-term capital gains rate. At 15%, that would be $15,000 in taxes due. Assume during the time the home was owned that a variety of improvements totaling $100,000 had been made. The adjusted basis in the home would be $450,000 and the gain would only be $250,000. No capital gains tax would be due. Some repairs may not qualify as improvements but if the homeowner has receipts for all the money spent on the home, the tax preparer can decide at the time of sale. Small dollar items can really add up to substantial amounts over many years of home-ownership. You can download a Homeowner’s Tax Worksheet (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p530.pdf)  that can help you with this record keeping. The important thing is to establish a habit of putting receipts for home expenditures in an envelope, so you’ll have it when you are ready to sell. As always let me know if I can be of any assistance.  Feel free to call (480-355-8645) or email (Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com) with any questions.   Read More >>

Costs More...Takes Longer?

Posted on April 25, 2018

Certainly one of the tougher functions in a Real Estate transaction is negotiating the inspection items. Some believe the seller should do everything and yet in a highly focused seller’s market that is not likely the case. The replacement of a roof covering can often become a real issue especially when using the contractor that just knocked on your door. Why? Their workmen may or may not show up and the roof may not get installed on time! When you hire an experienced Realtor those items should be non issues….but it does happen to all of us. The contractors I work with know that and are committed to get the job done on time, and often will wait for their payment until closing. Now a remodeling project…read on… The one experience that homeowners can agree upon after completing a remodeling project is that it costs more and takes longer than expected. It doesn’t really matter that you researched, planned, and received multiple bids, it will, invariably, cost more and take longer than you originally anticipated. Replacing floorcovering or painting is a project that a homeowner can easily get bids and contract with the workmen directly. A new level of complexity occurs when the project involves more specialized contractors, like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, counters, and others. Now, a homeowner is faced with dealing with one general contractor who will run roughshod over the sub-contractors or make the decision to do it themselves. Typically, you’ll pay more for a general contractor, but the trade-off is that they have the contacts and experience to make things go smoothly. Subs are notorious for wanting to finish their “part” of the project and move onto to the next job. Sometimes, they’re not interested in the “big picture” enough to consider doing things in a way that are best for the overall outcome. When you start tearing out some things, you find out that there may be unexpected expenses involved. Another common occurrence is that during the project, you get a new thought about changing something else “since it is already torn up anyway.” This will add time and money to the job. There can be the situation that the homeowner doesn’t even know the right questions to ask or what to consider when trying to coordinate the different workers. The most detailed timetable can be thrown off track if one set of workers don’t show up or finish on time. At best, it delays the project for a few days. At worst, it can delay it for a few weeks because the individual workers may have committed to other jobs that don’t allow them to reschedule. Once the work is done in a professional manner, you’re probably going to live with it for years. If it is something you’ve wanted to do and it will allow you to enjoy your home more, it is worth doing. Just be patient and enter this adventure with the understanding that it will cost more and take longer than you expect. We have all experienced good and bad contractors.  If you are considering a home improvement project let me know and I can refer you to a reliable contractor for the project you are considering.  Call 480-355-8645 Or Email Us Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com ​ Read More >>

Welcome to 22167 E Via Del Palo

Posted on April 25, 2018

Adorable move in ready home backing to the golf course with fabulous panoramic views! Home features great room style floor plan and a light and bright eat in kitchen with island for plenty of counter space. Low maintenance desert landscaping allows you time to enjoy the beautiful view of the golf course with the serene San Tan Mountains backdrop. The exterior was painted in 2015 and Low E windows for energy efficiency. Great subdivision in the heart of Queen Creek with community pool and planned activities. Festive events are just minutes away at QC Olive Mill and Schnepf Farms. Close to shopping and great schools, too.   For more information visit our website Visit our website:  WWW.LocateArizonaHomes.com http://www.locatearizonahomes.com/blog Or Contact Us Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com Read More >>

