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7-Must Know Smoke Detector Facts

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

Every morning, it’s the same thing. You get out of bed, take a shower, burn the toast and then curse the smoke detector. Although its singing the song of its people can be incredibly loud and awful to hear, the truth is that smoke detectors save lives. So, while your smoke detector may sing way off tune, it’s trying very hard to protect you and your family from smoke- and fire-related hazards, like your morning toast.

It’s time to check your smoke detector batteries yet again — and to learn more about those white pucks that hang out on the ceiling. Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Smoke Detector.  Every single day, your smoke alarms hang around next to the ceiling, just waiting for something to go wrong. They don’t ask for much, which is why most people tend to forget they even exist. But the job they do is vital to the safety and security of not only you and your family, but the families that neighbor you. You’ve heard it a hundred times: check your smoke detector batteries. Check those batteries! Hey, by the way, have you checked your smoke alarm batteries? But for most people, that’s as intimate as they ever get with these clever devices.

Here are some things to know about smoke detectors:

1. Working smoke alarms give you additional escape time in the case of an actual fire. Thirty-eight percent of home fire deaths from 2009 to 2013 were do to a lack of functioning smoke alarms. In the homes that had smoke alarms that failed, 46 percent had missing or disconnected batteries.

2. Best places to install smoke alarms are in each bedroom, in halls outside of bedrooms and in every major living area. Why so many? Closed doors can slow the spread of smoke and living areas on upper or lower floors may have a significant blaze going before smoke is noticeable.

3. Interconnected smoke alarms are considered the safest option currently on the market. These alarms are connected to each other and often directly powered through your home’s electrical system, with a battery backup. When one detects smoke, they all go off. It can be annoying if you tend to burn the toast, but when it’s a real fire, all that noise will be a life saver.

4. Smoke detectors work in one of two different ways. One type, called an ionization detector because it uses electrically charged particles to detect smoke in the air, is faster to respond to flaming fires with small smoke particles. The other, known as a photoelectric detector, uses beams of light to check for smoke particles in the air. These are better for smouldering fires. Both will get the job done, though!

5. Most people don’t realize that smoke detectors need maintenance, too! You should check the battery monthly and use the bristle attachment on your vacuum to clean any debris off of your detector twice a year. You’ll also want to change the battery twice a year. Many people do this when they change their clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

6. Smart Smoke Detectors can save you money on insurance. It’s true! If your smoke detectors are connected via WiFi, they can call for help or send you a message about their status. Many insurance companies love these features, as they reduce the amount of damage insured homes suffer in case of a fire. Break out the cool new tech and reap the savings!

7. There are other, similar detectors on the market. While you’re shopping for smoke detectors, you may come across heat or carbon monoxide detectors. These units look very similar, but they function very differently. Heat detectors literally detect high heat, so aren’t very fast to respond in a residential setting. They’re best used in small, confined spaces. Carbon monoxide detectors, however, are very suitable for home use. They measure the amount of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas created by combustion, in the air. If dangerous amounts are detected, you’ll know and be able to make your home safe again. Most homes use these in conjunction with smoke detectors.

5 Criteria for Pricing a Home

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

1.  Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.

2.  Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.

3.  Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.

4.  Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.

5.  Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.

The Best Reason You Should Sell Your House This Fall

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

The minute Seasons change, everyone in real estate starts justifying why “Now!” is the best time to sell your home. And when it comes to Fall, the main reason real estate agents give is because there are usually less houses on the market to compete with. Or, the buyers in the market are more “serious”.

To me, the best reason for selling in the Fall (or any other time of year for that matter) is because you need to. If you don’t need to sell…wait. Not until Spring. Wait until you need to. Wanting to sell your house isn’t a bad reason. However, selling a house is a pretty big decision, and too many homeowners put their homes on the market prematurely.

The problem with that?

Since they don’t “need” to sell, they often overprice their homes, which leads to their listing becoming “stale.” That leads to giving buyers the impression that something must be wrong with the house…and often selling for less than the house could have. “Need” is not always easy for a homeowner to pinpoint. Many homeowners will even say they don’t need to sell. But in my experience, if someone is even thinking about selling their house, there is usually a need. It’s just hard to put a finger on.

