Tuesday, February 26, 2013

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION For Homeowners*: Your Maricopa County Property Taxes (And Appeals)

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION For Arizona Homeowners*: Your Maricopa County Property Taxes (And Appeals)

As you will recall, the November Proposition 117 was passed. Voters thought that this would mean their property taxes would go down or that increases would be limited. The reality is that it may allow tax rates to be raised at any time, regardless of the assessed full cash value.

This could mean that even though your assessment may decrease your tax rates may continue to increase as government deems necessary. It is thus important that your assessment be reviewed THIS YEAR to grandfather in the lowest base starting value for next year when Proposition 117 takes affect.

This may require that you process an appeal with the county. If so, I suggest you learn about the appeal process here:

My best advice is to review your assessment ASAP. Please feel free to pass this on.

Richard Bazinet - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Rules To Becoming A Successful Real Estate Investor In Phoenix

10 Rules To Becoming A Successful Real Estate Investor in Phoenix

Being a real estate investor is not an easy task - but involves hard work, knowledge, dedication and doing the 'right' things. 

So can you handle this? If so, here are 10 rules that are almost guaranteed to make you a successful real estate investor.

The Phoenix Scottsdale market has awesome opportunities for the real estate investor -- and for the next 6 to 7 years. If this of interest to you, please feel free to drop me a note or call me.

Rule #1
Being a real estate investor is a business. So you have to think like a business person and act like it. It's not an emotional process. You make business decisions right from the beginning, analyse the numbers, and act accordingly. You develop a business plan and a strategy by property.

You have to be hands-on and locally present. You don't delegate to other people and expect to get the desired results. You get involved. You review the property yourself, do your calculations, obtain advice and recommendation from your partners and make the decisions. If anything happens, you take responsibility. It's your call.

Rule #3
Hire a competent and experienced Realtor in the business. Someone you can trust to tell you the right time and the way it is, no matter how brutal and true it is. Treat it like a partnership. Follow the advice of your trusted Realtor with whom you develop a relationship. It's more than the purchase, it's also advice on the remodeling if you buy-fix-flip, advice on the approach to identify and put in a great tenant if you are going to lease the property for cash flow and capital appreciation, and it's also on the future sales side. Always have the same competent trusted Realtor on the purchase side and on the sale side if you are flipping.

Rule #4
Hire a competent and trusted contractor for your fix and flips. Someone as well you can trust to tell you the right time and the way it is. Treat it like a partnership. The best approach is a contractor that your competent Realtor will recommend. Don't have one? Call me or drop me an email note.

Rule #5
Don't cheap out or try to 'squeeze' your partnership with your Realtor, your contractor or any other vendors in the process. Your professional service providers - your 'partners' are your allies - and you want to keep it that way. You want a fair return on your investment, so do they. So it keeps everything in balance and honest and they'll want to work with you and participate in achieving all the objectives. It's business, remember? You start playing games and act selfish and greedy, the tables will be turned on you. And eventually, the word gets around too... you'd be surprised how fast.

Rule #6
Don't make the common mistake of inexperienced investors. I see this all the time and a dead giveaway of a shaky approach. Make sure you don't do the following:

1. Never buy on price. Buy on current value and future value after renovations for fix-flips.

2. Select the location of the property strategically.

3. With your competent Realtor-partner, comp a target property, never make the deal-killing mistake of 'comping' the future value at current comp values. It simply does not work that way - you need to understand how the market works. You have to think value-added and how an improved property can 'up-sell' in the market, especially in a seller's market.

4. Don't buy with the belief that you are paying 80 cents or less on the dollar. Really, think about this... why would anyone sell you a property at 80 cents or less on the dollar...??? Because they want to lose 20 cents on the dollar??? The value of the property is determined by what you pay for it. You get what you pay for. And don't believe the ones that tell you anything about buying the property 'wholesale' - that's a lot of  baloney.

5. But make sure you do this: for fix-flips, develop a successful formula for the renovations. Read my other blogs below.

Rule #7
Dump the investment gurus - you know... those talking TV heads from the 3am shows, direct mail advertisements and the seminars at hotels - the ones that sell you these programs. In real life, it really does not work that way. They are busy making money off of you from selling you the package and really not from real estate. To be a real estate investor, or a flipper, you don't need any of it. It's a waste of your time and money.