Housing Decision During Retirement

Posted on April 19, 2018

Recently I took a  certification class for the designation of Senior Real Estate Specialist. I found there was  a wealth of information to assist my clients that are reaching retirement age or have parents with limited and/or fixed income.  All of that to say is there is a lot to think through when planning for retirement.  Certainly the below is a unique view of how some approach retirement. The Phoenix metropolitan area is wonderful place to retire with the mild climate and plentiful golf courses, so read on for more enlightening information… A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels. An interesting exercise is to determine the optimum time of selling the home: now or when they’re ready to buy their replacement home. If they intend on traveling for more than three years, then, it may be a good decision to sell prior to the sojourn to avoid paying taxes on the gain in their home. IRS allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence while still keeping the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion intact. A homeowner must own and use a home for two out of the previous five years which means that it could be rented for up to three years, but it would need to be sold and closed before that three-year window expires. If the travel will be less than three years, there is an option of selling now or later. Using the example below, the homeowner sold the home, paid their expenses and invested the proceeds in a three-year certificate of deposit until the replacement home was purchased. As an alternative, if the homeowner rented the home, not only would they have income, the home would continue to appreciate and the unpaid balance would go down resulting in larger net proceeds. Based on a 5% appreciation and continued amortization of the mortgage, the net proceeds could easily be $40,000 more. Obviously, there are a lot of considerations that affect the decision to sell now or later but in an appreciating real estate environment, being without a home for several years could affect the financial position of the owner in the replacement property. It is certainly reasonable to look at various alternatives before making a decision. Call me at 480.355.8645 or Email me Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com to help you look at the different possibilities and talk to your tax professional. Read More >>

Welcome to 1581 E Shannon St., Chandler - Ashley Park

Posted on April 03, 2018

This home has been highly upgraded and remodeled lovingly by the owners. Upon entry you’ll notice the natural stone Travertine floors in the ample great room and the elegant French doors leading to the yard. The gourmet kitchen has been set up for the most discriminating cook with high end Kitchenaid stainless appliances, gas range, granite counters and stained cabinets. New dual pane vinyl frame windows throughout for energy efficiency. Split Master features a large Bay window overlooking the rear yard, luxurious master ensuite with granite and tiled shower plus a private water closet. The low maintenance yard features a sparkling play pool with oversized decking for relaxing by the pool or enjoy the shade under the covered patio outdoor living space. The home is a move in ready gem! Contact Us at:  Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com   480-355-8645 Read More >>

Welcome to 1431 W Folley Street, Chandler!

Posted on March 29, 2018

Adorable home in a great Chandler location! This home is ideally located just north of the 202 and close to both Chandler Fashion Square and DT Chandler for all of your shopping, dining experiences, and easy commuting.  This home features a light and bright den upon entry with large bay window. The great room style living area features beautiful stone flooring and a cozy fireplace perfect for relaxing evenings.  Efficient galley style kitchen features a breakfast bar and eat-in area that overlooks the sparkling pool.  Split floorplan gives the master added privacy plus both the master bath and secondary bath feature granite counters.  Enjoy the lush back yard sitting under the covered patio or splashing around in your private play pool. Read More >>

What the lack of Inventory means to You and Me!

Posted on March 23, 2018

In the Phoenix market, our housing inventory fluctuates based on supply and demand.  It will also fluctuate differently based on each different city within the Phoenix Metro Area (i.e., Chandler has a different inventory than Scottsdale, Gilbert from Tempe, and so on) and by price range within that as well. The National Association of REALTORS® considers a “balanced” market to be around a six-month inventory of homes.  If there is a larger supply, it is considered to be a buyer’s market, and if the supply is lower, it is considered a seller’s market.  Housing inventory is calculated as the number of homes currently on the market within the last month, divided by the number of homes that sold within the last month. The inventory of existing homes in the overall Phoenix Metro area has been reduced to approximately 3.15 month supply of homes.  There were about 21,770 active homes for sale as of February 28, 2018, which is an increase of about 0.5% from January, but a drop of over 12% for the same time last year. Housing inventory has a direct impact on price.  When the number of people who need homes is constant, but the supply is reduced, prices tend to go up.  This is because the same number of people are trying to buy a dwindling number of homes. For the entire Phoenix Metro area, the average home sale price has increased over 7.9% since last year.  That does compare a small condo selling with multiple offers and a luxurious mansion selling for below list price after being on the market for a long time in the same year, so for a more accurate feel of what the market is doing it’s better to use the median home sale price instead of the average.  The median home sale price jumped 9.8% over that same period of time.  That’s nearly a 1:1 relationship of a decrease in housing inventory to an increase in the price of homes!  For someone looking to purchase a $275,000 home, that equates to an increase of $26,950 in one year of appreciation alone.  If that person put off looking for a home for a year, they would have to increase their budget to $300,000 in order to afford the same home. While I don’t have a crystal ball, it’s important to be able to tell my clients which direction prices will be moving.  When not only prices, but mortgage rates are increasing, all buyers can be dramatically affected by either not being able to afford, or having to pay more for the same size of home they were looking at a few months ago. If you’re considering selling and would like more specific local statistics on what the market is doing for your home, or if you need assistance navigating through these ever-changing markets, give me a call at 480-355-8645 or email me at Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com today! Read More >>

