portland park condos in Phoenix, AZ

What’s Driving the Condo-Building Frenzy in Phoenix?

Phoenix is seeing a boom in housing construction, but this is taking the form of condos, lofts, and townhomes. In fact, the ratio of shared housing developments to single family homes is stunning, with the shared dwellings surpassing SFHs (single family homes) easily.

The Phoenix metropolitan area is growing at a staggering rate; while the city used to be known for having the highest amount of vacant space back in 1997, it’s now seeing that land filled with more and more complexes, sparking bidding wars and fast speculation. Even older buildings that are somewhat decrepit are being bought out and either remodelled or replaced.

Read more about the condo building frenzy in Phoenix.

equity for your home

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

What is a reverse mortgage?
Reverse mortgage basically is the exact opposite of the traditional type. It reverses the normal flow of home-equity mortgage payments. Instead of the homeowner making payments to the financial institution to settle the mortgage, the bank extends a loan to the homeowner in exchange for its eventual claim on the house. The bank will get its money plus interest back when the home is sold once the homeowner dies. With this type of mortgage, homeowners who otherwise have financial challenges can live in their own homes and still meet all of their financial obligations.

Qualifications

over 65 homeownersTo qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Own a single-family home or any other approved property
  • Live in the house as your primary residence
  • Have repaid all or most of mortgage on the house

How It Works

The amount of money that can be borrowed depends on the age of the borrower, the value of the house and the interest rate. While borrowers with an existing mortgage on their home can still qualify for a reverse mortgage, the old mortgage would be paid off first before the homeowner can get anything.

Money from this mortgage can be disbursed in many different ways. Most homeowners take the payments as a repayment-free line of credit, which allows them take money from the approved loan amount anytime they need it. Funds may also be paid by a tenure method, which offers equal monthly payments provided the borrower continues to live in the house.

A reverse mortgage becomes due:

  • When the home is sold
  • When the borrower dies then the property has up to 12 months to pay off the loan
  • When the homeowner no longer lives in the house for over 1 year then he/she has up to 12 months to repay the loan by selling the house or refinancing

Reverse Mortgage Pros

  • senior with equityNo regular payments required
  • No income requirements
  • No minimum credit rating
  • No restrictions on the use of proceeds
  • Provides tax-free and guaranteed income
  • No personal guaranty requirement
  • Reverse mortgage has no effect on your credit score
  • You own the home at all times

Reverse Mortgage Cons

  • You have pay your property taxes and maintain the house
  • You must be 62 years of age or older to qualify for this mortgage

In conclusion, remember to weigh the pros and cons of reverse mortgage before signing for it. It can prove useful if you want to reduce the risks of outliving assets, repay your existing mortgage or even fund long-term care insurance.

For more information on reverse mortgages, you can call Seniors’ Lending Centre at 604.614.2382 or fax 604.463.7886. They are very helpful and will guide you through all of your mortgage needs.

scary phoenix pests

5 Common But Dangerous Pests in Phoenix, AZ

Pests are aptly named due to the inconvenience that they cause. Common household pests are rarely peaceful, and they wreak havoc to our health, family and property. It worsens and becomes a difficult problem when these pests invade your home and breed in it, creating a more serious problem – infestation. Here are some of the most common household pests that you may find in the Phoenix, Arizona area and some ways to get rid of them.

Scorpions

arizona bark scorpionScorpions have more things in common with spiders, another bothersome pest, than you may think. They are both arachnids, and both are extremely dangerous because some species of scorpions are deadly and carry venom that is fatal to humans. The most common scorpion in the Phoenix, Arizona area is the Bark Scorpion. Its venom causes severe pain to the person when stung, and the area becomes immobilized and may also bring convulsions. Bark Scorpions hide most of the day due to the heat and their favorite resting places are wood piles, cinderblock fencing and rocks. They don’t burrow, but they only need about 1/6 of an inch opening in your home to gain entry. Scorpions are very difficult to eliminate and prevention is still the best cure for this pest. Sealing the house, taking the pain to destroy other bugs in your house and seeking scorpion shelters are some ways, but calling in pest control or an exterminator and entrusting it to the experts is still the best way to keep your home scorpion-free.

Cockroaches

cockroachCockroaches are very common and they may just seem like nuisances, but they are very dirty and carry harmful diseases and germs. There are 4 types of cockroaches in Phoenix, Arizona that can live in your house and disrupt your day-to-day activities. American cockroaches are the largest of the pack and prefer damp and warm areas like sprinkler boxes and flowerbeds. Brown-banded cockroaches can be found in warm and dry locations such as your closets and kitchen cabinets, motor housings and electronic equipment that produce heat. These cockroaches carry protozoa and bacteria that cause diarrhea and gastroenteritis, trigger allergies and asthma. The German cockroach is the fastest reproducing bug out of the 4. They typically like moist parts of the house like kitchens and bathrooms. Cracks and crevices may also be home to them. These cockroaches can consume household items such as paper and cloth. Eradication of this pest is burdensome because they can multiply quickly and in the dark. You may try to get rid of it by eliminating stray food sources and water leaks, but having a home that is cockroach-free may require an appointment with an exterminator or pest control experts.