So, if you’ve been thinking about selling, but aren’t quite sure if you need to… …give me a ring, text or email and I’ll help you figure out if you truly do have a need, or if it makes sense for you to wait until Spring…or the Spring after…or the Spring after that.

If you are thinking of selling, but not just yet, we have a great booklet that we can send you, at no charge, hassle or obligation, entitled “How To Prepare Your House For Sale.” Just let me know if you’d like it, and it’s yours!

But if you do need to sell, the Fall is certainly a fine time to sell. (And yes, you are still able to get the same booklet as mentioned above)! ;-)

4/22/17 – 4/22/18 (Sedona): Total Closed Sales: Up 12% from 205 to 232, over this same time last year. Median Recorded Sale Price: Up 12% from $467,500 to $530K, over this same time last year. Price Per Square Foot: Up 3% from $246 / sq. foot to $254 / sq. foot, over this same time last year. Days On Market: The one category we don’t mind seeing a drop…The average days on market was down 9%, from 158-days on market, to 145-days on the market for the average sale, over this same time last year.

 

4/22/17 – 4/22/18 (Cottonwood): Total Closed Sales: Up 8% from 334 to 361, over this same time last year. Median Recorded Sale Price: Up 14% from $201K to $229,900, over this same time last year. Price Per Square Foot: Up 10% from $135 / sq. foot to $148 / sq. foot, over this same time last year. Days On Market: We are seeing a 6% increase in the time a house sits on the market, from 108 days on average to 114, over this same time last year.

It is still a great time for a Seller to come on the market if they are thinking about selling their home.  Inventory remains low and Buyer demand for "the next best thing" remains very high.  If you price your home right, we are seeing multiple offers and offers going well over asking price.  If you or someone you know are thinking about selling, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation MAP Review, which is our complimentary Marketing and Pricing Review we will do for you to help you understand how we would market your home and where you would be in today's marketplace. 

We are here to help! 

"One Call Gets Us All!"

Most renters put off buying a home because they think renting is more affordable than buying their own home. But with rents rising across the nation at historic rates, home ownership is becoming the more affordable option. According to a recent Market Outlook Report from Realtor.com, in 2017 rents rose year-over-year in a whopping 78% of counties across the US. These sometimes drastic increases in rent are eating up more of renters’ budgets and often making renting more expensive than purchasing. According to a recent study by Zillow, home ownership has become more affordable than renting in the majority of metro markets across the US. According to the study, the average renter pays nearly 30% of their income towards rent. The average homeowner pays significantly less, with only 15.4% of their income going towards their mortgage. In other words, in many markets, renting compromises nearly twice the income of owning a home.

The Takeaway If you’re renting as a way to save money, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Owning a home is a long-term investment strategy that can help you build your wealth. And with rising rents, it might be the more affordable option as well.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re thinking about selling your home, the time to make the move is NOW. According to Realtor.com’s recent Housing Shortage Report, the US is experiencing its most severe inventory shortage in twenty years. And a recent Trulia report found that home inventory dropped a whopping 10.5% in Q4 of 2017—the biggest drop the market has experienced since mid-2013. In addition, the Trulia report found that homes across all categories—starters, trade-ups, and premium—are the most unaffordable they’ve been since Trulia started tracking the data. And while this is bad news for people looking to buy a home, it’s great news if you’re looking to sell. Low inventory is creating competition for homes across the nation, and that competition is driving up prices, making it an ideal climate for sellers.

The Takeaway This competition and low inventory isn’t going to last forever; in a recent article, economics experts from Realtor.com predict house inventory to start increasing towards the second half of 2018 (largely due to new construction). If you’re thinking about selling, now is the time to act.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to historically low inventory and an extremely competitive market, home prices across the nation have been steadily rising in recent years. And according to expert predictions, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change in 2018. According to CoreLogic’s recent Home Price Insights report, home prices are expected to increase by 4.3% in 2018. While that’s less than the 2016-2017’s year-over-year change, which came in at 6.3%, it’s still a significant increase. If you purchased a home for $200,000 today, that same home is projected to cost you an additional $8,600 by the end of the year. Homes have steadily been getting more expensive, and they’re just going to continue to get more expensive in the upcoming year. Buying at the start of 2018 can save you thousands (even tens of thousands) of dollars vs. waiting until the end of the year to make a purchase.

