Archive for the ‘AZ’ Category

One of America’s Top 100 Cities–Scottsdale, Arizona

August 9, 2010

Downtown Scottsdale Arizona WaterfrontIf you are looking for a home in one of the best places to live in Arizona, then you should look at Scottsdale. Located within the greater Phoenix, Arizona metro area, it has landed on the list of MONEY Magazine’s 2010 top 100 Best Places to Live in the United States!

Scottsdale wins the 71st spot out of 100 best cities nation-wide. MONEY Magazine mentions the many golf courses (there are over 170!), the PGA tour, shopping, restaurants, and resort spas as some of the better amenities Scottsdale has to offer.

Those who call Scottsdale home know that there are even more outstanding features to this great town.

Scottsdale is considered a small city in itself, but keep in mind that it sits within the Phoenix metro area. While it can have a small-city feel, it is well within the bounds of one of the largest cities in the nation.

Whether wanting to relocate or just needing a place to spend your winters, Scottsdale has much of what you are looking for.

With the Sonoran Desert and McDowell Mountains nearby the hiking is great. The hot dry climate makes it attractive to those who are just plain tired of winter chills. Many people suffering from allergies and breathing problems find the climate conducive to better health.

If you are looking for a bargain in housing, Scottsdale is a great place to invest. The real estate market’s crash took a big toll on Scottsdale and many other parts of Phoenix, but it is sure to rebound. Right now there are foreclosures and short sales in nearly every neighborhood and you can easily find your dream home for a fraction of what it normally would cost. Now is a great time to invest in a vacation property, a winter home, or a permanent desert oasis right here in Scottsdale.

Check out another great Phoenix-area city that is also on MONEY’s top 100 list—Gilbert, Arizona!

When you are ready to buy or sell in one of the best cities in the nation, contact the Curtis Johnson team for help. We know Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area and can help you find the home of your dreams or a great investment property. Contact the Curtis Johnson team, go to http://www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

One of America’s Top 100 Cities—Gilbert, Arizona

August 3, 2010

Gilbert, ArizonaThe Phoenix area has no shortage of great places to live! Gilbert, Arizona was recently named one of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States by MONEY Magazine! Those of us at Curtis Johnson Realty can only agree with them—Gilbert is a great city!

According the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, most people who choose to make Gilbert their home do so because of its “small-town friendliness, great schools, pristine neighborhoods and a thriving business community.”

Many people have been discovering all that and more about Gilbert. It is recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, with the population topping 200,000 in recent years. Don’t think that is very impressive? The population was only 5,000 a mere 30 years ago!
Located within the greater Phoenix metro area and with easy access to all that Phoenix has to offer, Gilbert retains its small town roots and sense of community.

MONEY Magazine’s editors noted that some of Gilbert’s best features include Joe’s Real BBQ restaurant, the Downtown Heritage District, Trilogy Golf Club and the three-day-long Gilbert Days festival.

Like most of Arizona, Gilbert suffered when the real estate market crashed, but today Gilbert is rebounding with the rest of the Phoenix area. There are bargains to be had for sure in the foreclosure and short sale listings. But with the increasing popularity of Gilbert the time to buy is now.

Check out another great Phoenix-area city that is also on MONEY’s top 100 list—Scottsdale, Arizona!

Let the Curtis Johnson team show you the best real estate in Gilbert today. From foreclosed single family homes to top of the line mansions, older homes or even horse ranches…somewhere in or near Gilbert is the home you have been dreaming of. We know Gilbert and the greater Phoenix area and can help you find the home or investment property you are looking for. Contact the Curtis Johnson team, go to http://www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

Will Short-Term Government Help Bring Long Term Good?

May 13, 2010

Government intervention helped many eager homebuyers to buy homes in the last year and a half, promising them an $8,000 tax credit if they did. This temporarily helped revive home sales, but is it a good deal in the long run?

