Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Breaking News
Oro Valley Homes for Sale, Oro Valley Real Estate in Oro Valley AZ. Sell or Buy Oro Valley AZ, Homes for Sale and Real Estate.
Ian Taylor Long Realty www.OroValleyRealEstateandHomes.com 520-400-9494 itaylor@longrealty.com 

Breaking News
Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Dealbreakers
Today’s home shoppers see dozens of homes before making an offer, and probably a few dozen more before they find the one that sticks.
While you’re shopping, be on the lookout for things about the home that you can’t change. These factors will impact the home’s value for the long haul.
The old real estate cliche doesn’t name this quality as tops for nothing. Unless you plan to take a unique or historic home off its foundation, you can’t change location. If a home is on a busy intersection, across from a shopping plaza, or within earshot of the freeway, take major note. That home will always be valued at significantly less than a similar home nearby. Unless you’re willing to sacrifice to get into the school district or neighborhood of your dreams, keep looking. Once you snag a good location, nobody can ever take that away from you.
Floor plan
A home with a tiny kitchen closed off from the rest of the house is much less desirable today than a large one that opens up to the family room or great room. Think you can just transition that closed-off kitchen into an open plan that allows people to spill over into the adjacent room while still being connected to the “action” at entertainment central? Think again. Modifying the layout of a home requires architectural drawings, knocking down walls, and installing beams to carry wider loads. This type of major renovation isn’t for the faint of heart, and an undesirable layout will always reduce the value of the home. If you’ve fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, but a particular part of the floor plan is flawed, you’d better move on.
Lot placement
Homes on corner lots, or a flag-shaped lot where you need to drive past your neighbor’s house to get to yours, can feel a little too exposed for many home buyers. As exceptional as the interior of the house may be, if the lot or the siting of the house is flawed, it affects the home’s value, and may not be a purchase you want to pursue.

Seeking the right fit
Most real estate agents look at 10 to 20 houses per week, and after working with many buyers and sellers, they get schooled on things like floor plans, locations, layouts, and neighborhoods. Over time, we can spot and flag potential trouble spots instantly. Home buyers who are just starting their search can’t possibly know what to look for or even what to expect. Ask your agent to be on the lookout for things you shouldn’t ignore.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Selling Mistakes
Working Alone
Not hiring a real estate agent to represent you may seem like an easy way to avoid paying commission, but you’ll miss out on a real estate agent's market knowledge, contacts and help with the process.
Waiting to Sell
Spring and early fall are often hailed as the best times to sell a house, but that doesn’t mean you should wait months to put your home on the market. While December and August see the fewest sales, homes sell every month of the year.
Pricing Too High
You want to sell your house for top dollar, but be realistic about the value of the property and how buyers will see it. Of homes that sell in their first week on market, 57% sell for the full asking price, according to a report by Zillow. By the fourth week, that share drops to 32%.
Refusing to Make Changes
Unless you’re planning to sell your house to an investor who will flip the property, selling your house “as-is” won’t yield the highest possible sale price. That means you'll need to update appliances, paint walls neutral colors such as gray or khaki and remove old carpeting.
Keeping Clutter
It’s tough to remove belongings while you’re still living in your house, but presenting each room and space in its best light means you'll need to declutter in more ways than one. Get rid of items you don't need anymore, but also remove oversized couches and other large furniture that dwarfs the room, clear out closets so they don't look overcrowded and put away decor that displays too much personal detail.
Skipping Major Repairs
Updating kitchens or a new roof are expensive fixes that you may be wary of taking on, especially when you won’t likely recoup the entire cost in the sale. But you’re better off fixing these issues now rather than have the buyer ask for a credit to cover the cost of the repair later. This way, you have more say over who does the job and the total cost of the repair.
Cutting Costs on Photography
The first way many buyers see your property is by viewing photos of the house online, so don’t make them cross your house off their list before they’ve even visited. Most real estate agents include professional photography in their marketing budget. Make sure all photos give the buyer an idea of the size of the rooms. Also make sure photos are well-lit and keep you out of the frame in any reflections.
Being Unavailable
When your house is on the market, showing the house should be your priority. That means if you get a call that a buyer would like to tour the house, you need to be able to leave the house in pristine condition quickly. Even on holidays, an interested buyer is likely serious about making an offer and you shouldn't refuse a showing.
Being Unwilling to Negotiate
If you’ve received an offer for your house that isn’t quite what you’d hoped it would be, expect to negotiate. While you’ll naturally feel your asking price is more than fair, the only way to come to a successful deal is to make sure the buyer also feels like he or she benefits as well. If you would like to see the sale price come up, consider offering to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs or agree to a credit for a minor repair the inspector found.
Letting Your Emotions Get the Best of You
It’s natural to have some emotional attachment to your house after living in it for years and celebrating milestones, holidays and accomplishments with your family and friends there. But you have to view selling your house as a business deal. A low offer is not a personal affront, but a start that can either be negotiated up or declined. The more you can approach the sale of your house as a business deal, the better off you’ll be to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Pricing Your Home to Sell
Pricing your property correctly is critical for getting the most amount of money in the least amount of time.
In today's competitive real estate market, having your home priced correctly can make the difference between finding a buyer or not. I have critical knowledge of the local market necessary to make the most informed pricing analysis available. Most agents use comparable sold and for sale properties to help determine a value for your home. I use comparable properties as well, however I go a step further and also use a detailed statistical trend analysis to understand movement in the market. In this fashion you have an opportunity to better strategically price your home than competing listings in your neighborhood, helping to attract the most buyers possible.
The majority of showings occur when a house is first placed on the market. I can arrange for active, qualified buyers and agents to see your home when it is newly listed. Once seen by this group, showing activity decreases to only those buyers new to the market. So, it's important to position your home at the best price during its first market exposure.
Homes Priced Right:
Increase showings
Bring more interested buyers
Creates ease in appraisal process
Keeps the prime market momentum...the first 30 days
Sends a message to buyers about your motivation to sell
The Value of Your Home is Not Affected by:
The amount of cash you need from your sale
Your investment in improvements
What other real estate agents say it is worth
Your original cost
What an appraiser said your home was worth
What the home you are purchasing costs
Over-Priced Homes:
Help sell the competition
Reduce showings
Attract lookers
Lose buyers unwilling to negotiate
Can cause appraisal problems
Lose the prime market momentum... the first 30 days
Send a message to buyers about your motivation (creating even lower offers)
Net the seller less
Even before you list your home, I can provide you with an estimated value of your home in today's Real Estate Market. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Pre Approval So Important
Not being pre-approved won’t get you past the front door.
So much has changed in the past few decades that the old ways of buying or selling a home simply won’t work today. For decades, buying a home was pretty much the same thing: You shopped around, made an offer and then went to the bank to get a loan. If you were denied or there were problems, you walked away.
Today, a buyer needs to speak to the bank and get approved prior to shopping and definitely before making an offer on a home. Not being pre-approved today won’t get you past the front door. Here’s why:
Markets move faster today
With online listings and so many real estate resources available to buyers and sellers, it’s easy to quickly get a property in front of the masses. Buyers aren’t waiting on a call or fax from their real estate agent like they did in the 1980s. Instead, motivated buyers get push notifications from Zillow or texts from their agents and see homes as soon as possible. It’s more efficient. Transactions happen at the same speed. If you’re not approved for a mortgage when you make an offer, the seller risks waiting weeks to see if your loan will go through. That’s not good for them. Show that you’re pre-approved, and you’ve eliminated one huge hurdle for the seller.
