West Valley Real Estate and Community News

April 24, 2023

What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection and an Appraisal?

What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection and an Appraisal?

If you’re planning to buy a home, an inspection is an important step in the process. It assesses the condition of the home before you finalize the transaction. It’s also a different step in the process from an appraisal, which is a professional evaluation of the market value of the home you’d like to buy. In most cases, an appraisal is ordered by the lender to confirm or verify the value of the home prior to lending a buyer money for the purchase. Here’s the breakdown of each one and why they’re both important when buying a home.

Home Inspection

Here’s the key difference between an inspection and an appraisal. Bankrate says:

“In short, while an appraisal helps you understand a home’s value, inspections help you understand a home’s condition.”

The home inspection is a way to determine the current state, safety, and condition of the home before you finalize the sale. If anything is questionable in the inspection process – like the age of the roof, the state of the HVAC system, or just about anything else – you as a buyer have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues or repairs with the seller before the transaction is final. Your real estate agent is a key expert to help you through this part of the process.

Home Appraisal

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

A home purchase is typically the largest investment someone will make. Protect yourself by getting your investment appraised! An appraiser will observe the property, analyze the data, and report their findings to their client. For the typical home purchase transaction, the lender usually orders the appraisal to assist in the lender’s decision to provide funds for a mortgage.”

When you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal (which is required by the lender) is the best way to confirm the value of the home based on the sale price. Regardless of what you’re willing to pay for a house, if you’ll be using a mortgage to fund your purchase, the appraisal will help make sure the bank doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.

This is especially critical in today’s sellers’ market where low inventory is driving an increase in bidding wars, which can push home prices upward. When sellers are in a strong position like this, they tend to believe they can set whatever price they want for their house under the assumption that competing buyers will be willing to pay more.

However, the lender will only allow the buyer to borrow based on the value of the home. This is what helps keep home prices in check. If there’s ever any confusion or discrepancy between the appraisal and the sale price, your trusted real estate professional will help you navigate any additional negotiations in the buying process.

Bottom Line

The inspection and the appraisal are critical steps when buying a home, and you don’t need to manage them by yourself. Let’s connect today so you have the expert guidance you need to navigate the entire homebuying process.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 17, 2023

Think Twice Before Waiting for Lower Home Prices

Think Twice Before Waiting for Lower Home Prices

As the housing market continues to change, you may be wondering where it’ll go from here. One factor you’re probably thinking about is home prices, which have come down a bit since they peaked last June. And you’ve likely heard something in the news or on social media about a price crash on the horizon. As a result, you may be holding off on buying a home until prices drop significantly. But that’s not the best strategy.

A recent survey from Zonda shows 53% of millennials are still renting right now because they’re waiting for home prices to come down. But here’s the thing: the most recent data shows that home prices appear to have bottomed out and are now on the rise again. Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogicreports:

“U.S. home prices rose by 0.8% in February . . . indicating that prices in most markets have already bottomed out.”

And the latest data from Black Knight shows the same shift. The graph below compares home price trends in November to those in February:

So, should you keep waiting to buy a home until prices come down? If you factor in what the experts are saying, you probably shouldn’t. The data shows prices are increasing in much of the country, not decreasing. And the latest data from the Home Price Expectation Survey indicates that experts project home prices will rise steadily and return to more normal levels of appreciation after 2023. The best way to understand what home values are doing in your area is to work with a local real estate professional who can give you the latest insights and expert advice.

Bottom Line

If you’re waiting to buy a home until prices come down, you may want to reconsider. Let’s connect to make sure you understand what’s happening in our local housing market.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 3, 2023

How Changing Mortgage Rates Can Affect You

How Changing Mortgage Rates Can Affect You

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been bouncing between 6% and 7% this year. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to buy a home or not, it’s helpful to know exactly how a 1%, or even a 0.5%, mortgage rate shift affects your purchasing power. 

The chart below helps show the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment:

Even a 0.5% change can have a big impact on your monthly payment. And since rates have been moving between 6% and 7% for a while now, you can see how it impacts your purchasing power as rates go down.