Rule #8
Before you consider any investment:

1. Make sure you know which price range you want to be in, and perhaps location as well. The price range of successful real estate investments moves from one price segment to another in different market shifts a different times - the market is dynamic and keeps changing all the time. These all the little gears of real estate -- different sizes that move at different speeds at different times. Why you need an experienced and competent Realtor to keep track of market shifts and specific locations. What was true or that you knew 3 months ago, is unlikely to be correct today as it likely shifted. And will keep shifting again and again.

2. Make that you have a down payment for the purchase, and cash for the renovations, or cash sustainability for a rental property.

3. Make sure that you have secured your investment lender and that you have been qualified. Lenders for real estate investments vary in size, amount of money in play and type. If you would like a recommendation to such a lender, call me or email me and I can have you connected to competent lenders that can help you accomplish your goals.

4. Buy right, then sell right. Choose strategically.

Rule #9
And remember that your competent Realtor is not an investment counselor but rather a specialist in market knowledge and your partner in identifying, negotiations and bringing to a close a successful transaction on both the buy-side and sale-side of the equation.

Rule #10
Don't hedge yourself on one property only. Real estate investing is much like the stock market. Use the 80/20 rule average. You'll make some on some deals, and make less on others, but when you average out, you should or must have a successful profitable formula.

So here you are, you have your 10 Rules To Becoming A Successful Real Estate Investor in Phoenix Scottsdale.

In the meantime, you may want to review my previous posts on:

3 Ways To A Down Payment If You Don't have One...

Investment Property? 6 Ways To Crunch The Numbers For Your Return

Richard Bazinet, Realty ONE Group, Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Sunday, February 10, 2013

25 Tax Breaks For Homeowners in 2013

25 Tax Breaks For Homeowners in 2013

Well folks, it's the time of the year. If you are a homeowner, you have some major deductions to consider in your tax return. So get the jump on it with my Free Valuable Consumer Guide About Tax Breaks For Homeowners….

5 Articles:
  • Don't-Miss Home Tax Breaks
  • 9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes
  • How to Deduct Your Mortgage Interest & Equity Loan Costs
  • 6 Home Deduction Traps and How to Avoid Them
  • What You Can and Can't Deduct When You Work From Home

You can obtain your free report by clicking here!

Another Free Consumer Report from Richard Bazinet, Realty ONE Group, Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Friday, February 8, 2013

10 Things That Will Torpedo The Value Of Your Home

10 Things That Will Torpedo The Value Of Your Home in Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate.

Sellers need to make the best possible impression to appeal to buyers for the best possible price. When possible, sellers should avoid making changes that will 'devalue', often unknowingly, their home or cause buyers to offer less than the desirable price to the seller.

Sellers that improve their homes have an 'expectation' of the value they have created. Sometimes, the value created is not 'value' to the buyer but rather a negative that needs to be corrected. This puts the seller and the buyer at odds. 

But, before you decide to list your home for sale look at these 10 ways homeowners devalue their homes even after improving it by a remodel. Sellers should consider how to fix these if necessary:

1. Lack of Curb Appeal
The first thing any prospective buyer will see is the front of the home. Everyone wants to live in a home that is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. A poorly kept landscape, whether overgrown, or non-existent will turn a buyer off, even in the event of a complete remodel on the interior of the home. They may fear the cost of redoing landscaping, or be overwhelmed at the thought of it. By planting a few annuals, keeping the grass cut, raking the rocks and weeding the flowerbeds regularly you will improve your curb appeal. Front landscaping that is welcoming and has good visual appeal will keep a buyer interested in your home.

2. Exterior of the House
Chipped or faded paint, dirty windows, broken railings or busted sidewalks will all devalue your home. Just as a buyer will notice the front gardens, they will also notice the disrepair of the outside of your home. Buyers may wonder if the exterior is so neglected, what has been neglected on the interior, even if this not the case. If selling your home is in your future, invest in a fresh coat of paint, wash the windows, and repair any issues with your walkways. Potential buyers will notice the pride you take in your home and will reflect in their offer price.

3. Outdated Kitchens
Kitchens can make or break how buyers will perceive your home. They want to walk in and fall in love with your kitchen. Moms want to be able to envision making cookies with their kids or perhaps hosting dinner parties. That vision will not work for them if the kitchen is dark, dingy, or outdated even if the rest of the house is great. There are two ways to update a kitchen. A full-blown renovation will update the space to a buyers liking, but at a substantial cost. The good news is you will reap close to a 90% return on investment. A fresh coat of paint or new stain on the cabinets, new door pulls and new counter tops are all options for a small budget.