We see Fair Skies on the Horizon

Posted on March 21, 2018

Some buyers I have talked to have expressed concern about how the new tax laws will affect home ownership. However, looking at the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by the President; we see that it continues to treat real estate as a favored investment. Tax laws are in place whether you are considering a home to either live in as your primary residence or to use as a rental property.  There are other dynamics to be concerned about that are not, like rising mortgage rates and home prices. Reasons to consider buying now… Mortgage interest deductions remain intact for most taxpayers.  Capital gain exclusion for principal residences up to $500K for married couples, $250k for singles also remains in place.  Taxpayers can elect annually to take a newly increased standard deduction or itemize deductions depending on which will benefit them the most.  Therefore you can see what fits your financial situation best. Most studies in the Phoenix area show that a house payment, including taxes and insurance, will likely be cheaper than paying rent.  Rental rates have continued to skyrocket, so in the future that difference will be even greater. If you’re thinking about renting vs. purchasing, keep in mind that with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (which most borrowers are eligible for) the interest rate will lock in your principal and interest payment for the term of the mortgage.  That means that your monthly payment will not increase for the term of the mortgage versus renting with a lease that will potentially increase every year. It’s better to lock in a fixed payment sooner rather than later.  I have seen our home prices go up following a decrease in housing inventory levels over the last four years. Coupled with interest rates continually rising over the last six weeks, this will drastically change how much home you can afford in the near future. Under the new tax law, there were no changes towards rental properties.  You can still take depreciation and write off expenses, or do a Section 1031 exchange to defer capital gains. I’ve used a 1031-exchange in the sale of one rental property to purchase two rental properties instead of just one.  It’s still a great way to build wealth and increase passive income. Let us know if you are considering buying or selling and if you have any questions on the new tax laws.  We have tax consultants we would be happy to refer you to.  Contact us today! 480-355-8645 or Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com ​ ​ Read More >>

Coming Soon! 1431 W Folley St., Chandler

Posted on March 20, 2018

Beautiful home! Slate tile flooring throughout! Tiled bathrooms.  Granite tops in both bathrooms with new fixtures! Formal dining room or den,big eat in kitchen with breakfast bar and room. Vaulted ceilings! Fireplace in large great room. Covered patio fenced! Sparkling play pool, beautiful back yard! Ac/heat installed march 2013 with 10 year warranty! Incredible floor plan! For more information visit our website Visit our website:  WWW.LocateArizonaHomes.com Or Contact Us Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com 480-355-8645 Read More >>