Know what you can afford
People today are focused on their monthly payments more than the total purchase price. Why? Because, unlike the typical buyer a generation ago, many of today’s buyers don’t plan on staying in their homes for 30 years. Instead, they can commit to 7 to 10 years and are open to alternate mortgage options that could save them money on their monthly payments. It’s helpful to know exactly what a $425,000 mortgage will cost vs. a $500,000 mortgage on a monthly basis. Also, in some parts of the country, there are options for FHA loans with as little as 3 percent down. Knowing all your options before you start shopping allows you to shop and buy smarter. There’s no sense looking at homes in the $400,000 range if you can afford more, and vice versa.
Competing with pre-approved buyers
Few buyers today get into the real estate market without forging a relationship with a local mortgage professional. It’s simply smarter to have your ducks in a row. In a competitive market, you may face multiple offers on one property. If you don’t have a pre-approval letter to go with your offer, you have zero chance of getting your offer accepted. Not being pre-approved means you aren’t a serious buyer in the eyes of the seller.
Getting pre-approved means organizing all your documents, documenting your income, debt and credit, and understanding all the loan options available to you. There should never be a cost to be pre-approved for a loan. And you aren’t committed to a mortgage when going through the pre-approval. Got a signed contract from a seller? Then you’re ready to lock in a rate and choose the mortgage that’s best for you.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone
Smart tools make independence easier and safer than ever.
Aging in place is the hottest housing trend for modern seniors. You may remain in your current home or you may choose to downsize, but aging in place means staying independent and living on your own terms, regardless of your age or abilities.
Your home itself is the key to successful aging in place. Getting older comes with a new set of challenges, but with the right safety upgrades and tech tools, your home will keep you safe and comfortable in your golden years.
Here are smart safety upgrades you may want to consider installing.
Smart lights
Stop fumbling for light switches and stubbing your toes in the dark. Install smart lights that turn themselves on when you need them. You can program them to turn on when you enter the room, or set them to a specific schedule.
From your smartphone, you can adjust them from anywhere, whether you are at home or on the go. Smart lights mean you never have to walk through your home in the dark again.
Automatic stove shut-off
Cooking fires are the number one cause of all home injuries. An automatic stove shut-off senses if you are near the stove, and turns off the heat if it is unattended too long. We all have “senior moments” where we get distracted and forget what we were doing, but that moment can turn dangerous when it comes to cooking. Add an automatic shut-off to your stove to reduce the risk of accidental fires in your kitchen.
Medical alert system
When you live alone, it’s important to have a quick way to get help in an emergency. A medical alert system provides you with personalized help in seconds. If you press the device’s button or it detects a fall, it automatically calls for help. A trained operator will come on the line, make sure you are safe, and send help from your personalized list of responders. Seconds matter in an emergency, and a medical alert system makes sure you get help fast.
Monitored smoke alarm
If a fire starts when you’re asleep or not at home, your smoke alarm may go unheard. A monitored smoke alarm makes sure you know it has gone off. If the alarm sounds, you’ll get a call to check that you’re okay. This guards against false alarms. If you don’t answer, are not home, or need help, the operator can send the fire department for you. Your home will call for help on its own, helping you and your belongings stay safe.
Smart home security
Smart home security uses sophisticated cameras and sensors to keep you safe. The system learns your daily routine and notifies you when something is amiss. You can check the video streams to see who’s ringing your doorbell, or be notified if you’ve left the garage door open. You can even let your family into your house remotely. Smart home security is like having an invisible butler who is constantly checking that your home is secure.
Medication dispenser
When you have a lot of pills to take, it can be difficult to keep track of them — and it’s dangerous to lose count. A medication dispenser with automatic daily reminders makes it easy to remember your medication schedule. The dispenser keeps track so you have one less thing to worry about.
House-cleaning robots
Don’t spend your golden years doing chores or paying a service to come clean your house. Rather than dealing with unwieldy tools, clean with the push of a button. Let your house clean itself so you can sit back and relax.
Simple upgrades for safety
Why wait to upgrade your home with these tech tools? With today’s technology, you can live independently for years to come.
Enjoy your retirement with a home that takes care of itself and looks out for you. The future is here, and smart home technology makes living alone easier and safer than ever.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Latest Trends
Five key themes emerged from NAR’s annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers, ranging from what buyers are looking for in a house to what both buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent.
Buyers, sellers turn to agents in record numbers.
The internet hasn’t replaced real estate professionals. Eighty-nine percent of buyers—a record high for the report—say they used an agent to purchase a home. On the seller side, the share of For Sale by Owner transactions hovers at 8%, on par with recent years.
Unmarried buyers are on the rise.
Young adults ages 25 to 34 make up a quarter of all home buyers, the largest share. Meanwhile, first-time buyers are getting older: The median age of this cohort rose to 33—the highest on record. The median age of first-time buyers in 1981 was 29. While most people who buy together still wait for marriage, unmarried buyers make up a growing share of the market, 9% compared with 8% a year ago. Married buyers made up 61% of the market. That’s down from 73% in 1981. Single female buyers made up 17% of the market, while the share of single male buyers was 9%.
Debt remains a hurdle to saving for a down payment.
More than a quarter of buyers—28%—say they delayed their home purchase because of debt. The median amount of time homeowners spent saving for a down payment was four years. Many buyers cited saving for a down payment as the most difficult step in the homebuying process, indicating that student loans, credit card debt, and car loans diminished their purchasing power. The median down payment on a home purchase is 12% for all buyers. Broken out, the median down payment is 6% for first-time buyers and 16% for repeat buyers.
Equity gains prove a boon to sellers.
Higher home prices have translated into faster appreciation for homeowners. Sellers this year sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they paid at the time of purchase, up from $55,500 a year ago. Sellers who owned their home for six to seven years reported a median $72,200 gain, while those who sold after 21 years of ownership saw a median gain of $162,000.
Inventory woes continue.
Due to suppressed inventory levels in many areas of the country, buyers are typically purchasing more expensive homes as prices increase. The average number of weeks a buyer searched for a home was 10 weeks. New-home construction has failed to catch up to buyer demand, with the share of new-home sales falling to an all-time low of 13%. For comparison, new-home sales held steady at 16% from 2011 to 2015. Existing-home sales have edged up from 86% of the market last year to 87% this year.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - November Housing Report
In the Oro Valley area, October 2019 active inventory was 181, a 34% decrease from October 2018. There were 73
closings in October 2019, a 12% decrease from October 2018. Year-to-date 2019 there were 824 closings, a 5% increase
from year-to-date 2018. Months of Inventory was 2.5, down from 3.3 in October 2018. Median price of sold homes was
$325,000 for the month of October 2019, up 10% from October 2018. The Oro Valley area had 72 new properties under
contract in October 2019, down 1% from October 2018.
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 - Buying a Home with a Long Time on the Market
A real estate listing can tell you an awful lot about a home, beyond just the price—essential stats like the year the property was built and the price per square foot.
But one of the most important numbers to be aware of is the days on market, or DOM, the amount of time the home has been listed for sale on the multiple listing service. The DOM gives you an idea of how other buyers are reacting to the property and whether it's priced high or low.
Properties with a high DOM are commonly referred to as stale listings, meaning the house has been languishing on the market for a long time. Depending on the specifics of local housing markets, experts consider that a house starts becoming stale around three to five weeks—and it usually causes one of two possible reactions. Some buyers think such homes are a bit tainted, while others believe they'll have more bargaining power and can get the house at a steal. Which is more true?
