My Blog

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Home Protection

3/15/2020

Protecting Your Home From the Outside-In
We all want to feel safe and protected, especially when it comes to our home and family. Protecting your house is no small task, especially when there are multiple options for home tech and security systems. For those not equipped to splurge on a state-of-the-art alarm system or guard dog, there are several things you can do to make you and your family safer from the outside-in.
Outside the Home
Install Motion Sensor Lighting
Outdoor lighting has come a long way, especially motion detection fixtures. Installing motion sensor lighting around major points of entry around your home, or around the entire property, can help deter intruders.
Keep Expensive Items Locked Up
Barbecues, smokers, outdoor culinary equipment, bicycles and other items are meant to stay outdoors. If your home doesn't have a garage, shed or secure fence, these items are easy targets for theft. Keep your valuables locked up when not in use.
Lock Fences, Gates, and Garage Doors
Secure your yard and home by ensuring that intruders can't gain access to them. Install a fence latch with a lock or lock the latch with a removable lock. If you have a garage, lock the door when not in use. Even if you have installed a garage door opener, thieves can still find ways to open the door, but securing the door from inside the garage makes it much harder to gain entry.
Secure Your Vehicle
Many people don't lock their vehicles, especially when parked in a driveway or in front of their home. Even if it's parked on your property, it's still accessible to anyone. Keep your windows up, lock your doors, and refrain from leaving expensive items and important/personal documents in your vehicle.
Inside the Home
Keep Windows and Doors Locked
We all would like to live in a world where we can leave our front doors unlocked without the fear of burglary, but we don't. Even when home, secure the main points of entry to your home -- including windows on the ground floor.
Utilize a Safe or Lockbox
If you're one of those homeowners that has piles of documents around the house, you can help make your life more secure by storing those important documents in a home safe or lockbox. Not only will they be secure, but many home safes are also water and/or fire resistant, preventing you from losing your vital information should a natural disaster strike.
Add Privacy Film to Windows and Doors
If you have windows around your front door or your ground-floor bathroom has large windows, adding privacy film can prevent people from seeing inside your home. Privacy film is inexpensive, can be installed in a matter of minutes, and it can help add a designer touch to a plain window.
While You're Gone
Don't Post to Social Media
It can be really tempting to share your travel plans on social media, but if you're going out of town, don't post it on the Internet. If your profile is in any way public (or you have a friend or relative that shares your messages), people you don't know will know you're gone. You can always post your photos after you get home.
Install a Timer on Indoor Lights
A dark home at night can be a welcome sign to a thief. If you're going out of town, or even if you work during evening hours, create the illusion of being home by putting one or two lights on a timer. Not only will it look like someone is home, you also won't come home to a dark house.
Secure Your Garage
If you're going out of town, make sure to disengage an automatic garage door opener. Should a thief somehow acquire the remote, the door will not open. Also lock the garage door from the inside for extra security.
Tell Your Neighbor
One of the best things you can do when you go out of town is to let your neighbor know you'll be gone. They are familiar with the neighborhood; they're right next to your home, and they'll be able to tell if a stranger shows up in the area. There's also the added benefit that they can contact you should anything happen to your home while you're gone.
If there's one place you should always feel safe, it's in your own home.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Open House

3/10/2020

1217 W Faldo Drive, Oro Valley, AZ 85755

5 Bedroom, 3 Bathrooms, 3 Car Garage, Pool and Spa, 3261SF $395,000
Move-in Ready home in desirable Somerset Canyon community in Rancho Vistoso. This 5 BD/3 BA/3,261 SQ.FT/Loft/3 Car Garage home is ready for a new owner. Inviting floorplan offers formal dining, living space, family room off kitchen, casual dining space, guest bedroom & full bath downstairs. Upstairs offers a large loft, 3 guest bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room & master suite. Kitchen offers plenty of cabinet space, island, NEW Stainless Steel Refrigerator & gas stove & double sinks. Master suite is enormous & offers dual vanities, separate tub/shower & large walk-in closet. Backyard offers mature vegetation, large covered patio, brick pavers & sparkling pool & spa (fenced).