A Historical Perspective

Posted on February 23, 2018

Mortgage interest rate history is interesting and rates have the biggest impact on housing affordability. In 1968 (when I was just a little kid) interest rates were 8.5%, but dropped to 7% a year later.  In October 1981, they hit a high of 18.63%.  A $250,000, 30 year fixed mortgage with that interest rate had a monthly principal and interest payment of $3,896.46.  As crazy as that sounds, people were still buying homes and considered them good investments. I’ve personally had experience with the fluctuation in interest rates: we missed the high in 1981, but the second home that Dan and I purchased during our relocation across the country was in Dallas in 1985.  Our interest rate was 14.25% on an adjustable rate mortgage!  Less than two years later, interest rates were still over 12%.  Using the same example above, the monthly payment would be $2,571.53.  We paid about that when we relocated to California in 1987; our mortgage payment was $2,575 for a house that we bought for $187,500.  Believe it or not, we were excited to be paying only 2/3 of what we had to pay a few years earlier. We never found anyone whose mortgage we could assume, but if we had we would have been excited about it too.  VA and FHA mortgages were very popular in certain price ranges and allowed anyone to assume the mortgage regardless of their credit.  The person assuming the mortgage was happy getting a 15-20% bigger house for the same payment, while the person selling was free to qualify for another mortgage. We didn’t see interest rates change too much during the 90’s between when we bought our house in Ohio, and our first home in AZ. They were hovering between 8-9%, which doesn’t seem like a big change.  On a mortgage payment though, it could range from $1,860-2,015 a month. During the housing bubble, interest rates had dropped to only 6.04% (a steal if you knew what they were before!) and for that $250,000 house your payment was only $1,505.31. By 2009 interest rates had fallen below 5%, and if you were lucky enough to nail the bottom November 2012 with 3.31%, your payment would have been $1,096.27/month. Rates have fluctuated slightly for the last few years now, but have increased each week for the last six weeks to 4.38%, which would be a payment of $1,240.12. Most of the experts are expecting them to be above 5% by the end of 2018. As one contemplates the interest rates and their history, a half point shift may seem huge today when in reality it’s pretty small.  Young buyers probably have a different perspective though, most are payment-conscious and they’ve only been around long enough to see the $200/month increase. Still, the average interest rate over the past 47 years is a little over 8%.  Like real estate, the mortgage markets are cyclical.  Rates have been historically low for a long period but will probably continue to rise.  Based on the history, even 8% would be an excellent rate – until it reaches that point again, everything lower is a bargain.  Having a mortgage and owning a home now is still better than trying to save $250,000 to pay cash while spending the same amount of money each month on rent (if not more!). If you’ve been thinking about buying a home in the near future, contact me today at 480-355-8645 or by email at Info@LocateArizonaHomes.  I’d love to put you in touch with one of our great lender partners and share some of the things we did to make buying a home at a higher interest rate a great option!   Read More >>

Welcome to 2132 W Myrtle Drive, Chandler!

Posted on February 22, 2018

Don’t miss this beautiful home in the coveted subdivision of Cypress Point in Ocotillo! On a gorgeous lot backing to the pristine Ocotillo Golf Course, this home features new flooring, exterior paint, new appliances, custom plantation shutters and more! Entertaining is a breeze in the open kitchen with high windows for plenty of natural light. Gather around the island, hang out on the patio or enjoy the sparkling pool! After your guests have gone, relax in the downstairs master suite with its own private exit to the backyard. Upstairs, you’ll find a spacious loft with vaulted ceilings and two additional bedrooms overlooking the golf course. All this and more in one of the hottest locations in Chandler! *Exterior paint scheduled to be completed prior to close of escrow. Read More >>

Welcome to 1161 W Kingbird Drive, Chandler!

Posted on February 22, 2018

Lovely home that features newer wood flooring, decor paint, and an open floorplan. Very stylish kitchen with plenty of cabinet space and a large pantry. Located in highly sought after Clemente Ranch. Ideal location in Clemente Ranch with easy access to the 202 freeway, restaurant, shopping, and walking distance to both the elementary school and community park. A must see! Call me TODAY for more information!  480-355-8645 OR email Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com Or visit our website WWW.LocateArizonaHomes.com Read More >>

Welcome to 8649 E Royal Palm Rd. #127, Scottsdale!

Posted on February 15, 2018

Calling Second Home Owners or Investors! This turnkey fully furnished condo in highly desirable McCormick Ranch is completely ready for your vacation rental or personal use. Comes complete with all items needed, perfect location right across from pool. Gorgeous laminate flooring throughout, updated fixtures, and stylish mid-century style furniture. Perfect location close to Talking Stick, OdySea, & Salt River Baseball fields. **Complex does not allow pets Read More >>

