Increasing Your Curb Appeal

One of the most common terms we hear in the real estate world is curb appeal. Your home’s curb appeal can make a huge difference in how attractive it appears to buyers, which can in turn directly translate into how likely it is to sell. Curb appeal can be a bit of a tricky realm for some homeowners, simply because people tend to get so used to how their home looks that they become oblivious to small flaws.
Here are a few tips on increasing your home’s curb appeal:house graphic
Snazz Up Your Entryway Your front door area is kind of like the ‘face’ of your home. A bright coat of paint can really make an entrance pop. Clean The Driveway Make sure your drive is well swept, and that there are no weeds coming in through cracks in the asphalt. Maintain Vegetation Remove any dead brush or branches, and remove any weeds or overgrowth. Yard Care Whatever material you have in your yard, make sure there are no piles of debris or overgrowth. Paint the Fence If you have a fence, slap a fresh coat of paint on it to freshen up the look of your yard. Add Solar Lights Solar lights lining a drive or walkway can really dress up the outside of your home.
Replace Hardware The numbers on your door or mailbox can really take a beating from wind and sun, and can get quite beat-up before you even notice it. Replace any old, rusted, or worn house numbers. The same goes for door handles and knockers. Minimize Yard Art Everyone has different taste, and the funky statue you love may make a potential buyer cringe. Declutter Decluttering the inside of your home is rule number one in staging, and the same applies to your yard’s exterior. Toys, bicycles, portable grills, and any other random items you may have in your yard should be brought inside and stored. If you have a nice patio set, you may be able to leave that out, but only if it’s in great condition and not mismatched.
If you are looking to buy or sell your home in the Phoenix or Flagstaff areas, please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance. You can reach me at 602-471-8299 or .


Bearizona has lots of fun events planned for October as part of their Howly Growly Owly Festival. The festival is part of the award winning Alpine Harvest Festival, which also includes Grand Canyon Railway’s Pumpkin Patch Train and the City of Williams Scarecrow Contest.

1280px-Bearizona_Arizona_animal_parkBearizona showcases animals that are conservation success stories, and allows visitors to see them in their natural habitats. The park hopes to facilitate meaningful connections between visitors and indigenous species for the sake of continued preservation. Some of the animals one may see at Bearizona include bison, Black Bears, Arctic Wolves, Dall Sheep, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, and Gray Wolves.
Even though the park is not entirely complete yet, and has only been open three years, it is already the recipient of The Tourism Champion of the Year” award from the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Here are the highlights of the festival:

Howl-O-Ween Express: Tour the entire driveable portion of the park in a windowless bus. The tour departs from the Fort Bearizona parking lot every Saturday and Sunday in October at 10:00 a.m., 12:00, 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Growly Bear Cave: Are you brave enough to enter a haunted cave? The Growly Bear Cave is a great chance for some spooky adventure.

Owly Raptor Show: Get up close to hawks, owls, and raptors, and watch a stunning free-flight demonstration. Show times are 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily.

While at Bearizona, stop by the Barnyard Petting Zoo and get some cute pics of the park’s resident goats, pigs, miniature horses, peacocks, and other animals. The park will also feature professional jugglers, balloon twisters, and face painters from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October. There will also be lots of chances for photo ops with the park’s spooktacular seasonal décor.

Bearizona opens at 9 a.m., and allows entry until 4:00 p.m. The admission rates are normally $20 for adults, and $10 for children ages 4-12.

Expect to spend about two hours visiting the park’s drive-through and walk-through areas. You can explore at your own pace, and drive through as many times as you like.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Flagstaff? I am here to help! Please contact me with any questions at 602-471-8299 or

A Taste Of Cave Creek

Foodies, pay attention!fork and spoon

A Taste of Cave Creek 2014 will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, and
Thursday, October 16, at Stagecoach Village. This is one of Cave Creek’s premier tasting events. Entry tickets are only $10, while food and drink tickets vary from $2 to $55. Children under 12 are admitted for free.

This may be Cave Creek’s most popular foodie event. Proceeds from the event will help go to the preservation of open space in Cave Creek. Though the popular culinary festival had, for a short time last year, an uncertain future, its popularity helped secure its fate, and the festival will go on.

In recent years, the event has spread to include restaurants from surrounding area as well as those from Cave Creek. The participating restaurants cover a wide variety of cuisines, from BBQ to Italian. Some of the participating restaurants include Brugo Award Winning Gourmet Pizza, Chef Sara Raw Vegan Cuisine, and It’s A Divine Bakery, to name a few. For a full list of participating restaurants, please click here.

