HomeSmart Real Estate3131 E Camelback Rd, Suite 125 Phoenix AZ 85016
5.05 Months Inventory
$120.08 sq/ft sold avg
5.11 Months Inventory
$84.50 sq/ft sold avg
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Recipe: Mint Lamb Chops with Pea Mash
- 8 lamb chops
- Olive oil for cooking
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon mild smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups fresh peas
- 1/4 cup whole milk
Place chops in a shallow dish and add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, mint, and paprika. Rub the ingredients into the chops and set aside to marinate for about an hour. Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat, adding enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the lamb and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until medium. Drain excess fat, then add white wine, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once.
Boil potatoes in salted water until nearly cooked, then add peas. Cook until tender. Strain, return to pot, and mash. Add milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lamb chops.
Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What are closing costs, and how much will they cost me?
What are closing costs, and how much will they cost me? You’ve finally purchased your dream home and budgeted what you think you’ll need for expenses. But some first-time homebuyers forget that closing costs are part of the deal.
Closing costs are expenses outside of your mortgage that you’ll need to pay before you pick up the keys. Here’s a breakdown:
Appraisal – these fees are required for conventional mortgages; some insurers don’t require them, but many do. If yours is one, it’ll cost you between $150 and $500.
Title Insurance – this insurance protects against problems that may arise with your title and can cost $350 and up.
Other fees can include lawyers’ fees, estoppel certificates, government fees, property insurance, and home inspection fees. As a rule of thumb, know what closing costs apply and ask your agent if you aren’t sure.
||Inside Your Newsletter this Month…
Law May Stymie Your Carry-Back Mortgage PlansIt’s not good news for a seller when your buyer can’t qualify for a mortgage from a bank. In this situation, the seller has two alternatives: He or she can start looking for another buyer, or act as the bank for the buyer and carry the mortgage him or herself. To both the seller and the buyer, this may sound like an ideal plan, but thanks to a rule implemented in 2010, this option may not be the best choice for either of you.
In the past, if the seller had sufficient equity and didn’t need an influx of cash, he or she simply had the buyer’s credit verified, became familiar with the state’s mortgage default and foreclosure laws in case the buyer’s payments ceased, and “carried the paper.”
Assuming all went well at the closing of the transaction, the mortgage note could then be sold to an investor at a regular discount.
In the last few years, however, sellers have been required to comply with Dodd-Frank, a law that restricts sellers who want to carry their buyers’ mortgages.
When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted into law on July 21, 2010, it said that you could only do three seller carry-back transactions a year, and those transactions had to meet certain requirements:
- The note could not have a balloon (a payment required at the end of a mortgage loan to repay the balance)
- It had to have a fixed interest rate for five years; then it could be adjusted
- The seller had to prove and document the buyer’s “ability to repay” in accordance with the Qualified Mortgage rule (QM), which is quite restrictive.
If you are interested in this option, before volunteering to become your buyer’s bank, you would be wise to consult an attorney familiar with carry-back mortgage laws.
Your Ride Goes Green But Style Still Sells“Green” has taken on a new meaning in the auto industry, and even Corvettes and pickup trucks are getting into the act. Take Ford’s F-150. Many of its gaskets and seals now contain 25 percent recycled tires and 17 percent bio-renewable content from soy, according to Ford.
“Green” now means that vehicles are re-using all sorts of products in the manufacturing process. To the slogan, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”, the auto industry has added “Re-invent.” From Ford’s soy foam seat cushions to the recycled water bottles used by Nissan for sound insulation, the industry has become conscious of the value of “green” parts. Companies are spending big research dollars and/or partnering with leading companies in the recycling industry in the race to be environmentally on trend.
A recent CAA article by Stephanie Sinopoli lists some of the products we are (or soon will be) riding in: Recycled denim dashboards, sugar cane-based plastic components and trunks lined with coconut fiber are adding to the greening of the auto industry. A newcomer called kenaf, which works like cotton and was originally used for making twine, is reinforcing roofs on GM autos.
More green products are on the drawing board, but designers also haven’t left style behind. Take the North American car of the Year, GM’s 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: It gets great mileage, thanks to its new aluminum frame, and looks, as Chris Paukert noted on AutoBlog: “fresh, modern and habitually aggressive.” Your ride is going green, but you may be too taken with its looks to notice.
Score a Deal with This Savvy Shopping GuideShopping for a vacuum? Need new sheets? There are better times than others to purchase certain items. Be a savvy shopper with this seasonal buying guide, courtesy of Lifehacker.com and other websites.
Shop now for winter gear. This year’s stock will be heavily discounted as retailers make room for summer clothing. Watch for sales on sweaters, jackets, and winter sporting goods.
Now is also the time to pick up the snowblower you’ve wished you’d had all winter long – not much demand for those in the rainy spring.
In early May, rifle through flyers for deals on patio furniture and gardening accessories. Stores may offer discounts on these items to encourage high sales.
Grilling season is starting, so watch for special pricing on barbecues. Also look for deals on hammers, saws, and other tools.
The kids are still enjoying summer holidays, but retailers have back-to-school on the brain. Don’t wait until September to buy school supplies.
Replacing bathing suits and outdoor furniture? They’ll be on sale at the end of summer; ditto last year’s indoor furniture, as new models arrive soon.
Planning a winter getaway? Book before the cold weather hits – at least two months before your desired vacation time. The later you leave it, the higher the prices and the leaner the pickings.
You can find a deal on almost anything on Black Friday, especially electronics, but winter clothing is also value-priced.
Traditionally, Boxing Day brings good sales. Shop for the clothes and electronics you wished Santa had brought.
Bridal and boat shows are typically held in January or February. While you’re there, scope out deals on event planners, wedding dresses, and big power toys. And you may want to consider getting married in the winter months. Spring and summer are far more popular times for weddings, so you might snag a deal on venues and catering.
Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?
If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.
Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.
I won’t try to push you into listing with me or waste your time.
I’ll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value.
And maybe I’ll also give you the “inside scoop” on what’s happening in the housing market near where you live!
Just give my office a call or reply to this email to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, stop by at the office.
Beware the Fix-up: Your Dream Home May be a Money PitEven though TV shows frequently feature “fixer-uppers” that are magically transformed into dream homes, many people don’t realize just what’s involved in the transformation. Not, that is, until they’re the proud owner of what has turned out to be a money pit.
Agreed, it’s a great idea to buy a fix-up in a good neighborhood at a discounted price and turn it into the best property on the block by spending some time, energy, and money.
If the property qualifies, you may be able to access funding through an FHA 203K rehab mortgage, but outside of this program, the cost of repairs can be prohibitive.
Most potential buyers don’t know what repairs cost; what may look like a home in need of cosmetic work may actually require major repairs to the roof, plus electrical and plumbing upgrades, and possibly even structural work.
As well, it’s only a bargain if you can do much of the labor yourself. And then there’s the prospect of living in the middle of endless projects with dust everywhere.
Finally, a fixer-upper is not for every buyer. Time, resources, and ability are required, not to mention the credit score and income you’ll require to obtain financing.
And you need the ability to see through the mess and imagine what the home will look like finished.
As tempting as the purchase price is for a house in need of a little TLC, the buyer must decide whether the fix-up is the right fit, or a potential money pit.