The "Right" Agent and the "Right" Home

Posted on February 13, 2018

Most of my  years in the real estate business  we have represented almost as many buyers as we do sellers each year. This experience allows us to give buyers insights into the neighborhoods they are considering as well as what Sellers are thinking and how they are responding to offers so the buyer can make their offer stand out. To say the neighborhoods in Phoenix Metropolitan area are diverse is a bit of an understatement. The buyer can find this kind of intel extremely useful (never about a specific house or seller they are considering). Also we can share with the sellers what the buyers are typically thinking as they walk through homes they are considering as well as what is being offered in the competing neighborhoods. The home seller is counting on us to be candid and straight forward in our assessment of their home. But on to the topic… Some buyers think that finding the right home is the critical part of the buying process and that is how they determine which agent to use. While it is important, there may be a broader skill set to consider when selecting your real estate professional. The most recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicate that 52% of buyers do want help in finding the right home to purchase. There was a time when the public did not have access to all the homes on the market, but the Internet has changed that. Helping to negotiate the price and terms of sale were identified by almost 25% of the buyers. No one wants to pay more than is necessary and the terms of the sale can be as important as the price. The next largest area of assistance that buyers value has to do with financing and the paperwork. Even if a buyer has been through the process before, it very likely could have been several years and things have probably changed. Since the cost of housing is dependent on the price paid for the home and the financing, a real estate professional skilled in these specialized areas can be very valuable in finding the “right” home. An agent’s experience and connections to allied professionals and service providers is equally important. Ask the agent representing you to specifically list the tools and talent they have available to address these areas. Contact us TODAY, and we will share with you our tools and talents!  480-355-8645 OR Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com Read More >>

Convincing Advantages with Standard Deduction

Posted on February 08, 2018

Lots of folks  are asking what are the new tax laws going to do to my taxes? Read on. Then contact me if you need more. The new tax law doubles the standard deduction and it is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to use it. However, even without considering tax benefits, homeownership has convincing advantages. Besides the personal and social reasons for owning a home, one of the most compelling is that it is cheaper. Principal reduction and appreciation are powerful dynamics that reduce the effective cost of housing. Amortized loans apply a specific amount of each payment to the principal amount owed to retire the loan over the term. Some people consider it a forced savings account; when the payment is made, the unpaid balance is reduced. The price of homes going up over time is appreciation. While there are lots of variables and it is not guaranteed, it is easy to research the history of an area and make predictions based on supply and demand. Interest rates are still low and can be locked-in for 30 years. Without considering the tax benefits at all, the appreciation and the amortization dramatically affect the “real” cost of owning a home. Consider a $250,000 home that appreciates at 2% a year for the next seven years instead of paying $2,000 a month in rent. In the example, the payment is less than the rent being paid even including the property tax and insurance. When you factor in the monthly principal reduction and appreciation and consider additional owner expenses like maintenance and possible homeowners association, the net cost of housing is considerably lower than the rent. In this example, reduced cost in the first year alone is more than the down payment required on a FHA loan. Based on the assumptions stated, the down payment of $8,750 could grow to $73,546 in equity in seven years. Can you name another investment with this kind of potential that also provides you a place to live, enjoy, raise your family and share with your friends? Use this Rent vs. Own to make projections using your own numbers and price range. We’re available to answer any questions you have and to find out what it will take to own your own home. We would love the opportunity to help you with any questions you may have about the new tax laws!  Please call (480-355-8645) OR email Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com. We look forward to hearing from you! Read More >>

Welcome to 4158 S White Drive, Chandler!

Posted on February 01, 2018

This former model home features many luxurious upgrades and is THE best waterfront location in Old Stone Ranch! You will be delighted with the custom paver courtyard to enjoy sunny mornings. The grand entry features a beautiful stone and tile medallion that leads to the formal dining and living rooms where the wrought iron and wood rail adds to the open style floor plan. The home features beautiful wood floors and high end patterned carpet. The full bath down is tiled throughout. The kitchen features newer, high-end stainless appliances with a gas range for those gourmet cooks plus granite counters, beautiful brushed nickel back-splash and a custom style breakfast room. Cozy up to the stone fireplace listing to your favorite tunes from the surround sound built in speakers in the ample family room. Other upgrades include decor paint, custom draperies, and real wood window sills throughout. The upper level features a large loft with an elevated den that can also be a great playroom. The dual entry door to the master suite gives an grand entrance and leads to the luxurious bath featuring a soaking tub and shower with tile accents. Garage features an epoxy floor, softwater system, too. The lush yard features lots of shade and overlooks the lake plus sides to the park and stone waterfall entry. Enjoy many a evening listening to the waterfall in peaceful serenity watching the sunsets and wildlife over the lake. Read More >>