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - March 2020 Housing Report

3/10/2020

In the Oro Valley area, February 2020 active inventory was 201, a 31% decrease from February 2019.
There were 60 closings in February 2020, a 5% decrease from February 2019.
Year-to-date 2020 there were 111 closings, a 3% decrease from year-to-date 2018. Months of Inventory was 3.4, down from 4.7 in February 2019. Median price of sold homes was $346,200 for the month of February 2020, up 29% from February 2019.
The Oro Valley area had 89 new properties under contract in February 2020, down 18% from February 2019.
See More At: http://www.longrealtyonline.com/HousingReportSelect.asp?Agent=2002158&Area=OV&SubArea=&Source=LRCA&Report=hr-ov  
View All Areas At: https://www.orovalleyrealestateandhomes.com/real-estate-market-az 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Long Distance House Hunting

3/8/2020

House hunting can be stressful for many buyers, but long-distance house hunting can be overwhelming, especially if you're searching in a city or area you've never lived in. If you need to find a home in a different city or are looking to move cross country, the following suggestions can make the process as stress free as possible.

Find An Experienced Relocation Agent
One of the most important things you can do when trying to find a home in another city is to find the right agent. Many agents can help you find a home, but you want to find someone experienced in relocation. He or she will need to be willing to look at properties for you, be able to send you pictures, videos, and even do live tours via cellphone, tablet or drone, as well as be available if/when you get to visit the area. You also need to find someone who will find properties that fit your tastes, not just match a specific number of bedrooms or bathrooms. Since you won't be there in person, you want to make sure whomever you pick to represent you on your home search knows everything you want and need in a property, all the way down to the overall feel and mood of the home.
Research the Area
When you live in an area for some time, it's easy to take for granted the things you love about your community. When planning to move a different city, remember to do your research to find those similar traits in your new destination. Be open to new opportunities that have not been available in your current area. It can be a positive part of the move. The internet is the first place to go for community information, stores, medical centers, and other important amenities. Check to see how safe the community is and if you have children, also consider the quality of the schools and childcare in the area, like licensed daycares and preschools. You might want to find out what outdoor activities are nearby, such as parks or community gardens. Research is vital when relocating to a new area and can ensure you're comfortable in your new place.
Visit Before Moving
If you are moving to another city, there's nothing better than visiting in person. You can do as much internet research as possible, but physically visiting the city will give you insights you cannot garner through a website. Take this time to meet with your agent and visit neighborhoods, check out schools, see where the shopping is, and get a feel for local traffic. If you have a specific area or community you're looking at, you can see how walk-friendly the community is, whether there's ample public transportation, or whether you'll need a vehicle to get around. Visiting is a must if you're house hunting long distance. If you have the means, visit more than once to get a true understanding of the area.
Before you move, find an experienced agent, spend ample time doing thorough research, and plan a trip to your new destination. All these steps will help make the process a little easier in finding the perfect home in the best location.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Mobile App Home Searches

3/5/2020

My Mobile App brings you the Best Search Experience
Among the 74% who used a mobile or tablet in the home buying process, nearly six in 10 recent home buyers found the home they ultimately purchased on that device.
Easy Home Searching: Updated Every 15 Minutes directly from MLS
Calculate Your Monthly Payment: With Current Rates
Commute Time: Search Homes within a Desired Commute Time
Home Scan: Scan the neighborhood for homes using your phone’s live camera view, listings filtered by MLS status
Additional Features Include:
Customize your search of active listings, pending sales and recently sold properties across Arizona.
Search homes within a desired commute time to important locations.
Display Neighborhood Lifestyle Points of Interest.
HomeScan for viewing nearby homes with the live camera view on your device.
Most of these services Not Available on Other Mobile Apps.
Download my mobile app at: www.longrealtyapp.com/iantaylor 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - DIY Touches That Add Value to Your Home