What This Means for You

You may be tempted to put your homebuying plans on hold in hopes that rates will fall. But that can be risky. No one knows for sure where rates will go from here, and trying to time them for your benefit is tough. Lisa Sturtevant, Housing Economist at Bright MLSexplains:

“It is typically a fool’s errand for a homebuyer to try to time rates in this market . . . But volatility in mortgage rates right now can have a real impact on buyers’ monthly payments.”

That’s why it’s critical to lean on your expert real estate advisors to explore your mortgage options, understand what impacts mortgage rates, and plan your homebuying budget around today’s volatility. They’ll also be able to offer advice tailored to your specific situation and goals, so you have what you need to make an informed decision.

Bottom Line

Your ability to buy a home could be impacted by changing mortgage rates. If you’re thinking about making a move, let’s connect so you have a strong plan in place.

Posted in Buying a Home
March 4, 2020

Get Pampered at Litchfield Park Real Estate at Celebrity Skin Studio

Get spa treatments on Litchfield Park real estate.Life gets hectic, and it’s easy to feel stressed out and stop taking care of yourself. But for Litchfield Park real estate owners, there’s Celebrity Skin Studio. The spa works hard to create a tranquil environment where you can relax while treating yourself to high quality skin care.

There’s a long list of different facials to choose from. Most last about 50 minutes. To look your best for a special event, try the Red Carpet Oxygenating Facial. Your skin will glow, and you’ll be ready to put your best face forward to take great photos. For anyone who struggles with acne, the Clarity Acne Facial is for you. For more pampering, add on a service like a scalp massage or LED light treatment.

For teens and tweens, book a 40-minute facial that is specially formulated for their skin care needs. If you’re short on time, book a 25-minute power facial. The treatment may be shorter, but it includes cleansing, exfoliation, and a quick neck and shoulder massage. Whichever you choose, you’ll go back to your Litchfield Park home feeling life you’ve got a new lease on life.

Go Back to Your Litchfield Park Home Feeling Refreshed

Facials aren’t the only service offered at the studio. Schedule a makeover if you have a special event coming up. Or book a makeup coaching session to learn how to apply cosmetics that complement your skin and face the best. You can get eyelash extensions or an eyebrow treatment for fuller brows. Men aren't left out of spa treatments. There’s a special facial formulated for their skin needs. Both men and women can book an appointment for waxing, too.

Visit Celebrity Skin Studio online to find a full list of services and prices. You can also book your appointment on the website. Arrive at the Litchfield Park real estate location five to 10 minutes early so you can get checked in and ready.


Posted in News
March 2, 2020

Enjoy Living in The Village at Litchfield Park and Eat at Times Square

Everyone living in The Village at Litchfield Park loves Italian food.Everyone living in The Village at Litchfield Park is invited to come dine at Times Square Neighborhood Italian Restaurant. Whether it is already one of your favorite places or if you have not tried it yet, come see why Fox 10 has hailed it as a must try in the valley on their Taste of the Town segment. There are two other locations around Phoenix, and the Litchfield Park location is at 13760 W. Camelback Rd. #70. Hours of operation are Sundays and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Times Square is closed on Mondays.

The Village at Litchfield Park Property Owners Enjoy Fresh Italian Favorites

Come check out the friendly and casual atmosphere with quality Italian food. If you love it and become a regular, your caricature may even get hung on the wall. Order your favorite dish every visit or try something new each time. Dine in or order to go and enjoy the food at your The Village at Litchfield Park property. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends. Breakfast choices include pancakes, eggs, French toast, three egg omelets, chicken fried steak, and more.

The lunch and dinner menu is quite extensive. Find a variety of salads, soup, pizza, sandwiches, and cheesesteaks. Fresh seafood selections include fresh clams, seared scallops, pescatore, linguini gamberetti, and catch of the day. Other menu items include chicken and veal dishes as well as pasta and homemade baked specialties such as manicotti, lasagna casalinga, eggplant sorrentino, baked zitti, eggplant parmigiano, and ravioli. If you have room, consider a homemade dessert and also take a look at the full drink menu.

