Is buying more of a commitment than renting?

Another common reason people give for renting versus buying is that buying a home is “too much of a financial commitment”.

It certainly is a financial commitment. But so is renting!

When you sign a lease, you’re committing to pay someone a certain amount, each month, for a period of time. There are penalties for breaking a lease or for not paying.

The argument is that a lease is a shorter term, and that you can get out of it usually within a few months to a year. It’d be the same with owning a house. If you want or need to move on, you can just sell it…usually within a few months to a year.

No matter how you cut it, having a place to live is a commitment. Each has pros and cons.

I can’t say which is better for you, but I’d be glad to help you figure it out if you have questions. Give me a call if you’d like to weigh the pros and cons of buying versus renting considering your current situation and future plans.

How low can you go?

Many renters don’t buy a house because they feel like they could never save up enough for a down payment.

But what they may not know is there are mortgages out there that require low down payments…you don’t need 20% of the purchase price as a down payment.

In fact, depending on your rent, a down payment could be equivalent to having to pay a landlord:

  • The first month’s rent
  • The last month’s rent
  • A month and a half security deposit…

before you can move in.

So if you can somehow manage to come up with those three things in order to rent a place, you can probably come up with a decent enough amount to put down on the purchase of a house.

The easiest and best way to find out how little of a down payment you would need is to call a mortgage professional. I mentioned a couple of good ones in my last blog…but if you don’t have it handy anymore, just shoot me an email and I can send you their contact info again.

Can you afford to buy a house?

One of the main reasons people rent instead of buy is because they don’t think they can afford to buy a house.

Thinking and knowing are two different things.

If the reason you’re renting is because you simply think you can’t afford to buy, you can know pretty quickly and easily. All it takes is reaching out to a mortgage professional to get “pre-approved” for a mortgage.

They’ll not only let you know if you can afford to buy, but also how much you can afford to spend.

Maybe you can even qualify for a mortgage and find a house that only costs you as much or less than you’re already paying in rent every month!

There are a lot of ways and places to get pre-approved, but I have a few lenders that I trust and recommend. Feel free to reach out to any of the people below. Just let them know I gave you their name.

  • Brayden Hatch with the Loan Depot (480) 338-2916
  • Kari Zurn with Academy Mortgage (602) 741-8414
  • Brianna Brennon with Nova Home Loans (602) 425-6124

If you have any questions or want some tips or thoughts before reaching out to a lender, feel free to give me a call.

Is buying a house right for you?

I’m a real estate agent who specializes in helping people who are renting become homeowners.

I can’t and won’t tell you that buying a house is the best choice for you. (It’s not for everyone.)

But there are a few common myths or misunderstandings that stop people who should buy a house from doing so.

Which is why I’ve written a series of blogs to address them, and will be posting them over the next few weeks.

If you already know the benefits of buying a home, and just aren’t sure where to begin, just give me a call or send me an email and I can get you pointed in the right direction.

But if you’re not quite sure buying a house makes any sense for you (or at all), make sure to give my posts a read over the next few weeks … they may just change how you think and feel about buying a home.




Got Solar? How will an appraiser value them?

I love to learn everything real estate.  My mind is like a sponge.  I can’t absorb enough.  The more I can take in the more I can help my clients make great decisions.

Today I took the BEST appraisal class of my career.  My hand couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with the information that was being fed to my brain.

So for the next few weeks I will be posting about appraisals and what an appraiser will look for when valuing your home to sell or when a buyer purchases.

I would like to discuss the hot topic of solar panels.  I am sure you have had the thought in your mind as a homeowner if they are worth leasing or purchasing or getting at all.

If you lived in Denver, CO you would probably go with an absolute we must have them. Denver is so green that panels there will get a decent value.

Here maybe, maybe not.  There are exceptions to every rule!

So you are thinking of leasing your panels.  Stop and give it second thought.  If you want to lease, don’t pay that lease off by paying upfront. Why?  Because leased panels will give you no value.

I am certainly by no means not advocating trying to go green.  I have panels on my own home and love them!

So now you are thinking about purchasing.  Better idea for sure but there is an exception, of course.

How is the value determined by an appraiser?  Well, it is simple.  No, not really.  It is quite convoluted.

The appraiser will look at the standard of living in a neighborhood.  By having panels does this raise the standard of living for you.  What!  Read on.  If your neighborhood has more solar panels than not, you will get more value.  Sometimes you can get 100% back.