3/3/2020

Making your home stand out doesn't have to be hard or overly expensive. If you're thinking of selling, small touches can make a big impact and help put your home above others. You don't have to break the bank when it comes to making your property 'pop.' Below you'll find some quick and easy DIY projects that can help add value to your house.
Accent Wall
Creating a striking focal point in a room is a great way of highlighting the room and creating a new and exciting vibe within the house. From small spaces like a powder room to a larger area like a dining room, an accent wall can completely transform any area. Whether you paint, add wallpaper, use tiles, or install wood paneling, focusing on one wall not only helps create a balance within the room itself, creating an accent wall is an affordable and quick DIY touch.
Staircase Finials
Sometimes it's the little things that add a special touch to a property. For many homes, the staircase is often overlooked when it comes to personalization. A quick DIY project is adding a staircase finial. Finials come in all shapes, sizes and materials, meaning you will have no problem finding one to match the overall feel of your home. While it's not a huge change, it will stand out to buyers.
Molding
If there's one thing that can instantly upgrade a room, it's molding. A feature commonly found in historic homes and luxury properties, molding can quickly change a drab room into a showpiece. Whether it's upgrading your baseboards to a taller board, installing Crown Molding in a kitchen, adding a chair rail, picture rail or wainscoting to a dining room, or going above and beyond with an ornate trim, this DIY addition can help boost your home's resale value and bring your property up a notch.
Door Hardware
An easy and quick DIY project for any home is upgrading door hardware. From the doorknobs and hinges on interior and front doors, to the hardware on your kitchen cabinets, upgrading small things can make a huge impact when it comes to attracting buyer attention. If you have old brass doorknobs, upgrading them to a more contemporary material will not go unnoticed. If you have wood knobs on your kitchen cabinets, even upgrading them to metal will have a positive impact.
Lighting
Lighting can make or break a room, especially in small rooms or rooms that don't have a lot of natural light. Buyers will notice if your overhead lighting needs an upgrade; utilize the opportunity and put on your DIY gloves and get to work. New ceiling light covers are an affordable upgrade, and they can be changed to a modern style in a matter of minutes. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can switch out close to ceiling or flush mounts for track lighting or even a fan. New lighting changes a room and captures a buyer's attention, and it's a DIY project that is quick, easy and improves the overall resale value of your home.
Upgrading your home doesn't have to be a long and expensive project. If you find you don't have a lot of time or a large budget, choose small projects that pack a punch. Little things add up, and buyers do notice the small things. You don't have to completely overhaul your kitchen or renovate your master bathroom to get buyers to look at your house. DIY projects are a great way to instantly change up a room, and they can help add additional value to your property.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Considering Your Remodeling Investment

3/1/2020


Are you considering a home improvement project soon? Whether you’re motivated to create your dream home or looking to increase its resale value, it’s wise to be informed about what renovation projects will give you the best return on investment.

According to Remodeling.com’s 2020 cost vs. value report, the top three projects that recoup the highest percentage of job costs is manufactured stone veneer countertops (96%), a garage door replacement (94%), or a minor kitchen remodel (78%). In contrast, an upscale major kitchen remodel (54%), or upscale bathroom remodel (57%) might not have the highest ROI concerning future home resale values. While these projects may represent national trends and averages, it’s better to speak with a professional in the local area.
Contact me for information about how different renovation projects may affect your home’s value or marketability in your local neighborhood. Ultimately, it’s about creating a home that brings you joy now and in the future. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - What Are Cairns?

3/1/2020

Have you wondered what those odd stacks of stones you see are along a hiking path, or maybe visible on your morning walk in the neighborhood? The Southwest landscape is littered with them.