Buyer beware?
First of all, let’s dispel the myth that there’s always something wrong with the house when it doesn’t sell quickly. There are a lot of factors that could come into play.
As homeowners progressively lower the price on the home, the perception is that something is wrong with it—and this perception sometimes keeps would-be buyers from looking at the house.
Sometimes, a high DOM may be due to factors out of the seller's control.
Perhaps the seller accepted a contract at some point, but it fell through because the buyer couldn't qualify for financing.
But the problem could also be the home itself. Outdated interiors or big-ticket items in need of repair can scare buyers away. Some people would never gamble on buying a house with roof damage.
Buyers are also turned off by homes that need a new paint job, landscaping work, and upgrades to patios, floors, and appliances.
Location is yet another factor that could stall a home’s sale.
Houses on busy roads or in a flood zone typically have longer days on market.
And, of course, bad listing photos can tarnish buyers' opinion of the house before they even set foot inside.
Deal or no deal
Does a high DOM give buyers more bargaining power? Sometimes.
When there is no demand for the home, sellers may be willing to accept less than the initial asking price.
Just be aware: Sellers aren’t always desperate, regardless of how long the home has been on the market.
Proceed with caution
You may be able to strike a deal, but the first move is to understand why or if the house is overpriced.
Is it the location, a major defect, repairs needed, or difficult sellers?
The house may seem fine, but there may be issues that are not immediately apparent.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Buying a FSBO
Will buying a FSBO home be easier, riskier, or the same? Here's what to expect.
Most sellers will work with your agent
Smart home sellers know that most buyers work closely with a buyer’s agent for weeks (if not months or years), and they will plan to compensate the buyer’s agent just like any other seller would. Buyer’s agents act as advisers through the ups and downs of the home search. If a FSBO opportunity crosses your path, ask your agent to make the first contact. Most likely they can still work for you and get paid for their efforts.
You shouldn’t think of the home differently
If you find a great home in a prime location that meets all of your criteria, don’t think of it as any different if it’s listed FSBO rather than listed by an agent. The main thing to keep in mind is that you will meet and see the owner face to face. A home sale is more emotional and personal than, say, the sale of a used car or a piece of furniture. As such, seeing the owner might make you uncomfortable. Try to get past it and keep your eye on the prize: your dream home. Leverage your agent, and be ready to ask for time alone in the home if you need it.
Laws still apply
If the law stipulates that the seller has a duty to disclose problems, inspect the home, or perform any repairs, the FSBO must cooperate. The problem some sellers have with going solo is that they aren’t familiar with real estate processes or procedures. Or they want to do it their own way. Trust your gut and your agent’s judgment if you think the seller is neglecting a duty or not allowing you to do your due diligence. Even if the home is great, it might not be the right opportunity for you. If it doesn’t feel right, move on.
Pricing may be off
Homeowners who list their home themselves tend to share one thing in common: They reject local agents’ opinions about their home’s value. Sellers (FSBO or not) who are unable to emotionally detach from a home or who don’t have a solid plan post-closing sometimes self-sabotage their sale by overpricing. These sellers typically meet with local agents before they list. But they don’t like the agent’s pricing strategy and want to give it a stab on their own. Sometimes, when they fail to sell solo, they enlist the help of an agent, and get the home on the market at the right price. Why? Because when it comes time to get serious, sellers often want representation. But if you love a home, and the price is off, move on to the next, whether listed by owner or agent.
A home for sale without an agent isn’t off limits. Ask your agent about the listing, and be open to seeing it and treating it just like any other opportunity you or your agent finds. A good real estate pro should tell you up front that they could represent you in any sale. Go in with your eyes wide open and know that, just like any negotiation, it may or may not work out.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Short Sale or Foreclosure
What You Need to Know About Short Sales
If you owe more on your loan than your home is worth and need to sell your home, the transaction is called a short sale. You can only do a short sale if your lender approves it, because they must agree to take less money than they’re owed. To qualify, you must prove financial hardship with documentation. For example you could document that you lost your job and no longer have income to cover your housing payments.
You also must work with your real estate agent to provide your lender with sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood that recently sold. If your bank approves the short sale after analyzing this data, you can list your home for sale, and the lender must review each offer you get on your home before you can formally accept the offer and close the sale. A short sale will cause your credit score to drop as little as 50 points if you don’t incur any late mortgage payments during the short sale process. Your score can drop as much as 200 points, however, if you do incur late payments during the short sale process.
Rates are the lowest for borrowers with top-tier credit scores of 760 or higher, and rise as credit scores drop. Getting a new home loan after a short sale can take as little as two years if you put 20 percent down or more, and as long as four years if you put 10 percent down. However, as credit markets have improved in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, you can find lenders who may lend to you sooner. You will also need to consult your tax preparer for any tax consequences you might face on the part of the loan that was forgiven by your lender.
What You Need to Know About Foreclosures
If you’re in a financial hardship situation and stop making your payments, a foreclosure will be the ultimate result whether you owe more than your home is worth or not.
When you miss a payment, it’s called default. You’ll get a notice of default from your lender when you become 30 days late on your mortgage. If you continue to miss payments after that, you’ll eventually receive notices telling you that the lender will begin foreclosure, which will result in the lender repossessing and selling your home.
Foreclosure procedures differ by state, and as such, can take different lengths of time from state to state. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a breakdown of foreclosure processes by state and includes timing estimates.
Your credit score can drop 200 to 400 points in a foreclosure. It hits credit harder than a short sale because you have to accrue late mortgage payments on your way to foreclosure. It can take up to seven years to get a new home loan after a foreclosure, but it can be significantly shorter if your hardship situation was beyond your control — such as the job loss example. You just need to connect with lenders to determine which one will lend to you sooner. Remember to specify that you have had a foreclosure.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Are Open Houses Worthwhile?
Listing agents often argue that in our digital world, open houses are a waste of time. The majority of people who attend are nosy neighbors, ‘looky-loos,’ or other types of tire-kickers. Instead, their argument goes, serious buyers today don’t want to wait for an open house. When someone likes a home’s online photos, he or she will make an appointment to see the property during the week. So is it time to close the book on open houses?
Not at all.
Today, buyers can easily vet potential homes by looking at photos and floor plans online. But there’s only so much you can glean from that.
By visiting a home, you can see how the online floor plan actually looks in the ‘real’ world. You can see details you’d probably miss looking at photos. You can get a feel for the property and compare your reactions to the home to others you’ve visited.
People can turn into serious buyers through open houses
Serious buyers don’t materialize in a puff of smoke; they become serious over time. Many spend a good deal of time looking at properties online or at open houses on their own before even engaging an agent. They spend months or even a year actively looking with their agents.
Buyers need to become educated about the market, the types of homes available in their area, as well as what to expect in their price range. Open houses give buyers a no-pressure environment in which to deepen their education about the local market, so they can make a more informed decision. A buyer may use an open house as a first showing of the property.
But when buyers become serious about a home, an open house provides them another opportunity to spend time in the home, to get to know it better, without the confines of a 15-minute private appointment.
The convenience factor
Open houses are also a lot more convenient for the seller. Rather than having to clean the home and vacate it 10 times during the week, a two-hour Sunday open house allows as many people as possible to take their time and view the home thoroughly.