The Takeaway If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2018, talk to your real estate agent and start looking at properties before prices start to spike.

Market Update: March 2108

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

3/17/17 – 3/17/18 (Sedona):

Total Closed Sales: Up 19% from 186 to 221 from this time last year, and up 6% from Dec. ‘17

Median Recorded Sale Price: Up 7% from $490K to $523,500 from this time last year, and up 1% from Dec. ‘17

Price Per Square Foot: Up 1% from 248 to 251 from this time last year, and up 1% from Dec. ‘17

Days On Market: No change; stayed at an average of 147 days. However, this figure is up slightly, 2%, from Dec. ‘17

 

3/17/17 – 3/17/18 (Cottonwood):

Total Closed Sales: Up 5% from 325 to 342 from this time last year, and up 3% from Dec. ‘17

Median Recorded Sale Price: Up 12% from $200K to $223K from this time last year. However, this is a slight dip from Dec. ’17, down about 1%

Price Per Square Foot: Up 9% from 134 to 146 from this time last year, and up 2% from Dec. ‘17

Days On Market: We are seeing a 10% increase in the time a house sits on the market, from 107 days on average to 118, and up 1% from what we were seeing in Dec. ‘17

What Does MLK Have to do with Real Estate?

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill in the blank… “I have a _________…” It doesn’t take a psychic to know what word you chose. Was it “dream”? Good chance it was. We all know this line from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech. So when we hear those first three words, it sort of naturally comes to mind. But what many people aren’t aware of is how much he affected the lives of real estate agents, buyers, and sellers. It was his death that gave Congress the last push needed to pass the Fair Housing Act, back in 1968. It’s pretty involved, but to put it simply… This was put in place to ban racial discrimination in housing. You can’t be refused the rental or purchase of a house, based upon your race. Seems simple enough to most people now. A given, if you will. But it didn’t happen overnight. And believe it or not, it still can and does come up. But guess who’s a big part of making sure this Act is followed… On the front lines, it’s real estate agents. We’re tasked with making people aware that discrimination based upon race (and many other things) are not acceptable, and they must refuse to work with anyone who wants to do so. Real estate agents are proud to be a part of this ongoing history. Today is the day where we take a moment to reflect and pay him respect. It’s also a good day to share some insight into how much more responsibility real estate agents have than meets the eye.

December Housing Market Update

by AULT&ASSOCIATES

Market Stats Update for December:

SEDONA:

Total Closed Sales: Up 15% from 181 to 209 (over the same time period last year). However, it is down slightly from 215 which we saw last month.

Median Recorded Sales Price: Up 9% from $475K to $519K (over the same time period last year). This is about a 1% gain from this time last month.

Price Per Square Foot: Up 4% from $238 / sq. foot to $248 / sq. foot. No change from this time last month.

Days On Market: Down 8% from 157 to 144 (over this same time period last year).

 

COTTONWOOD:

Total Closed Sales: Up 4% from 321 to 333 (over this same time period last year). As we saw with Sedona, this figure is also slightly down from the 340 we saw last month.

Median Recorded Sales Price: Up 14% from $197,250 to $225,000 (over this same time period last year). No change from this time last month.

Price Per Square Foot: Up 9% from 131 to 143 (over this same time period last year). No change from this time last month.

Days On Market: This has crept up slightly over this time last year by about 9%, from an average sale taking 110 days last year, to about 117 days current day.

With a continued low inventory driving the prices, we are still in a Seller's market.

If you would like a brief, no obligation Marketing Strategy Review, please feel free to contact us, we are here to help; team is what it takes!

"One Call Gets Us All!"

From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed holiday season and hope that all your holiday wishes come true!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16

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Photo of Ault&Associates - Claudia R. Ault / Larry Ault / G Real Estate
Ault&Associates - Claudia R. Ault / Larry Ault / G
eXp Realty
20 Roadrunner Dr., Ste. A
Sedona AZ 86336
(928)301-3016
(928)301-0852

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