Catering is also available. Consider choosing Times Square for your next business meeting, party, or wedding reception. Everyone living in The Village at Litchfield Park is invited to view more details about catering, a full menu, reviews, and read the story of Times Square Neighborhood Italian Restaurant


Posted in News
Feb. 26, 2020

Go to the Library Near Goodyear Homes for Books and Fun Events

Get books for Goodyear homes at the library.Everyone from Goodyear homes will find something of interest at the Goodyear Library. It’s located at 14455 West Van Buren Street, C-101 in the Municipal Complex. Open hours are Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. There’s a great collection of books, movies, and CDs for all ages. The Children’s Area has four dedicated computers for kids, as well as activities geared for kids ages four and up. Teens can hang out with friends and do homework in their own area. There’s also an excellent selection of young adult novels and other books. Nine public computers are open to adults and teens.

Everyone Living in Goodyear Real Estate Can Have Fun at the Library

The library hosts events for Goodyear real estate owners and their families. There are two toddler story times for toddlers, especially two and three year olds on Tuesdays, at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Each one is 45 minutes long and includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and movement games. Advance registration is required. Preschool story time is also on Tuesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Four and five year olds are welcome for stories, songs, and more. Babies 24 months and younger come on Thursdays at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Babies get to know the world through books, songs, and movement. Yoga for adults is held on Mondays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Teens get together for The Book Is Always Better book club on the first Tuesday of the month. The hour-long discussion begins at 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays, kids ages one to five years old bring their favorite books to read to the trained therapy dogs during Paws for Reading. The event runs from1 to 2 p.m.

Visit the Goodyear Library to see a current schedule of upcoming events and learn about the library’s e-resources.


Posted in News
Feb. 24, 2020

People Living in Verrado Relax and Get Fit at Ignite Yoga Studio

People living in Verrado go to yoga classes.Anyone living in Verrado who wants to get started or continue a yoga practice should check out Ignite Yoga Studio. Drop in classes are $10 each or get a six-class package for $25. For Verrado property owners who are really serious, there are monthly memberships. Sign up for autopay and a month of unlimited yoga classes costs $30. Without autopay, the membership is $35. Currently, there are classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Each one is from 11 a.m. to noon. Students of all levels from beginners to experienced are welcome. The studio is located at The Center on Main in downtown Verrado at 4239 North Village Street.

Everyone Is Welcome at the Verrado Property Studio Location

For those new to yoga, Ignite Yoga Studio offers a special 40-day package of unlimited yoga for $40. The studio recommends arriving about 15 minutes early for your first class so you can register and get situated. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing and bring along a yoga mat. You can also purchase one at the studio. Don’t forget your water bottle. If you have any injuries or health conditions, let your teacher know so they can recommend helpful modifications.

In addition to regular classes, students living in Verrado can attend retreats, lectures, and workshops. Some are held at the Verrado studio, while others are at the Litchfield or Goodyear locations. Enjoy a monthly lecture on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:15 p.m. Workshops are taught on subjects like core strength and integrity. Kids can take special classes that bring together yoga and STEM subjects.

If you really get into yoga, you can do teacher training with Ignite. There are two levels--the 200-hour course and the 300-hour course.

Visit Ignite Yoga Studio online. You’ll find a current schedule of classes and information on memberships. Check out upcoming retreats, camps for kids, and teacher training.


Posted in News
Feb. 19, 2020

Get Great Beer and Pizza Near The Village at Litchfield Park Homes at Tailgaters

People from The Village at Litchfield Park homes go to Tailgaters.If you’re looking for a great sports bar near The Village at Litchfield Park homes, you should check out Tailgaters Sports Bar and Il Primo Pizza. There are 15 big-screen TVs, and they play all the big games, as well as Daytona 500 racing. Tailgaters is a great place for people living in The Village at Litchfield Park to relax after work. Happy Hour is held Monday through Friday until 7 p.m. Kick back with friends or colleagues and relax over beers and pizza or hot wings.

Tailgaters is a great spot for lunch or dinner, too. Start with one of the appetizers, like homemade onion rings, ultimate nachos, or one of the platters. The buffalo platter includes breaded shrimp, boneless wings, and traditional wings. For a lighter meal, try a bowl of homemade chili or a salad.