Open houses are a tradition that still makes a lot of sense. Sellers would have to live on eggshells 24/7 to accommodate countless private appointments. If nothing else, open houses can help weed out the tire kickers so that when you make an appointment to show your home, chances are it’s with a serious buyer.
Open houses help sellers gauge the market’s response
Opening up your house to the masses is the best way to get a feel for how the market responds to your home. A good listing agent will want to see as many buyers come through as possible to gauge their reactions to the home.
Are people walking in and out quickly? Or are they hanging around? What questions are they asking? What are their biggest hang-ups or concerns?
This is the kind of valuable information you can’t get online. Long Live Open Houses.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Real Estate Agent Myths
Agents get a 6% commission, no matter what
Most people assume that their agent is pocketing the entire commission. That would be nice, but it’s just not accurate.
First, it’s helpful to know that the seller pays the commission, and they split it four ways: between the two brokerages and the two agents.
Finally, the brokerage commission isn’t fixed or set in stone, and sellers can sometimes negotiate it, depending on services.
Once you start with an agent, you’re stuck with them
If you’re a seller, you sign a contract with the real estate agent and their brokerage. That contract includes a term — typically six months to a year. Once you sign the agreement, you could, in fact, be stuck with their agent through the term. But that’s not always the case.
If things aren’t working out, it’s possible to ask the agent or the brokerage manager to release you from the agreement early.
Buyers are rarely under a contract. In fact, buyer’s agents work for free until their clients find a home. It can be as quick as a month, or it can take up to a year or more. And sometimes a buyer never purchases a house, and the agent doesn’t get paid.
Before jumping into an agent’s car and asking them to play tour guide, consider a sit-down consultation or a call, and read their online reviews to see if they’re the right fit.
Otherwise, start slow, and if you don’t feel comfortable, let them know early on — it’s more difficult to break up with your agent if too much time passes.
It’s OK for buyers to use the home’s selling agent
Today’s buyers get most things on demand, from food to a ride to the airport. When it comes to real estate, buyers now assume they need only their smartphone to purchase a home, since most property listings live online.
First-time buyers or buyers new to an area don’t know what they don’t know, and they need an advocate.
The listing agent represents the seller’s interests and has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the best price and terms for the seller. So working directly with the selling agent presents a conflict of interest in favor of the seller.
An excellent buyer’s agent lives and breathes their local market. They’ve likely been inside and know the history of dozens of homes nearby. They’re connected to the community, and they know the best inspectors, lenders, architects and attorneys.
They’ve facilitated many transactions, which means they know all the red flags and can tell you when to run away from (or toward) a home.
One agent is just as good as the next
Many people think that all agents are created equal.
A great local agent can make an incredible difference, so never settle. The right agent can save you time and money, keep you out of trouble and protect you.
Consider an agent who has lived and worked in the same town for around ten years. They know the streets like the back of their hand. They have deep relationships with the other local agents. They have the inside track on upcoming deals and past transactions that can’t be explained by looking at data online.
Compare that agent to one who’s visiting an area for the first time. Some agents aren’t forthright and might be more interested in making a sale. Many others care more about building a long-term relationship with you, because their business is based off referrals.
You can’t buy a for sale by owner (FSBO) home if you have an agent
In a previous generation, sellers who wouldn’t deal with any agents tried to sell their home directly to a buyer to save the commission.
Smart sellers understand that real estate is complicated and that most buyers have separate representation. And many FSBO sellers will offer payment to a buyer’s agent as an incentive to bring their buyer clients to the home.
If you see a FSBO home on the market, don’t be afraid to ask your agent to step in. Most of the time the seller will compensate them, and you can benefit from their knowledge and experience.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Home Security Tips
The harder you make it for a thief to gain access to your home and your valuables, the less likely he or she is to try.
A security protocol for your home should include the following best practices that will help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Keep Track of Who Has Keys to Your Home
Who has a key to your home? Keep a list (somewhere safe) of who has been given a key to your house. Besides immediate family members, there may service providers who come weekly that you have given a key to. On a regular basis, review this list and make sure everyone who has a key is still working for you or should have this sort of access to your home.
Check That All Locks Work
Check that all lock devices work correctly on windows and doors. It is easy to check and should be conducted regularly.
Add Lighting Outside Your Home
Thieves look for doorways and windows that are not well lit from the street. Add motion-detecting lights around the perimeter of your property. When movement is detected, the lights will automatically turn on. Motion detector lights must be high wattage to illuminate an area, especially one that has many trees or shrubs. Think obnoxious floodlights that light up the sky – and house, and lawn – making it difficult for the intruders to find a place to hide.
Get an Alarm System
If you are interested in a higher level of security other than locking doors and windows, you may want to install a security system. There is a reason why words like “stealth” and “stalk” come to mind when talking about a burglary. Having an alarm system that is loud and persistent, reaching neighbors and tied directly to the local police department shows the would-be robber that the time at your home is limited before police respond to the alarm. There are many options that can be implemented on your own – if you're looking for a more economical solution, there are a number of affordable home security system options now available that include video monitoring,
Lock Away Your Valuables
The odds that your home will be the target of a burglary are low. But if it is, how easy would be it for the robbers to find your valuables? While keeping jewelry in a jewelry box or somewhere in your closet is certainly convenient, it is also convenient for the intruder. Criminals will look in the obvious places. Put a little thought into what would make you most comfortable in protecting whatever it is that is of value to you. That can be anything from a fire and burglar-proof commercial container, home safe or a hiding place that only you know about. Banks also offer safety deposit boxes for those extra special items of value. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Sellers or Buyers Market
There are a lot of different factors that determine how fast a home sells. One of the biggest ones: market trends. And specifically, whether you’re selling or buying in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market.
What is a Seller’s Market?
A seller’s market is when there are more buyers on the hunt than there are homes for sale. This creates a heavy amount of competition for each home (especially the most desirable ones), and gives seller’s more power and buyer’s less. Someone looking to purchase a home in a seller’s market won’t have as much wiggle room on their offer, and may even have to offer more than the asking price if they want to snag a hot property. Meanwhile, seller’s can price their homes higher, and have much less incentive to agree to buyer contingencies or concessions.
Tips for buying in a seller’s market
Don’t hesitate. With less power on your side, it’s important to make smart decisions when buying in a seller’s market—and to make them fast. Gather as much information about a house as you can before you go for a showing. That way, if you want to move forward you won’t have any lingering questions standing in your way.
Get a pre-approval. Get a mortgage quote and pre-approval as early as you can, and ideally before you ever start searching. A pre-approval lets seller’s know that you’re serious, and also gives you an idea of exactly what you’re working with financially.
Make it personal. Buyers and sellers are people. For that reason, you may want to consider including a personal letter to the seller with your offer that speaks to why you want the property so much and what sets you apart from other buyers. A letter will help set you apart and bring some humanity to an otherwise stark and impersonal offer.
Tips for selling in a seller’s market
Make sure your home looks it’s best. The more appealing your home, the more offers you can expect to get. It definitely pays to put a little time, effort, and possibly cash into making your home look as great as it possibly can.
Set your price a touch lower than you might otherwise. Being strategic with pricing now might end up making you more money later on, since a lower priced home is going to garner a ton of attention which might result in that all-coveted bidding war.
What is a Buyer’s Market?