To calculate what the value could be your realtor should be asking about your yearly savings.  They then take that yearly savings and multiply by 3 or 5 and no more.  That is the value add to your home.

Now, of course, another exception is if your solar is older, there is probably no value.  Is it ugly or an eyesore? Does it stand more upright on your roof than it lays down?  If so, probably no value.

In a few days I will discuss pools!!!

If you have any appraisal topics you wish me to blog about, please let me know.  If I can’t get the answer, I will contact the expert.

Fun things to do in October, 2016!!!!!!

The weather is finally cooling off and it is time to get out there and enjoy beautiful Arizona.

Arizona State Fair is always a fun and entertaining time. Oct 6 – 30 and closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Sundays Unlimited Ride Wristbands only $45* Presale – Until Oct 6th! Get your Presale Sunday Unlimited Ride Wristbands today! *Does not include convenience or handling fees. Valid for unlimited rides on One Sunday ONLY (Oct. 9, 16, 23, or 30). Non-transferable. Honored until 11pm. Fair admission sold separately and is required. No refunds, rain or shine. Unlimited Ride Wristbands only $50 on Sundays! Must purchase wristband before 9pm on Sundays. Wristbands valid until 11pm.
Thursdays Unlimited Ride Wristbands only $25* Presale – Until Oct 6th!Get your Presale Thursday Unlimited Ride Wristbands Today!*Valid for unlimited rides on One Thursday ONLY (Oct. 13, 20 or 27). Non-transferable. Honored until 11pm. Fair admission sold separately and is required. No refunds, rain or shine. Does not include convenience or handling fees.Unlimited Ride Wristbands only $30 on Thursdays! Must purchase wristband before 9pm on Thursdays. Wristbands valid until 11pm.
Opening day of the 2016 Arizona State Fair will be here before you know it! We want to extend a warm welcome to everyone to participate in the good times. On October 7th, general fair admission will be just $2 until 5:00 pm! We will see you at the 2016 Arizona State Fair!
Go to this link to get these discounts:

Watch Video

2814 W Bell Rd. $2499, $2699, $2899, $3199, SPECIAL EVENT: BLACKOUT $2499.

Begins Sept. 30th.  Go to this link for more info:

The Crypt Haunted Attractions

3 attractions at 1 location.  Conveniently located just off US 60 and Alma School in the Fiesta Mall parking lot Fiesta Mall is located at 1445 W. Southern Ave, Mesa AZ 85202.  Begins Sept 23rd at 7 p.m. For more info go to this link:

New This Year

Begins Sept 30th at 7 p.m. Location, Directions & Parking. Fear Farm is located at 2209 N. 99th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85037. General Location3/4  mile south of Thomas on 99th Avenue 1/4 mile north of McDowell on 99th Avenue. Voted “Best Haunted House” in Phoenix, Arizona in 2015!

General admission admits one person into all attractions (Phoenix Haunted Hayride – Add $10). Go to this link to purchase tickets:





Things to do in September!!!!

September 2nd – September 4th – The Third Annual Showdown in Tombstone – Allen Street, Tombstone – Take a trip back to the “Old West” and enjoy the free street entertainment, gunfights, an 1880’s costume contest and parade, raffles, an auction and more! 520 457-3548 or

September 2nd – September 5th – 67th Annual Coconino County Fair – Flagstaff – Ft. Tuthill County Fairgrounds – What a great way to spend Labor Day weekend – enjoy the traditional fair exhibits, cultural presentations, local entertainment and national headliners. There will also be a demolition derby, 4-H livestock auction, magicians, clowns, a petting zoo, musical performances, carnival rides and exhibits, $5-8, $5 parking, Fri-Sat 10 am – 10 pm, Mon 10 am – 4 pm, 928-679-8000 or

September 3rd – September 5th – 24th Annual Flagstaff Art in the Park Labor Day Show – Flagstaff – Wheeler Park – This very selective highly juried Arts & crafts festival features one-of-a-kind arts and fine crafts . There will also be music by local and regional musicians, children’s activities and food. Free! Sat & Sun 9 am – 6 pm, Mon 9 am – 4 pm, 928-556-9498 or

September 3rd – September 4th – 36th Annual Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Festival – Pine – Community Center – Show up early so that you can enjoy the all you can eat pancake breakfast with sausage, OJ and coffee served up by the Pine Fire Department. Then wander among the 85+ arts & crafts booths. Free Sat 8 am – 5 pm, Sun 8 am – 4 pm, 928-476-4480 or or