Everyone Living in The Village at Litchfield Park Will Enjoy the Food

If you’re hungry, there are lots of filling options. The pizza is the star of the show at Tailgaters. Go in with a big group of friends and split a 30-inch pizza for only $29.99. You can build your own or go for one of the specialty pizzas. Chicken bacon ranch is a tasty and unusual combination. There’s the all-meat and the vegetarian, perfect for everyone in your group. You can also get Italian favorites, like lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs. Have a burger, a hotdog, or bratwurst. Try wings with spice levels ranging from mild to extra hot. Don’t forget dessert! Have a hot fudge brownie sundae or a slice of New York-style cheesecake.

Order food online to pick up and take back to The Village at Litchfield Park homes. Tailgaters also caters, so keep them in mind if you’re throwing a party.

Visit Tailgaters Sports Bar and Il Primo Pizza to find the full menu. Follow them on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and specials.


Posted in News
Feb. 17, 2020

Explore Historic Litchfield Park Real Estate at the Museum

Learn about historic Litchfield Park real estate.Learn more about the history of the area near your Litchfield Park real estate by visiting the Litchfield Park Historical Society and Museum. The museum is located at 13912 Camelback Road in Litchfield Park in the historic site called ‘Aunt Mary’s House.’ This building is part of the original Rancho La Loma estate that was built by Paul Weeks Litchfield. Find exhibits about the early days of Litchfield Park in two of the rooms and check out rotating exhibits in the other two rooms. Also browse the archives, which have photos, letters, records, films, oral history interviews, and much more. Admission to the museum is free and the hours change based on the season. Also watch for special events that happen throughout the year.

Find a Self-Guided Walking Tour to Learn About Litchfield Park Homes

Be sure to stop in at the museum gift shop. There are books, notecards, and small gift items available for purchase. Read the story of Mexican-Americans in Litchfield Park, find a self-guided walking tour of Litchfield Park, miniature kachinas, Litchfield Park Centennial Copper Commemorative Coins, unique Southwest gifts, and much more.

Plans are also in the works to move the museum into the historic Litchfield/Denny house, which is located at the top of the hill behind the current museum. This will provide a larger space for the museum, archive library, and even be a place for those living in Litchfield Park homes to gather together. It will be truly exciting to utilize the 21 acres of this property.

Everyone living in Litchfield Park real estate is invited to learn more about the Litchfield Park Historical Society and Museum and consider helping and getting involved. Think about volunteering your time and talents by becoming a docent, helping with writing, doing clerical work, photography, marketing, or coordinating events. Also consider becoming a member. It is only through dues and donations that this organization can exist. Find out more at the Litchfield Park Historical Society and Museum website


Posted in News
Feb. 10, 2020

Verrado Property Owners Visit the Lotus Room for a Great Massage

Get a great massage near Verrado property.After a long week, there’s nothing like a firm yet gentle massage. Verrado property owners are lucky to live close to the Lotus Room, known as one of the best massage studios in the area. Owner Chloe Culley is an experienced masseuse and offers a variety of services to help women and men achieve their optimum wellness. The standard massage is a combination of Swedish, deep tissue, sport, or trigger point. For those with a lot of tension in their bodies, the hot stone massage is a great option. Heated stones and time-honored massage techniques are used in combination to achieve deep relaxation for clients living in Verrado and beyond. Pregnancy massage is available for expecting mothers in the second and third trimesters. Book a 60 or 90 minute massage.

Anyone Living in Verrado Can Find a Treatment to Meet Their Needs

Other services include reflexology and Thai foot massage. Craniosacral therapy is also available and helps to support the body’s natural healing processes. These services last for 60 minutes. For full body pampering and healing, book a M’Lis Body Contour Wrap.

Clients can add on several different services to any treatment, including aromatherapy oil, Himalayan salt foot scrub to leave your feet feeling soft and smooth, and dry exfoliating back scrub to get rid of dead skin cells in hard to reach places.

Gift certificates are available and make a wonderful present for anyone who lives on Verrado property. You can order one online through PayPal or contact Chloe directly to buy one in the amount you want.

The Lotus Room is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Visit the Lotus Room online and read about the different services. Then call or text 480.466.9817 to make an appointment. The studio is set up specially to meet your needs for your appointment, so there are no walk-ins. 


Posted in News