A buyer’s market is when there are more sellers looking to sell homes than there are buyers looking to buy them. Buyers have a better chance of nagging a sale at or below a home’s market listing, and can also usually sneak in a few extras too, such as having the seller throw in a home warranty or make some cosmetic repairs. And seller’s have to decide whether it’s worth acceding to buyer demands.
Tips for buying in a buyer’s market
Set your sights on homes that have been on the market for a little bit. Sellers of brand new listings are much less likely to budge on price or concessions than those who have been waiting around for a while. You don’t have to limit yourself only to homes with older active listings, but doing so would certainly increase your chances of getting a stellar deal.
Ask the seller to pay your closing costs. Closing costs for home buyers can run as high as 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price, which is thousands of dollars out of pocket in addition to your down payment. Since it’s a buyer’s market however, it’s worth asking the seller to cover your costs instead, which will save you a lot of money.
Tips for selling in a buyer’s market
Instead of sitting around and waiting for the buyers to come to you, you’re going to have to cast as wider net. In addition to the usual channels like MLS and aggregate listing sites, talk to your real estate agent about coming up with a plan for marketing on social media and other community-focused platforms.
Have your home professionally staged. A professionally staged home may cost you a little bit up front, but it’s going to make a strong impression with the potential buyers who come through your door.
Add in some incentives. Throw in your expertly designed patio furniture or new stainless steel appliances, or offer to pay HOA dues for the first six months after the sale.
The seller’s market vs. buyer’s market dichotomy is something that you should understand. As always, try to go into the process with as strong of a position as possible and you should be able to come out on the other side with few barriers in your way. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - 15 or 30 Year Mortgage?
15-year vs. 30-year mortgage
There are pros and cons to both 15- and 30-year mortgages.
A 15-year mortgage will save you money in the long run because interest payments are drastically reduced since you’re paying only 15 years’ worth of interest versus 30 years.
The second major benefit is that 15-year mortgages often carry lower interest rates.
However, a 15-year mortgage comes with larger minimum monthly payments, which can mean less cash flow.
The advantage for homebuyers with 30-year mortgages is that they have the option to pay more than the minimum required monthly payment. This means they can pay off their mortgage in 15 years, but they’re not required to do so.
So if you can’t afford the extra amount one month, you won’t risk a ding on your credit report.
You can compare interest rates on both types of home loans by inputting rates and terms into Our Mortgage Calculator at https://www.orovalleyrealestateandhomes.com/Oro-Valley-Homes-for-Sale-Mortgage-Calculator 
Use this information to find out how much your monthly payments will be for each mortgage type. This is a great way to see what you can afford, how much you can save and which product is right for your budget.
A 15-year mortgage is good for people who…
Can easily make the monthly payments and have cash left over to save
Want to reduce the amount of interest they pay over the life of their loan
Want a lower interest rate
Are nearing the end of their working years and want to pay off their mortgage before they retire.
A 30-year mortgage is good for people who…
Want lower monthly payments
Want the flexibility of paying more than the minimum payment, but are not required to do so
Earn money through freelance or contract work but might have differing levels of income each month or year
Want to use the extra cash for savings or investments 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Time to Stop Renting?
Here are some of the most common reasons why renters decide now is the time to own a home.
If some or all of these resonate with you, it’s probably time to talk to a real estate agent you trust to start looking for a place you can be happy owning and living in.
Your rent keeps increasing.
Interest rates are incredibly attractive.
You have a history of managing your debt well.
You think it’s time to put down roots in a specific place.
You have a specific home or neighborhood you’ve pictured yourself in.
You are sick of pouring money into someone else’s mortgage.
You have the financial stability to save for an emergency fund.
You just got married, and your apartment doesn’t work anymore.
You need room for a growing family.
You are ready to pay a down payment and closing costs.
You have improved your credit score.
Going from a renter to a homeowner is not something that should be made as a snap judgment. There should be a lot of planning involved in buying a house for the first time. Those who are unprepared typically make buying mistakes they regret later on. Don’t be one of them!

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Sell Faster
Selling your home quickly not only allows you to move on with your life, it also means fewer days of keeping your home in pristine condition and leaving every time your agent brings prospective buyers for a tour.
Take great photos.
If your listing photos don't show off the features of your home, prospective buyers may reject it without even taking a tour or going to the open house.
Clean everything.
Nothing turns off buyers like a dirty house. Hire a company to deep clean if you can't do it yourself.
Depersonalize the home.
Remove all your family photos and memorabilia. You want buyers to see the house as a home for their family, not yours.
Let the light in.
People love light and bright, and the best way to show off your house is to let the sunshine in. Open all the curtains, blinds and shades, and turn lights on in any dark rooms.
Make your home available.
Buyers like to see homes on their schedule, which often means evenings and weekends. Plus, they want to be able to tour a home soon after they find it online, especially in a hot market where they're competing with other buyers.
Set the right price.
No seller wants to leave money on the table, but the strategy of setting an unrealistically high price with the idea that you can come down later doesn't work in real estate. Buyers and their agents have access to more information on comparable homes than ever, and they know what most homes are worth before viewing them.
Remove excess furniture and clutter.
Nothing makes a home seem smaller than too much big furniture. Rent a self-storage container or a storage unit and remove as much furniture as you can.
Spread the word.
Your neighbors are often the best salespeople for your home because they love the neighborhood. Make sure they know your home is for sale and are invited to your open house. Also share your listing on social media and ensure your real estate agent does the same.
Repaint in neutral colors.
A new coat of paint will do wonders to freshen up your home, both inside and out.
Spruce up the front of your home.
You've heard it 100 times before, and it's still true: Curb appeal matters. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. A new or freshly painted front door, new house numbers and a new mailbox can breathe life into your entryway. Fresh landscaping and flowers in beds or in pots also enhance your home's first impression.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Best Home Improvement Projects
Certain home remodeling projects are making homeowners happier and proving to be well worth the cost and time when they sell their properties, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS®.
Some of the highest scores for interior projects centered on complete kitchen renovations, closet renovations, full interior and interior room paint jobs and kitchen upgrades.
The exterior jobs with the highest scores were new fiberglass or steel front doors, new vinyl and wood windows, and new roofing.
The Resale Benefit
Remodeling can be money well spent at times of resale. Overall, the top remodeling projects for recovering costs at resale were from new roofing, hardwood floor refinishing, and new hardwood floor installation.
The Happiest Home Projects
Here’s a closer look at the study results on the home improvement projects that made homeowners the happiest:
Kitchen renovation
Ninety-three percent of consumers said they had a greater desire to be at home since the completion of their kitchen remodel; 95% said it’s increased their sense of enjoyment when at home.
Closet renovation
Upgrading home closets also made for instantly happier homeowners. Sixty-eight percent of consumers surveyed say they feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think about a completed closet renovation project. More than half say the most important result is improved functionality and livability.
Full interior paint job
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for improving the look of a house—but it also improves the mood of those living there. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported a greater desire to be home since having their home freshly painted.
New fiberglass front door
The installation of fiberglass front doors can also help for resale and happiness, the survey found. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that they’ve had a greater desire to be home, thanks to their new front door. Sixty-seven percent say they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they’re home.
New vinyl windows
The happiness around new windows mostly comes from the result of improved functionality and livability. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were motivated to update their windows to improve their home’s energy efficiency, and 23% want to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Worst Design Trends
The short list of things people are most afraid of shouldn’t include the property. But if the home’s staging brings undead design fads back to life, like circular beds, buyers may run for the door..
Toilet Seat Covers: Adding toilet rugs or furry seat covers to the commode may be the worst offense of all.
