Archive for July, 2013

Thinking About Moving To Ahwatukee? Ask the Experts First!

by: Maria Hass

As a Realtor, I am often asked by clients for profiles of different cities they are considering for a move.
I think the best people to satisfy these inquiries are the people who already call the area home. In this post, let’s hear from some residents of Ahwatukee, south of Phoenix, about the reasons why they chose to make Ahwatukee their home.

Why do people like to live in Ahwatukee?

Small town feeling, secluded by the mountains, easy access to biking and hiking trails, good schools and close to work.

— Diane B.

What we liked most about Ahwatukee is the excellent school system. Many schools in the Kyrene School District are ranked as “excelling” schools by the Arizona Department of Education.

Ahwatukee is also a “family friendly” community. Neighbors take time to get to know each other and look after each other. Kids play in the street. This is not the same with other cities I’ve lived in like Scottsdale. Ahwatukee has been dubbed as “The Worlds Biggest Cul-de-sac,” living the lifestyle of the 50’s. Lastly, Ahwatukee is a welcoming dog community. You often see residents walking their dogs — run, bike, hike. It is an active community of outdoor people and their four-legged companions. We own a dog care business and my dogs feel right at home.

— Howard and Tammie T.

The neighbors are nice. The area is clean and the community is safe with a low crime rate. It is also close to the mountains.

— Virzhiniya O.

I recently moved to Ahwatukee from out of state. What made my family choose Ahwatukee is the convenience to work — close to amenities and schools.

— Beverly

What do you wish Ahwatukee had or didn’t have…

I would like to see more community support for cultural events especially the “Arts”.

— Diane B.

Less traffic. There are stop lights at many intersections, resulting in delays. We could use more shopping/retail stores.

— Howard and Tammie T.

Less restrictive HOAs.

— Virzhiniya O.

Dust Storms or “Haboob.” But I guess, that’s everywhere in Arizona.

— Beverly

These are just some Ahwatukee residents’ observations that you can use when considering whether this suburban area of Phoenix is the right place for your new home.

July 29, 2013 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

Ten Tips for New and Inexperienced Realtors

by: Maria Hass

The Valley’s real estate market is looking good! Sales are up, prices are up and demand is high. Along with this great news, real estate applications for new Realtor licenses and reactivated licenses are up significantly, according to Judy Lowe, Commissioner for the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

“In all of fiscal 2012, we only saw 255 new licensees a month coming in for new licenses,” Lowe said. So far in the current fiscal year, she said an average of 322 people are granted real estate licenses each month.

The total number of real estate licensees in the state – including active, inactive and those in the one-year grace period before licenses expire – stands at slightly more than 85,000.

So many people are thinking of becoming a Realtor to manage their private portfolio better or to earn a living. But before you venture into this exciting, resurgent industry, there are several points to consider — these are just a few:

1. The real estate field is highly competitive. At one point, there were around 100,000 Realtors in the State of Arizona. That means there’s not a lot of business for everyone. Find a way to stand out!

2. Successful Realtors are made, not born. It takes time to build a business and generate a sufficient pipeline of clients and referrals to sustain the business.

3. Know how to sell yourself better than others, and find out what marketing strategy works best for you. You will make mistakes. The sooner you learn from them, the sooner you can get to the next level.

4. There are costs involved in keeping your license. Here are some Realtor costs for Arizona licensees: National, state & local Board Membership fees; Broker fees; Website fees; Advertising and marketing fees (newspaper, online, etc.); Contact Management fees; DocuSign fee; Real estate publication fees; Education Fees; Gasoline and vehicle maintenance; Lockbox fees; Client gifts and other miscellaneous expenses.

5. Do NOT expect a steady, monthly paycheck. A Realtor’s income is unpredictable and depends on when and if transactions close. Realtors are paid upon closing a sale.

6. Realtors are salespeople. A “people person” usually is most successful in this type of business.

7. Don’t forget, Uncle Sam will take a good portion of your income, so your take home pay is significantly less than what you started with.

8. Not all transactions will close. You can show 40 homes to a buyer and work with him or her for three months just to find out that they’re really not ready to buy a house. Meanwhile, you’ve worked for FREE, spent money on gas and other expenses and used your valuable time, only to see your client walk away with nothing.

9. Some people do not value your time. It is good to establish the rules before you drive your client to see their first house.

10. Welcome to the life of Prospecting. Every person you meet is a prospect and they don’t want to be sold to. Learn the art of prospecting without losing your friends and family. This process takes time and is the core of a salesperson’s life.

There are many more things to consider before taking the plunge and become a professional Realtor. So, If you’re thinking about a career as a Realtor, welcome — just be careful to look at all these aspects and your own personal level of commitment before making the plunge.

For everyone else, if you ever seek out a Realtor to buy or sell a home, please review their years of experience, referrals and ratings. Get a sense of their commitment to you as a client when deciding on who’ll be the best person to serve your needs.

If you have any questions about this or other posts on my blog, feel free to reach out to me via email, Twitter or Facebook, or simply give me a call at 480-650-0075.

July 26, 2013 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

How Will the Elimination of Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) Affect YOU?

by: Maria Hass –
CNBC published a July 9, 2013, story regarding some Congress members’ desire to change the existing Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) tax code this year.
Under the current tax code, homeowners get to deduct mortgage interest from their income taxes, saving them money.
Why change the MID tax code? Simply put, our government is broke and is looking for ways to raise funds to finance its expenses — some of which are unreasonable.

How would the eradication of MID affect YOU the homeowner, homebuyer and the taxpayer?
1. Homeowner – You will see NO tax deduction, which means you end up paying more for your house than before. The higher the price of the home, the more savings you lose.
Because there is NO help from the government on your mortgage interest, many homeowners may decide to pay off their loans, and the lending business may weaken.

2. Homebuyer – There will be more cash buyers since lending money doesn’t provide any tax deductions. Home buying will become less attractive, and some may decide to rent rather than purchase a home. The real estate market may weaken as a result.

3. Taxpayer – The MID tax break is a benefit to us all — homeowners, investors and home buyers. We would all be affected by this tax deduction being eliminated. This is another way of using our money to fund the expenses of other people like the benefits for the irresponsible, non-performing segment of society — or the extravagant spending of politicians, headed by the President himself, whose family takes luxurious vacation trips with fares paid by taxpayers.

In the end, one way or another, politicians will prevail. Many will argue until they are blue in the face and fight to keep their own MID savings. After all, many Congress members own expensive houses and second homes. It all boils down to what is good for them.
For a full story, go to

July 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment



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