These stacked stones are known as cairns, and sometimes they serve a purpose, but often they don't! Useful cairns that have been purposely placed, help guide nature-goers along not-so-well-defined trails, guiding them safely and creating minimal disruption to the natural environment. While these landmark symbols started with good intentions, more and more little stone circles and stacks have sprung up, some may be artistic, but not helpful in navigation. 
While being in nature can bring out the artist in all of us, ideally cairn creation should be left up to park rangers, trail maintenance volunteers, or trail creators as placing one in the wrong spot can point hikers in the wrong direction or misrepresent the trail. Also, hikers should follow the Leave No Trace principle, and this extends beyond just trash. Leaving no trace is a respect to the natural environment, and also isn't a reminder for the next visitor that you were there.  

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Using An Agent to Sell Your Home

2/28/2020

Selling your home is a big deal -- a very big deal.

When selling your home, it's important to have an industry pro on your side, helping you navigate the selling process. Nearly 90% of all homes sold are done with an agent, and it makes sense.
Here are some things an agent will be able to take on:
Finding the right list price
Negotiating (and even attending) inspections
Handling/negotiating multiple offers
Promoting/marketing the property
Leading open houses and showings
Communication between all major players and parties
Negotiating title resolutions and so much more ...
That moment when you officially list your home for sale.
It's really broken into three parts: getting your home ready, showing it (at open houses and private showings), and adjusting to the market response.
Once a listing agreement is signed, get all photos/videos for the property before uploading it to the local MLS (which alerts other agents about the property).
The MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. Its an online platform that agents use to enter properties for sale and share details about a home or property. The biggest benefit of the MLS is that it's the most accurate database for local housing information, and therefore is used by many active agents and brokers. And because it's used by so many agents, about 92% of homes entered in the MLS are sold. It's been proven to be a useful tool for decades now.
It's a good idea to stage your home for both photos and anytime prospective buyers come through the door.
Set up the appropriate times for open houses and private showings.
Adjusting to market feedback. If the home is still on the market two months after listing, it's time to discuss sales strategy. There may be some small changes to the property, or maybe a price adjustment will be a good idea.
Follow these steps and your home will be sold.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Improve Your Credit Score

2/27/2020

As a general rule, the higher your credit score, the better off you are.
However, a missed payment or default can quickly drag your score down, sometimes significantly.
As many consumers know, your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate you’ll pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether you’ll get a loan at all.
Depending on your credit history, a 15- or 20-point shift could mean the difference between being approved or declined or better terms or higher costs.
The good news is that average credit scores have steadily ticked higher since bottoming out during the housing crisis about a decade ago, when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures.
The best way to increase your credit score comes down to paying your bills on time or reducing your credit-card balance.
Your payment history and utilization rate typically account for 60% to 70% of a credit score'
Such positive credit behaviors can start to improve your score as soon as a few billing cycles.
However, that also depends on the issues you are trying to overcome.
For example, if a missed payment has dragged your score down, your score could rebound in a month or two, a series of late payments will take longer to make a full recovery.
Being late on a mortgage payment is a more serious problem, yet you can recover from that in as little as nine months. File for bankruptcy, on the other hand, and it could take 5 years to 10 years to get back to where you once were.
In addition, the condition of your credit history also plays a role. The better your scores are to start with, the more difficult it is to improve them.
That’s because a lower credit score reflects a pattern of missed payments. Adding one more missed payment is not as significant as it would be on someone who has a clean credit report.
The goal isn’t to have a perfect score. The goal is the have a score that qualifies you for the best terms of rates, generally 750 or above.
Regardless of your starting point, to achieve very good or excellent credit, there are simple things you can do that will have an immediate impact.
Check your credit report and dispute every error you find.
Pay your bills on time. Late payments stay on your report for seven years.
Pay off your credit card balances. This will reduce your credit utilization ratio, which will do wonders for your score.
Stop applying for credit. Hard inquiries ding your credit for up to 12 months.
Ask a relative or friend who has good credit habits to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. As long as their payments are made on time, your credit score will improve.
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