Inspirational Quote Art: Tired sayings, such as “love you to the moon and back,” may be losing popularity.
Popcorn Ceilings: It’s cumbersome to remove and often attracts asbestos.
Ruffles and Florals: Designers called floral chintz furniture one of the biggest design horrors of the past 50 years.
Wallpaper Borders: Ivy and floral wallpaper borders may now be outdated.
Hollywood Vanity Lights: Harsh lighting has been replaced with warmer, softer fixtures like wall sconces.
Round Beds: Furniture with curves is a re-emerging trend, but it never should have included beds.
Wood Paneling: The outdated look can put a room in an instant time warp.
Vertical Blinds: Designers now think the trend can make a room look outdated.
Artificial Fruit: Real fruit is a stager’s favorite trick to dress up a countertop.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Mortgage Delays
Watch out for these common pitfalls, which could cause you to miss out on a great rate or even lose your deposit.
Here are the common mistakes that can cause hiccups in your mortgage process. Ask your mortgage lender to help you steer clear of them.

Excluding details of your financial profile
A good mortgage lender will begin by reviewing your basic personal and contact information, employment and residence history, income, assets and debts.
Simple, right? Only if you answer every question, whether it’s in person or on a form. If you don’t provide absolutely every detail about your financial profile, it can throw off the entire loan process.

Not providing every single piece of documentation
Next your lender will ask for detailed documentation for your entire profile, including:
30 days of pay stubs
Two years of tax returns and W-2s
Year-to-date business financial statements if you’re self-employed
Two months of statements for all asset accounts
Explanations and paper trails of all deposits (and often withdrawals) above $1,000
A home insurance quote with adequate coverage
Full financials on any other homes or businesses you own
If one single page of any piece of documentation is missing, you’ll be asked to provide it. If your income is commissioned or variable in any way, you must authorize your lender to verify income directly with current and past employers.
The lender will also run your credit, which can reveal employers, addresses, debts and other credit inquiries that you didn’t disclose. If new information comes to light, you’ll be required to explain and document all of it.

Confusing approval with pre-approval
Misinterpreting approval status kills deals and can take years off your life. So remember this and live long in your new home: get your loan approved by an underwriter before you write any offer to buy a home.
Getting a mortgage “pre-approved” means you’ve talked to a lender (#1 above), or you may have even provided some documents (#2 above) and been told your profile looks good — but make no mistake, this isn’t a loan approval.
Be sure you ask to get “underwriting approved” and obtain a formal loan commitment in writing. Anything short of this means your profile has been evaluated, but your actual loan approval doesn’t officially begin until your loan agent submits your file to an underwriter.

Not sharing home offer details with the lender
The purchase contract — or offer you write on a home — dictates critical transaction timing milestones like how many days you have to secure loan approval and how many days you have to close.
Your real estate agent will take the lead here, but make sure your lender and agent are in sync, because the lender must provide these critical milestone dates that your agent writes into the contract.
If you miss either of these dates in your contract, you risk losing your initial deposit on the home. The only way your lender can provide accurate timelines is if they’ve executed all the steps above properly.

Being unrealistic or uninformed about rates
When a seller accepts your offer, you’re in contract to buy your home and ready to lock a rate for your mortgage. You can’t lock before you’re in contract because a rate lock runs with a borrower and a property.
This means you’re subject to rate market movement until you’re in contract, and rates change throughout each day as bond markets trade. Rates are priced based on how long they’re locked, so a shorter lock (such as 15 or 30 days) has a lower rate than a longer lock (60 days, for example).
To avoid rate surprises, ask your lender to quote rate locks based on your closing timeline. And don’t forget that if you’re cutting it close on qualifying and rates rise, the resulting cost increase can kill your loan approval. Ensure your lender is accounting for the possibility of higher rates so your loan approval remains valid if rates rise while you’re home shopping. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Low Appraisal
If a lower-than-expected appraisal comes in, you'll need to be prepared.
Since a home is collateral for your mortgage, your mortgage can’t be approved without an appraisal report on the home’s value. Appraisals aren’t guaranteed to come in at your contract price, and your loan options change if your appraisal comes in short. Here’s what to do if this happens.
How a low appraisal changes your loan options
When you’re buying a home, lenders will extend a loan on the lower of either your contract price or the home’s appraised value. This is a critical distinction, because if an appraisal comes in lower than you’ve agreed to pay, you must either increase your down payment or increase your monthly budget in order to buy that home.
Suppose a home in a very competitive neighborhood is listed for $300,000. You know there are multiple bidders, so you offer $325,000. Your offer is accepted, and you begin obtaining a loan for 80 percent of the $325,000 contract price, planning to put down 20 percent. When the lender’s appraisal comes back, it shows the value of the home is $300,000.
When your process started, your $325,000 contract price minus your 20-percent down payment of $65,000 made your loan amount $260,000. The low appraisal of $300,000 takes that option off the table, and instead you have two other options.
Increase your down payment to avoid paying mortgage insurance
The most you can borrow without paying mortgage insurance is 80 percent of the $300,000 appraised value, which is $240,000. This means that instead of $65,000, your down payment now must be $85,000 to bridge the gap between your $325,000 purchase price and the $240,000 loan amount that’s available with no mortgage insurance.
You’ll need to decide whether this extra $20,000 is something you can afford. If so, the lender also must determine if you’ll have enough reserves left over after closing to still qualify for the loan.
One offset for putting the extra $20,000 cash into the deal is that your monthly payment will be $95 lower.
The original deal with the $260,000 loan using a 30-year fixed at 4 percent gave you a total monthly payment of $1,633, comprised of $1,241 mortgage payment, $325 taxes, and $67 insurance. The new deal with the $240,000 loan gives you a total monthly payment of $1,538, comprised of $1,146 mortgage payment, $325 taxes, and $67 insurance.
Keep the same down payment amount, and add mortgage insurance
If you can’t afford or don’t want to bring in the extra $20,000 to cover the short appraisal, you can still get your target loan of $260,000. However, if you divide this by the $300,000 value, the loan is 86.7 percent of the home’s value, so you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance.
If you’re getting a 30-year fixed loan at a rate of 4 percent, your total monthly payment will be $1,761, comprised of $1,241 mortgage payment, $128 mortgage insurance, $325 property tax, and $67 insurance.
If you compare the $1,538 payment you end up with by putting in the extra $20,000 (to cover the short appraisal and avoid mortgage insurance) with the $1,761 you’ll pay if you stick with the original down payment (giving you a larger loan plus mortgage insurance), you can see that you’ll save $223 per month if you pay the extra $20,000 upfront.
Disputing low appraisals
All of this assumes you can’t get the appraised value above $300,000. However, when an appraisal comes in short, you can work with your lender and real estate agent to evaluate whether the appraiser included all relevant comparable sales on the report to derive their value.
An appraiser’s selection of comparable sales is based on many factors like location, size, age, and condition of the sold homes being compared to the property you’re buying. How recently the other homes sold is also a factor.
Your lender — usually after consulting with your real estate agent — will advise if they think a value dispute is warranted. If so, they will write up a case for a dispute and present it to their bank’s appraisal department. Federal appraisal regulations make the dispute process complicated and often slow, so make sure that your contract allows you enough time for a dispute.