The Tale of The Lakes at Annecy

Posted on January 22, 2018

The Lakes at Annecy, or Val Vista Classic (as it’s also known) is a beautiful gated community off of Val Vista Dr & Williams Field Rd.  Not only does it have an amazing location near the 202 freeway, but it’s also right by the San Tan Village Mall with all of its things to do.  Great restaurants are less than a mile away (which can be a bit of a long walk for some, but perfect for us. We recommend Blue Wasabi, High Tide, & La Calabria if you haven’t been) and Higher Grounds Roastery & Café is located just outside of the main gate.  On the inside, there’s plenty of walking paths around several lakes and bridges, with tree lined streets, multiple community pools, basketball courts and playgrounds.  Trend Homes started building this community in 2007, featuring European style architecture with plenty of community green space outside your front door.  With a mixture of single family and townhomes, it was the premier lock and leave community.   Alas, all was not perfect.  Trend Homes declared bankruptcy in early 2008 and was sold in May to Najafi Cos., a Phoenix-based private investment firm.  Like many communities at the time, the 930-home Lakes at Annecy sat mostly empty.  Other than the   completed community pools and spas, lakes and roads, there were only a handful of homes that were developed near the front and around the sides of community, leaving the middle and back of the lots mostly filled with dirt.  Sometime after, Ryland Homes acquired Trend’s remaining assets at the end of 2012, but made no plans for continuing to build at The Lakes at Annecy although they finished some of Trend’s other neighborhoods. Ryland Homes and Standard Pacific Corp, two of the largest home builders at the time, merged in 2015 to become CalAtlantic Homes.   The latest to happen was that Lennar Homes announce last year that they were buying out CalAtlantic, although the merger won’t be completed until February 2018.     The good news though, is that Lennar Homes is finally planning to finish out The Lakes at Annecy! They are taking the back section for Inspiration at Annecy, which features two-three bedroom townhomes, ranging from 1,053-1,465 sqft.  They’re unique in the fact that everything is included in the home (no more being nickeled and dimed for upgrades) and the buyer has the choice of flooring and cabinet color (although if you want really upgraded flooring, there is a separate cost for that). Inspiration at Annecy is now for sale, and though they’ve not had their grand opening yet, have been selling pretty well.   Maracay Homes has also purchased 216 home sites in front of the community, and will be opening for sales in the fall of 2018.  Their plan is to offer homes ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 sqft. More news is to be announced.   For more area news, or if you’d like to know more about The Lakes at Annecy, please contact The McKinley Group at 480-355-8645 or at Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com today!   Read More >>

Homeowner Tax Changes

Posted on January 08, 2018

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits. Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following: Reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for loans made after 12/14/17. Existing loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap.   Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the existing mortgage being refinanced. Repeals the deduction for interest on home equity debt through 12/31/25 unless the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence. The standard deduction is now $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns. It is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to take the standard deduction. Property taxes and other state and local taxes are limited to $10,000 as itemized deductions. Moving expenses are repealed except for members of the Armed Forces. Casualty losses are only allowed provided the loss is attributable to a presidentially-declared disaster. The capital gains exclusion applying to principal residences remains unchanged. Single taxpayers are entitled to $250,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly up to $500,000 of capital gain for homes that they owned and occupied as principal residences for two out of the previous five years.   Not addressed in the new tax law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 expired on 12/31/16. This temporary law limited exclusion of income for discharged home mortgage debt for principal homeowners who went through foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness. Debt forgiven is considered income and even though the taxpayer may not be obligated for the debt, they would have to recognize the forgiven debt as income. These changes could affect a taxpayers’ position and should be discussed with their tax adviser. If you need a good tax adviser, Contact me today (Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com OR 480-355-8645).  I know some both in Chandler and the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Read More >>

Gina McKinley

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