The Florida Association of Realtors thought so and tried to lobby to expand the credit. Others, speaking from the real estate side, and the home building side, think that the long term credit could overcorrect the mortgage industry –especially since the Federal Reserve also bought mortgage –backed securities to keep interest low. The government also bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two largest mortgage lenders.

Unfortunately, it seems as though we may be on track for the government to control all aspects of the mortgage industry. If our government had a record of accomplishment for managing money wisely, this might not be such a concern. However, we all know that isn’t exactly the case.  Of course, the long term impact of the credits is not yet known.

It may not have been the best time for some families to buy, but with the government dangling a carrot of extra money, many families gave into the temptation. Hopefully, these loans will remain stable and not become foreclosure statistics.

Any good effects the credit had on residential real estate did nothing to over a million commercial real estate loans that will end between 2010 and 2014, and it is clear that we are not out the woods. Florida—and Arizona—have some of the largest commercial real estate markets, so they will probably take some of the worst from this, just as they did in the residential market.

Are you interested in buying a home for your family, even though you may have missed the government’s cut off for a tax credit? If so, call the Curtis Johnson team today. The Curtis Johnson team will be here to help you buy or sell your home, and our help does not have a deadline. Go to www.curtisjohnson.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

Will Short Sale Save Your Credit Score?

April 30, 2010

If you’re facing foreclosure on your Phoenix home, you may have considered selling your house in a short-sale. A real estate agent you know tells you it’s better than a foreclosure. Your co-worker did it, too, and “heard” it would be better than a foreclosure (you don’t know if he’s bothered to check his credit since doing so, however). From what you keep hearing, you’d be better off selling your home in a short-sale than taking the massive hit to your FICO credit score as a result of a foreclosure. So, what should you do?  Will a short sale save you the consequences of foreclosure?

A short sale is considered an alternative to foreclosure for good reason.  On the positive side, it can give you and your family more control over the situation. You still list your home through a Realtor for a minimum price that the lender will accept. During the sale process, you can stay in your home and protect it from the damage that can occur when a foreclosed home is left vacant.  Ideally, during this time, you will still be able to make some payment.

Lenders have not always been enthusiastic about short sales as they would prefer to collect their whole mortgage amount.  Given the current real estate climate, lenders are seeing the positives of the process: processing a short sale usually involves less cost to the bank than processing a foreclosure.  Recently, the Making Home Affordable Program mandated that banks process short sales more efficiently; major banks have countered with short sale plans of their own.  Both banks and borrowers can receive financial incentives under the federal program.

Naysayers about short sales note that a short sale isn’t any “gentler” on your credit score than a foreclosure.   CNN devised a hypothetical scenario in which two individuals with varying credit scores (680 & 780 to start) underwent similar hardships. While working with the credit scores (to see what would happen to the credit scores in various situations), it was determined that both a foreclosure and a short-sale had the same effect on a person’s credit score: both scores declined. Ironically, the person with the higher credit score took the bigger hit of about 140 points. However, many analysts would disagree with these numbers and say the credit score impact of a short sale is only about 50 points.

For most people in mortgage trouble, the impact on the credit score is not as big a concern as finding a way to either keep their home or move on with dignity.   If you are in a bad situation, the reality is that your credit is probably already on the downslide from months of being delinquent.  Not seeking the help that a short sale can offer is like telling the lifeboat driver on the Titanic that you will only take a red boat.

If you fearing foreclosure or are in over your head with your mortgage payment, a short sale could be your answer. It offers an opportunity to terminate your mortgage commitment with dignity and provide you with some cash to start planning your new life .    A HUD-approved credit counselor can help you determine the best route for you.

If you go that route, you will need the expertise of a trusted agent to list your home and follow through on the paperwork.  For more information about foreclosure alternatives or buy or sell a home in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, or surrounding areas, call Curtis Johnson Real Estate today to set up an appointment and get started.  The Curtis Johnson team is here to help! Go to www.curtisjohnson.com or call 1-888-Curtis – J