If the value is revised to your contract price, you can use your originally intended deal structure. If the low value is validated during the dispute process, you can ask the seller for a price reduction. If they refuse and you still want to buy the property, you can revert to the options laid out above.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - October Housing Report
In the Oro Valley area, September 2019 active inventory was 176, a 35% decrease from September 2018. There were 60
closings in September 2019, a 2% increase from September 2018. Year-to-date 2019 there were 749 closings, a 7%
increase from year-to-date 2018. Months of Inventory was 2.9, down from 4.6 in September 2018. Median price of sold
homes was $340,000 for the month of September 2019, up 11% from September 2018. The Oro Valley area had 83 new
properties under contract in September 2019, up 4% from September 2018.
View All Area Reports Here https://www.orovalleyrealestateandhomes.com/real-estate-market-az

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Contingencies, A Buyer's Best Friend
What if you're under contract to buy a home, and then find out it's got big problems? Contingencies can get you off the hook.
Most home buyers organically begin and are comfortable with the real estate search process, but don’t know how to move forward once they’ve found a home they love. In order to put the search and discovery process into context, I sit down with every first-time buyer before we start searching together to go over the process, contract to close. If your agent hasn’t done this, ask them to.
One important aspect of a real estate contract is contingencies. These provisions for an unforeseen event or circumstance are important in case something goes south. At contract signing, buyers will put money in escrow — as little as $1,000 or up to 10 percent of the purchase price. That’s a lot of money to hand over to the seller before arranging financing and doing more due diligence than opening closet doors at the open house. Contingencies can help protect buyers if a problem arises.
Contingencies are always tied to a timeframe. If it’s a hard contingency, the buyer must sign off physically in writing. If it’s a soft contingency, it simply passes with time. Know the difference between the two, and mark your timeframes early.
Here are the three big contingencies to know.
The biggest and best of the contingencies, the inspection is the “get out of jail free card” for buyers. It allows you to walk away once you’ve had an inspection if you discover issues with the home. For example, it is common for buyers to uncover broken or defective items, older systems or health and safety issues.
Some argue that it would be difficult to exit a contract from a brand new and flawless home, but the inspection contingency language in most contracts provides for an easy out.
If you do find something unexpected, you don’t necessarily have to abandon the contract. Go back to the seller and see what they will fix.
Unexpected inspection issues often result in a second round of negotiations. If the items are big enough to kill the deal, the seller may agree to fix them or issue a credit at closing. In competitive markets, the seller may leave the defects for you to deal with as the new owner.
Loan approval and home appraisal
Getting pre-approved prior to making an offer is only part of the lending process. Before it wires the funds for your mortgage, the bank wants to be sure that the property is worth what you offered the seller, by way of an appraisal (sometimes a standalone contingency).
The appraiser is an independent third party who will walk through the home, take pictures and measurements, and comment on its condition, then follow up with a written report.
Second, a title report will be issued so the lender can see if there are outstanding liens or clouds on title. For condominiums or planned unit developments, the bank wants to review the governing documents and financials to make sure all is in order.
The loan approval, which can take up to 60 days, is the longest contingency. In competitive markets, it can be done in less than two weeks. Be in touch with your lender before you make an offer, and strategize on timeframes.
Disclosures are meant to provide the buyer with as much information as possible to make an informed decision, as well protect their soon-to-be interest.
Sellers in most markets must disclose, via boilerplate local or state forms, their knowledge about the property and their experience living there. For example, if there was a leaky roof or if they know about a neighboring development that could affect the home’s value, they must disclose it.
Typically, sellers deliver the disclosures to buyers after their offer is accepted. Additionally, buyers will review local building department documents alongside local, state or federal disclosures about anything from earthquake hazard zones to flood zones to disclosures about proximity to airports.
Don’t sign a contract without reviewing your contingency options with your agent. Understand that contingencies are terms, and can sometimes be used for negotiation. If you can’t offer the highest price, the seller may appreciate moving fast once you sign a contract.

Oro Valley Real Estate - Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly
Having an eco-friendly home is becoming increasingly important to many people as well. They want a home that not only pollutes less and leaves a smaller carbon footprint, but one that is healthy to live in and has cost-effective systems. More and more, there are opportunities to make our homes, and thus our lives, healthier, cleaner, smarter and greener.
If having an environmentally friendly home is important to you (or even just having a home that drains less from your bank account), here are some easy things you can add to your home:
Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Changing out incandescent bulbs for LED light bulbs is a major energy saver. They last longer and use less electricity, which means fewer trips to the store or ordering less often online (which saves plenty of ancillary resources like gasoline, packaging and more) and avoiding the annoying task of changing light bulbs on a regular basis.
As LED technology improves and becomes more common, these bulbs are becoming more affordable and versatile. On top of feeling good about minimizing environmental impact, LED bulbs use less energy, so you can feel good – or at least better – when you look at your electric bills, too.
Water Filter
Many people don’t like to drink out of the tap, but our bottled water habit in the United States creates a lot of waste – each bottle is single-use, and many don’t get recycled. Using a water filter from the tap creates less plastic waste. Filtered water from the sink also means your drinking water won’t be sitting in plastic as long, leaving less time for the water to absorb microscopic particles that we end up drinking.
Smart Home Climate Control
Years ago, a couple bought and then sold a townhouse they used for multiple purposes. They lived on the top two floors, ran a business out of an office on street level and then rented out a one-bedroom apartment on the parlor floor. The entire house had a single electrical meter, and the tenant’s electricity use in the one-bedroom apartment was not separated from the rest of the house.
This tenant liked her apartment freezing cold, and ran her air conditioner day and night, as she did not want to come home to a hot apartment at the end of a summer day. This used to drive the landlords crazy, as they were thus paying a very high electric bill to cool spaces that were not being used. Eventually, the relationship between the tenant and the landlords soured and they parted ways.
If the home had remote climate control, as many do today, whether through Nest or a different system, much of this could have been avoided, as the tenant could have turned on the air conditioning remotely prior to coming home. This would not only avoid high electric bills, but also make the home more eco-friendly.
Motion Sensors for Lights
One way to lower energy costs and electricity usage is to turn off lights when you leave a room. But the truth is that many people find it difficult to remember to do this, and kids can be especially careless. If a room is lit but not used, this is not only a waste of electricity, but also a waste of money.
Motion sensors have become increasingly attainable and available, and some smart homes attach the lighting to these sensors. If no movement sets the sensor off after a certain amount of time, the lights in a room can go off automatically. This is not only energy efficient for the planet, but it is also economically efficient for your electric bill.
Appliances That Are Full
Filling your freezer and refrigerator is energy efficient because most of the motor’s work goes toward cooling the air inside. If the space is filled with food, this means there is less air, and the motor doesn’t have to work as hard. That means less strain on the appliance, and more energy efficiency.
Similarly, run your dishwasher only when it is full. This means you will run the dishwasher less often, using less water over time. The water will also be used more efficiently, and dishwashers use a lot of water. While you should not pack the dishwasher so tightly that the water cannot move around the dirty dishes, you don’t want the water and soap used to wash empty space.
Some experts say that it’s a good idea to run your dishwasher completely empty and without soap on occasion to rinse away some of the grime or residue that might accumulate over time from dishwashing detergent. This occasional clean run can be offset by your more efficient use of the appliance otherwise. Your more efficient dishwasher practices can also be applied to washing machines.
Shoeless Rooms
In recent years, more and more properties listed for sale require visitors to take off their shoes before entering the premises. Homebuyers and agents either benefit from wearing shoes that slip off easily, or will be offered surgical booties to put over their shoes and keep the floors clean. As annoying as it might be for someone to ask you to take your shoes off before coming inside, there is a good reason to leave your shoes outside.