Rodents

rodentRodents are no stranger when it comes to living in your house, but it does not mean that they are harmless. Like cockroaches, when mice decide to make your home a living spot, they can establish themselves and eat your food and water. Mice can reproduce up to 50 offspring per month. Rats carry deadly diseases and parasites like ticks, lice and fleas that can infect your pet dog and further aggravate your pest problem. Rats are very hard to catch and control as they typically avoid common baits and traps, and live in hard to reach areas such as under porches, between wall voids and in the attic. There are some ways to prevent entry and that includes sealing your home, and other catching techniques like cage traps and sticky traps, but if they persist, exterminators and experienced pest removal can do the work for you and save you valuable time and money.

Ants

antThese small insects are right at home in the temperature and climate of Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona has the most species of ants than any other state, having 318 species, and not all of them are peaceful. These ants are quick to find and swarm over food that is left unprotected. Once they establish that a household has plenty of food sources, they move in and swarm without hesitation. It can be very hard to kill these tiny creatures, let alone find their source. Fire ants are the most destructive of the bunch, although they rarely found in the state of Arizona. These creatures are carnivores and consume anything and everything in their path. Small animals do not stand a chance, and if they are left unchecked, can pose a greater problem than their pest counterparts. If your home is not made of treated wood carpenter ants may also take an interest and literally eat your house away. Using solutions that deter and keep ants away can be one of the solutions, as well as homemade ingredients such as caulk is not for everyone, especially if they have pets and small children. Pest control and exterminators would know how to find the main source of ants and remove it before it causes any more problems.

Termites

termiteJust the mention of the word termite causes alarm and panic among homeowners, and the Phoenix, Arizona is home to one of the most destructive species – the Drywood termite. In the high desert, these pesky creatures like to find moisture and can single out your home, with its wood that contain about 12% or less content. They settle and eat away the wood and leave line galleries. Remember that once a termite infestation is suspected, it is not just one part of the house that can be affected, but the entire structure itself. It is estimated that termites cause billions of dollars in property damage annually. Do not let your house become a statistic and purchase wood materials that are treated with chemicals to prevent termites. If the worst scenario happens and termites are already incorporated into the wood, Let the expert pest control and exterminators do what they do best and annihilate the problem once and for all.

The solution provided is just temporary and for small-scale pest invasions. If all else fails, exterminators and pest control companies are certainly equipped to deal with and eradicate their presence in your home. Don’t wait and think that they will just go away- instead, seek help from the experts and you will be happy that you did.

Reasons Why You Should Invest In Phoenix, AZ Real Estate

Featured photo by DPPed (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The real estate market is one of the best investment choices especially for realtors wishing to invest around Phoenix, Arizona. The real estate market collapse was indeed a blessing in disguise for Phoenix, the boomer region that has seen an upsurge in real estate profits ever since. Other than the excellent home value, many investors prefer Phoenix for many reasons. Here are some of the reasons why many people turn to Phoenix and why investing in the city is a great idea.

Snowbirds Invade Phoenix in the Winter Months

Snowbirds or retirees who prefer spending the cold winter days in warm and pleasant weather mostly choose Phoenix. This provides a great demand for properties to rent and buy, which is why you should be among those benefiting from this market. Such people look for the most prime property and are ready to pay $20,000 for homes near resorts and other luxury amenities. There are therefore pleasant returns for investors who can get anything from 9-12% annually.

A Fast Growing Population

Phoenix population is growing fast as the economy diversifies, making real estate a smart investment choice. The fact that there are great job opportunities including top institutions such as Arizona State University makes Phoenix a magnet for career people. So why not use this moment to multiply your revenue through investing in real estate to house the massive population?

Natural Resources

Phoenix, AZ has a rich real estate potential considering its wealth of natural resources that make people want to live there. The South Mountain Park and botanical gardens like Desert Garden attract new dwellers to the area every year. Investing in such an area is great as there will be plenty fun activities that residents can engage in and this is definitely a great selling point. Regular visitors prefer buying real estate to use when they are in the area and rent it out for the rest of the year.