September 3rd – September 5th – The 31st Annual Faire on the Square – Prescott – Over 150 artists will set out their creations for you to peruse on the historic Courthouse Plaza. There will also be food and entertainment. 9 am – 5 pm, Monday 9am – 3pm 928-445-2000 or or

September 5th – Annual Labor Day Grill at the Mill – Queen Creek Olive Mill – Why grill yourself when you can drive over to the Olive Mill and have some delectable food and wine without any work! Enjoy the live music or take an Olive Oil 101 class. Varying $$ 11am – 3pm 480 888-9290 or

September 9th – Mesa Arts Center 2016 Kick-off – Mesa Arts Center – Enjoy the live music, great food and so much more at this evening kicking off the upcoming season. This family friendly free event will feature plenty of surprise acts to entertain you throughout the evening. 6-10pm.

September 10th – 44th Annual Fiesta Del Tlaquepaque – Sedona – Located in the beautiful arts and crafts village of Tlaquepaque this celebration of Mexico’s independence promises to be an outstanding day with entertainment, strolling mariachi bands, folklorico dance groups and Flamenco as well as classical guitarists. Artists will be displaying their wares and food will be available. Entry is free, 10 am – 5 pm, 928-282-4838 or

September 17th – 5th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest – Downtown Chandler. This food, music and cultural celebration features creative tacos from a dozen local restaurants and many other delectable delights. Other highlights include live entertainment, chihuahua races, ballet folklorico, salsa contests a taco eating contest and much more. Noon – 9pm Tickets $8.00 ahead of time and $10.00 at the door. A limited number of VIP tickets are available.

Things to do in August, 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ongoing through August 31st – Sand Sculpting by Ray Villafane – Carefree – Sanderson Lincoln Pavillion/Carefree Desert Gardens – Come play amidst the Carefree Desert Gardens with over 30 tons of sand! World renowned sculptor, Ray Villafane, not only carves pumpkins for Carefree in the Fall, but has made an impact on the sand sculpting community, creating award winning larger-than-life sand sculptures for various attractions and events throughout the world. He’s been to Russia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Italy and now Carefree! Ray also creates the Carefree Pumpkin Garden in October for the Town. Over 30,000 people visited the exhibition with major media outlets traveling the country to see his unparalleled work. – Free – Daily 8am – 8pm

August 5th – 2016 Free Summer Concert Series – .Chandler Center for the Arts – The Music of Motown starring Joe Bourne with his 8 piece band will take you back to the 60s with the music of Motown. Travel back with these timeless tunes by Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and many more to enjoy those fond musical memories with songs like “Baby Love,” “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “Sugar Pie,” “Just My Imagination,” “I’ll Be There,” “Hello, “How Sweet It Is” and more. Joe Bourne has shared the stage with Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Dionne Warwick and several other jazz and popular greats. This is one show not to be missed! Seating is on a first come/first served basis. The concert starts at 7:30pm .

August 6th – 7th Dog Days of Summer – Glendale – Historic Downtown Glendale – This is a day set aside to celebrate our four legged friends. Activities include photo stations, a variety of dog treats, pet massages, educational seminars, a presentation by the Sun Valley Animal Shelter, watering stations and cool pool stops. 623-930-4500 or

August 11th – August 15th – 6th Annual Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival – Tucson – Riverpark Inn – Come to this festival for exciting monsoon birding, field trips & workshops with renowned leaders. There will be socials and dinner programs featuring keynote speaker Jeff Gordon (fees vary) as well as free Nature Expo and kids’ activities.

August 12th – August 14th – Pirates of the High Desert Bisbee –This is the 5th of this annual event. Activities will include pirate-themed events such as a treasure hunt, a Caribbean steel drum band & BBQ, a pool party, costume contests, exotic rum tasting with mermaids, karaoke, a ball, a pirate plundering pub crawl, a spirited gallery walk, extreme volleyball and kids activities,

August 13th – August 14th – 66th Annual Prescott Arts & Crafts Festival – Prescott – Courthouse Plaza – This juried art show features 120 artisans from throughout the West displaying and demonstrating work in painting, ceramic, metal art, woodworking, glass, fiber and jewelry. There will be live music. Free, Sat. 9 am – 5 pm, Sun 9 am – 4 pm, 928-445-2510 or

August 18th – August 20th – World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo – August Doin’s Rodeo – Payson – For 132 years, Payson, Arizona has been celebrating the history and tradition of Pro-Rodeo. It is held the third weekend in August and it is considered the country’s Best Small Rodeo. Experience the sport of the Old West! Some of the world’s greatest professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash and prizes.