4. Outdated Baths
Outdated bathrooms are certain to affect the sale of a house. Buyers want updated baths just as they want updated kitchens. I see it all the time. The kitchen has been renovated but no the bathrooms. If you are able to renovate the bathroom from top to bottom, you should recognize an 80% return. If not, make small changes to update it. Add new fixtures, new lighting and if your budget allows, tile the floor. No matter how you update the space, a buyer should walk in to a bathroom that is clean, fresh smelling and well-decorated. These simple changes will do a lot for the buyer's perception of the space.

5. Taste Specific Decorating
Taste is subjective when it comes to decorating a home. What you may love, a buyer may hate. Really. Buyers want to see themselves in the space, and if they walk in to a home with, red walls, shag carpeting and wood paneling, they will have a hard time envisioning themselves living there. Instead, they will see the cost of replacing carpeting, and tearing down the paneling. All of these factors could cause a buyer to offer less than the asking price. Before you sell, paint your home a more neutral color that has a broad appeal.

6. Design Specific Renovations
Have you ever wandered into an open house and wondered what the owners were thinking as you faced an ultra-modern kitchen or a futuristic fireplace. These design choices will be difficult to sell to the average buyer with a more mainstream style and most buyers will be thinking about ripping out a kitchen and redoing it to their liking. It will take someone with a similar aesthetic to be interested in a home with such design specific features. Keep that in mind when you contemplate any renovations or remodeling.

7. DIY Projects Gone Awry
DIY projects can be fun to do, but if you riddle your home with projects that are half-done or poorly done, buyers will cringe at the thought of redoing projects or hiring someone to complete them. Buyers who see dollar signs will either walk away or deduct from their bid and sellers get insulted because the poured their bet into it. A general rule of thumb is to hire someone to manage a project if you lack the confidence that it will look "professional".

8. Pets
Pets are wonderful additions to a home, but bring unwanted issues when trying to sell. Damage to walls, carpeting or woodwork needs repair before you list the house. The interior of an outside door that has been repainted over the paw nail scratches just does not do it. A good carpet cleaning will lessen the smell of pet odors too. Or the buyers have to walk around the doggy doodoo in the backyard. Buyers would rather not move into a home that has lingering evidence of pets, especially if they have allergies. So, farm Fido out while the home is on the market to ensure the best offer you can get.

9. Wasted Square Footage
We like our home to work with our lifestyle and to accommodate specific interests or needs we may turn a bedroom into a closet, or a garage into a gym. While these highly personalized spaces work for a homeowner, the perceived wasted space is a turn off for most buyers, especially if they don't need a home office or a gym. A 3 bedroom home with an decked-out office (and the closet doors are missing) in the third bedroom is often a 2 bedroom home for the prospect buyer. Ultimately, the missing square footage detracts from the value of your home. Changing the space back to its intended use is a huge endeavor; because the focus is on what it is as in our example - an office and not a third bedroom, buyers may focus on cost of such a project.

10. Water Features
You may love your pool, covet your hot tub or adore that waterfall, but for a buyer water features are another expense that will be incurred to maintain the home. Make sure they work when you sell the home. If they don't work, the question is 'how much to fix?" and will think about maintenance issues. And over time, in-ground pools will need to be resurfaced and resealed at an additional cost to the buyer.

From kitchen renovations to wasted space to basic home maintenance, it's often the simple things that devalue your home. Applying a little forethought and practicality will help you reap the most value from the sale of your home.

10 Things That Will Torpedo The Value Of Your Home in Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate.

Richard Bazinet, Realty ONE Group, Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Monday, February 4, 2013

When Can I Buy Another Home After A Short Sale Or Foreclosure? How About Now...

When Can I Buy Another Home After A Short Sale Or Foreclosure? How About Now...

Right now. So it seems. Most buyers need to wait from 2 to 7 years before purchasing a home after a Short Sale or a Foreclosure. 

However, some Arizona lenders are now offering new unique programs that allow those same buyers to purchase a home one day of their Short Sale or Foreclosure, or even a bankruptcy. And these programs are not hard money loans.

Typically, depending on the situation, one should likely have at least a FICO score of 600, and a 25% down payment and at least 6 months' reserve. But every situation is different - best is to have your individual situation reviewed - there is no cost to do so.


Richard Bazinet, Realty ONE Group, Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

When Can I Buy Another Home After A Short Sale Or Foreclosure? How About Now...