Lots of Sun

Phoenix boasts 320 years of splendid sun in a year, making it an ideal destination for ardent golfers. People dream of setting up home in phoenix because then they can enjoy unlimited golf at world famous courses like Superstition Springs Golf Club and Arizona Baltimore Adobe. Besides golf, other sports enthusiasts like to buy real estate in the area because then they will share homes with major teams like Cardinals Football Team, Phoenix Coyotes Ice Hockey team and the Phoenix Mercury Women’s’ NBA team to mention but a few.

Phoenix is the Hot Spot for Real Estate

People are constantly looking to live in Phoenix for the great sunny weather as statistics show the area as one where real estate properties never sit empty for long. This is why every potential investor seeks property in the area rich with foreclosure properties that every investor would love.

Phoenix, AZ is ideally the real estate hot spot of Southwestern U.S but benefits certainly do not come without sheer hard work. You have to prepare and parade your property in the best possible way to attract anyone seeking to buy. A good marketing strategy, choice of location and size of property are some ingredients for absolute success in the Phoenix real estate market that every investor must consider.

arizona fast facts feature

Arizona Fast Facts

arizona fast facts info graphicThis is a great info graphic about Arizona courtesy of Maps of the World.

  • Many people think the name “Arizona” came from the Spanish phrase meaning “arid zone”.
  • Arizona is one of the “Four Corners” states of the American Southwest located directly to the south and east of California.
  • Most of Arizona is a desert, although there are colder, more mountainous regions in the northern part of the state.
  • Arizona has a great deal of national and state parks, and is well-known for its high levels of natural beauty.

Plus so much more. View the whole info graphic here.

arizona newcomer

Arizona Newcomer Information

Automotive Information:

Drivers Licenses are issued by the State of Arizona and are required for newcomers as soon as residency has taken place. Proof of and and identity is needed.(birth certificate, previous drivers license, etc.) You must also pass a vision test, and possibly a written and road test. Drivers license fees are based on the age of the applicant. Arizona drivers licenses expire at the age of 60 and each driver is required to update their eye test and photo every 12 years. Drivers 55 and older recieve a 5 year license.

Motor Vehicle Department of Arizona
1801 W. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 255-0072

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree:
15023 N. 75th St
Scottsdale, AZ

Vehicle Emissions Testing: All Cars built after 1966 must pass emissions inspection. For vehicle inspection stations call (602) 470-4646.

Vehicle Registration: You can register your vehicle at the same offices as you get your drivers license. The fee is based on the make, model and year of the car. You must provide the previous registration card, license plates and title in order to register your vehicle.

Television Guide:

Channel 3: KTVK (Independent)
Channel 5: KPHO (CBS)
Channel 8: KAET (PBS)
Channel 10: KSAZ (FOX)
Channel 12: KPNX (NBC)
Channel 15: KNXV (ABC)
Channel 21: KPAZ (RELIGIOUS)
Channel 33: KTVW (UNIVISION)
Channel 45: KUTP (UPN)
Channel 61: KASW (WB)
Channel 64: KDRX (TELEMUNDO)

Radio Guide:

89.5 KBAQ CLASSICAL
91.5 KJZZ NPR/JAZZ
92.3 KKFR POP HITS
93.3 KDKB ROCK
94.5 KOOL OLDIES
95.5 KYOT GREATEST HITS
96.9 KGLQ CLASSIC HITS (80’S)
97.9 KUPD ALTERNATIVE ROCK
98.7 KKLT ADULT CONTEMPORARY
99.9 KESZ ADULT CONTEMPORARY
100.7 KSLX CLASSIC ROCK
101.5 KZON ALTERNATIVE
102.5 KNIX COUNTRY
103.3 KWCY COUNTRY
103.9 KEDJ ALTERNATIVE
104.7 KZZP POP HITS
105.9 KHOT RHYTHM & BLUES
107.1 KVVA SPANISH
107.9 KMLE COUNTRY

State Income Tax Information:

Single and Married filing separately:
Taxable Income:
$0-$10,000 2.88%
$10,001-$25,000 3.24%
$25,001-$50,000 3.82%
$50,001-$150,000 4.74%
$150,001+ 5.10%

Married Filing Jointly/ Unmarried Head of Household:
Taxable Income:
$0-$20,000 2.88%
$20,001-$50,000 3.24%
$50,001-$100,000 3.82%
$100,001-$300,000 4.74%
$300,001+ 5.10%

Property Taxes:

Maricopa County property taxes are based on the assessed value of each home and property.

Formula: TAX=(assessed value) x (district tax rate)

For further information, contact the Maricopa County Treasurers office at (602) 506-3975

Voter Registration:

To vote in local, state and national elections you must be registered to vote 29 days prior to the election, be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States.

Registration can be done online by printing a form out and mailing it to the Maricopa County Recorders office.