August 20th – Children’s Music and Arts Festival – Flagstaff – Bushmaster Park – Music, theatre and dance performances by local youth, kids can make recycled arts and craft project, participate in musical instrument workshops and learn about painting & sculpture. More fun can be had on the carnival rides, climbing wall, Kiddie Cabooses and more. Most activities are free. A $3.00 wristband can be purchased for unlimited rides on the Kiddie Caboose and bounce houses. 10 am – 2 pm, 928-213-2312 or

August 20th – August 21st – 5th Annual Prickly Pear Festival –Superior – Head east to the mining town of Superior for a day filled with everything Prickly Pear. There is a morning hike in the desert and a breakfast with prickly pear syrup. Vendors will be selling prickly pear foods and wares. You can learn how to use Prickly pears in your own cooking! The local restaurants will be featuring prickly pears on their lunch menus and there will be a special dinner with entertainment in the evening. Admission is free. Tickets for the dinner are $35.00 520 689-0200

Finish your summer with a staycation

During the summer months many families find budgets tight and vacation plans thin. If you have a little summer left, and you’d like to squeeze in some more fun, here are some ideas for how to maximize the fun without going into debt.

First, keep a real vacation mindset: This means taking full days off. No laundry, no chores, no slipping away for email checking. Take the days off work, even if it’s just a Friday and Monday to make a four-day weekend. Unplug from social media. Be present with those who are with you on your staycation!

Here are some ways to fill the days with leisure:

1. Pitch a tent in your yard. If you have a backyard, it can be surprisingly satisfying to set up tents, dust off your grill, and take a night under the stars. Only retreat into the house for bathroom breaks and rough-it suburban style. Get a cooler full of those favorite camping foods. Don’t worry about junk food! Remember, you’re on staycation.

2. Make it a movie marathon. Turn your living room into a movie theatre for the weekend. Darken the room, plush up the floor with pillows, and queue up a list of films everyone can enjoy. When meal times come, order dollar-stretching meals like big pizzas for your audience.

3. Explore a park a day. We live near some unexplored natural environments with state, local, or municipal parks. Pick one per day of your vacation and head out in the car for your adventure. Get together before the day and setup some picnic foods, or grab a bucket of chicken on the road.

4. Find the minor league sports. Going to a big league game may be out of the question, but there are tons of minor league and school sports teams out there with exciting games to watch. Google-up some regional teams and grab the cheap seats.

5. Take up family gaming. Table-top games can pass the hours and build real bonds in the family. Cards, board games, and even role playing games can take your family out of the day-today routine. Get your kids to teach you the ins and outs of their console games while youintroduce them to the madness of Monopoly.

These are just a handful of ideas, but a quick search on Google will reveal many more. Don’t give up on a good time just because you don’t have a pile of cash to blow.

Are you the expert? Then what am I paying for?

Have you ever asked your realtor a question to get an “I can’t answer that. However, I can guide you where to look.” Then you get so mad because you’re paying your realtor, right? They should answer your questions and all of them! Here is why we can’t answer everything:

1. We can not act as the primary source of information. Our role as a real estate professional is to arrange and close sales. It is our responsibility to provide the source of information you can turn to but not be that information.

2. We can not weigh in on a home’s condition. We may be an expert on selling properties – but that doesn’t mean we should be in the business of advising our clients on a home’s physical shape. Our job is to negotiate which (recommended) repairs to do, not decide if something needs to be fixed. Giving opinions outside of our expertise is a huge legal pitfall.

3. We can not declare whether a neighborhood is “safe.” This is a huge fair-housing violation. You should be pointed to crime statistics data, told to go to the neighborhood different times of days and on weekends. Even told to knock on the neighbors’ doors with a list of questions that are important to you. Saying anything different is not our place in our profession.

4. We can not give tax advice. We must advise you to consult a tax professional.

5. We can not decipher HOA rules or budgets. Our clients need to decide to dig through a thick stack of paper concerning the rules and finances of the neighborhood they want to move into. We can not interpret the documents.

I am an expert in home selling and buying and would love to be your realtor. #experiencethedifference

information taken from july/august 2016 issue