Taking your shoes off before coming inside isn't just a growing trend among home sellers, but more and more Americans are doing like the Japanese and Scandinavians by making it a regular rule. Not only is this better for your floors – and redoing floors can get expensive – but the fact is, our shoes pick up a lot of dirt, bacteria and toxins. Walking around on the street, no matter how clean it might look, we step in chemicals, feces and dirt.
Much of what is on our shoes will transfer to our floors, whether on tile or into carpeting, creating a home environment that is filled with potentially harmful things. Bacteria on shoes continues to build up, day after day, thus making the soles of our shoes some of the dirtiest objects in our homes. For those with children who play on the floor, it can be unsettling to think of a child rolling around in whatever your shoes might have tracked in from the bathroom floor of the restaurant you stopped in earlier in the day. 

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Stock Market and Mortgage Rates
Your credit score, a reliable income and how much outstanding debt you owe are critical factors in determining the best mortgage interest rate that you’ll be offered.
Yet none of it has anything to do with the range of interest rates available. It’s a bit more complicated than that.
Although the Federal Reserve rate, bond markets, inflation and the demand for homes all play a big part, the stock market also plays a less direct role in determining interest rates.
The amount of money flowing and the direction it's flowing in does influence the mortgage market, including the ease of obtaining a no money down mortgage.
Stocks, Bonds, Mortgage Rates
Stock markets play a role in how much discretionary income investors have. When markets are going up, some investors feel more comfortable pulling money out of stocks to be used elsewhere, or selling high.
Many investors diversify their investments by moving money into bonds that are considered a safer investment with guaranteed rates of return.
The bond market has a significant influence on mortgage rates. Mortgage lenders create mortgage-backed securities by packaging groups of loans together. These are then sold to investors on bond markets.
The bond market is strongest when a lot of money is flowing in; this drives interest rates lower. When lenders are paying lower interest rates to bond buyers, lenders can offer lower interest rates to home buyers.
Economic Fears And The No Money Down Mortgage
Headlines and economic news influence both the stock market as well as mortgages. If you’re looking for a low cost or no money down mortgage, you can take clues from the stock market for the direction that mortgage rates can be expected to go.
While the two don’t move in perfect lockstep, they both do take clues from the economy — both good and bad.
This is another correlation between stock markets, bond markets and mortgage rates. Another time that money moves from stock markets to bond markets is when fear grips the economy. This is a better measure than money moving for diversification, but diversification is also closely linked to economic fears.
Fear drives more money into government-backed bonds than into mortgage-backed bonds.
Still, the bottom line is that when money flows into bonds, interest rates can be expected to go down.
So, bad headline news and bad economic news leads to lower interest rates because more money is available to borrow.
And we know that when more money is available for mortgages, a no money down mortgage becomes easier to obtain.
Relationship Between Stocks, Mortgages Not Always Positive
The Catch-22 is that mortgage interest rates can be expected to go down when economic news is bad.
Bad economic news comes in many forms but often leads to fewer jobs. In the case of tariff wars, it means higher costs for consumers. Neither of these is good for a home buyer trying to save for a down payment.
It's a double Catch-22 because mortgages also work on supply and demand. When fewer people are looking for mortgages, lenders tend to lower interest rates to attract home buyers.
Although there are fewer buyers shopping for mortgages, these homebuyers ultimately benefit from a low interest rate and/or a no money down mortgage.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - HOA Complaints
More people are purchasing homes in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association. While HOA rules aim to establish order and consistency in a community, many homeowners say they often feel bylaws are intrusive. “Nit-picky rules are often at the heart of HOA-homeowner tensions, which can make residents feel like they’re perpetually under someone’s thumb,” say researchers at a home remodeling website, which surveyed more than 700 homeowners on the topic.
Nearly a third of respondents to the survey report having knowingly broken an HOA rule, and 52% say they have refused to pay an HOA fine. The most common HOA fines, according to the survey, were due to:
Improper landscaping.
Putting trash out too early or bringing it in too late.
Improper or untimely holiday decorations.
Owning too many pets.
Improperly parked vehicles.
Renting out rooms.
Speeding in the neighborhood.
Adding a deck or patio.
Adding a fence.
Debris or stains on home exterior.
Changing exterior paint color.
Improper disposal of pet waste.
Late HOA fees.
Still, 69% of survey respondents say they are satisfied with the way their HOA manages their community.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Buying a Home with Kids
Questions about the property prior to touring and buying a home with kids.
Are the local schools reputable?
Are there other families in the neighborhood?
Are the bedrooms all on the same floor?
Is crime a problem in this neighborhood?
Is there a lot of traffic on the street?
Does the home have a bonus room or loft?
Is there a family room?
Are there playgrounds and other recreational amenities nearby?
Who are the neighbors?
Does the home have steep stairs?
Is the layout of the home conducive to children?
Will the kids have to share a bedroom and/or bathroom?
Does the house have a swimming pool or is it located near a community pool?
Does the home have a decent sized backyard?
Is there a fence around the property?

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Anti-Fraud Alert
Electronic communications such as email, text messages and social media messaging, are neither secure nor confidential. While Long Realty Company has adopted policies and procedures to aid in avoiding fraud, even the best security protections can still be bypassed by unauthorized parties.
Long Realty Company will never send you any electronic communication with instructions to transfer funds or to provide nonpublic personal information, such as credit card or debit numbers or bank account and/or routing numbers. Any such request must come directly from your escrow officer.
The risk factor is huge when you are talking about a down payment or full payment of a real estate purchase. To avoid becoming a victim:
If you receive any electronic communication directing you to transfer funds or provide nonpublic personal information, EVEN IF THAT ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION APPEARS TO BE FROM Long Realty, do not respond to it and immediately contact your Long Realty agent. Such requests, even if they may otherwise appear to be from Long Realty, are likely part of a scheme to defraud you by stealing funds from you or using your identity to commit a crime.
Remember: Long Realty Company will never send you any electronic communication with instructions to transfer funds or provide financial account numbers or other nonpublic personal information.
To notify Long Realty Company of suspected fraud related to your real estate transaction, immediately notify your Ian Taylor, Long Realty and contact: fraud@longrealty.com . Please assist us in our anti-fraud prevention efforts and do not let your guard down. Thank you!

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Long Realty Market Share 2019
Oro Valley 38.6%
Metro Tucson 27.1%
Sun City 54.5%
Tucson Luxury 49.2%
Saddlebrooke 59.1%
North Tucson 45.6%
Dove Mountain 37.0%
Southern Arizona 27.1%
Long Realty pros are the best of the best. Of the top 100 agents in Tucson, 50 are Long Realty pros.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Electrical Dangers
Electrical fires are the third leading cause of home structure fires, according to The Electrical Safety Foundation International.
Fortunately, there are a variety of preventative measures you can take to help make sure that one doesn’t happen to you.
Here are the most dangerous things you could be doing in terms of your house’s electrics.
Using adapters on two-prong outlets
Plugging in to loose electrical outlets
Not getting old wiring checked out
Not using the correct outlets in the bathroom and kitchen
Ignoring exposed or frayed wiring in the bathroom
Not paying attention to flickering lights
Overloading your circuit
Using malfunctioning appliances
Plugging in the wrong extension cords outside
Taking on complex DIY projects