More than 25 of the area’s restaurants will be participating in this outdoor, open-air event, which also features an art exhibit and sale by the Sonoran Arts League. The event will also include a Tequila tasting, wine and beer tastings, and a Margarita challenge. There will be live music as well. The Ryan Sims band will be playing in the gazebo, and the Jake Dean Band will perform in the beer garden, on Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There will be parking for the event on School House Road, just north of Cave Creek Post Office. Shuttles will go back and forth from the event, starting at 4:30 pm.

A Taste of Cave Creek will take place at Stagecoach Village, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, Arizona 85331.

Come out and show your support for our local Cave Creek businesses! Comfortable walking shoes, and a light lunch, are highly recommended.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Cave Creek? I am here to help. Please contact me with any questions at 602-471-8299 or

Real Estate Market Slow in Phoenix

Here in Phoenix, the real estate market is in a bit of a slump. According to data from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, there has been a dramatic slowdown in price increases.

The median price of a single family home has gone up 11 percent since June 2013, but single-family home sales have gone down 11 percent.

The Phoenix real estate market has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride in recent years, perhaps even more so than the rest of the country. The plethora of new home construction, driven by investors, between 2001 and 2006 drove the median price up nearly 50 percent. The average income and population numbers stayed stable, and when the bubble burst, Phoenix was hit hard. Prices fell a whopping 56 percent, and the investors fled the market. Now, years later, after a slow but steady period of recovery, prices in Phoenix are fluctuating. bg

Home prices in the Phoenix area rose steadily from September 2011 to last summer, when they began to slow down, then, earlier in 2014, dropped. In June 2014, the median price of a single family home rose to $211,000. This represents an increase of 11 percent when compared to June 2013’s numbers. But, according to the W.P. Carey report, prices are not expected to increase again anytime soon.

Buyers now face tougher credit standards. Indecision may also be a factor in the slower market. Luxury home sales are stable, but luxury home buyers are often unaffected by factors which drive the rest of the market, such as mortgage rates and rising prices.

Investors are losing interest in Phoenix, since other markets now offer better prices. Between July 2012 and June 2013, there was a 39.7 percent drop in the number of homes purchased by investors in Phoenix. The number currently stands at 14.4 percent, which is close to average.

Phoenix currently has a low inventory of homes for sale. There was a five percent drop in the number of active listings in June. Homes that were recently foreclosed on are coming onto the market slowly, so they aren’t having much effect on inventory. The number of completed foreclosures fell 35 percent between June 2013 and June 2014.

There are some positive indications for 2015, but with real estate, change can take some time.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Phoenix or Flagstaff? I am here to help. Please contact me with any questions at 602-471-8299 or

A Little Flagstaff Getaway

A Little Flagstaff Getaway

Looking to buy a Flagstaff Getaway under $200K, know the details that make the difference in a successful purchase of your home.

Keeping up with Romney?

If Mitt wants to build a beautiful discrete million dollar hideaway in the mountains of Flagstaff, AZ I know a REALTOR who wants a chance to shine and couple of great custom home builders…  call me ;)

Mit Romney Infographic

Infographic Transcription

How many average American homes can fit in 1 Romney mansion?

Last August, Romney submitted plans to quadruple the size of his $112 million oceanfront home in La Jolla, California. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Romney plans to knockdown a 3,009-square-foot beachfront house and replace it with a 11,062-square-foot structure.

So the question is, How many average American homes can fit in 1 Romney Mansion?

About 6.5!

A fun interactive comparison by Movoto Blog that does the lighter side of Real Estate.

Staging vs. decorating – Understanding the differences

Think of staging in terms of marketing, much like a retail front store window that draws customers inside. The goal is to spark interest and imagination… to trigger the mind’s eye in the experience of positive emotions. In a home these emotions are thoughts of clean, fresh, welcoming, peaceful and useful. Staging put simply is selling the lifestyle of a home for a broader audience to appreciate.  See more selling your home tips at
Decorating is purely taste driven… it could be good taste or bad taste but taste is always in the eye of the beholder. When moving into a new home it can be so fun to decorate and express who you are. For some people our homes are the only outlet to accomplish this outward expression. That makes our personal tastes and décor very personal to us and therefore can be hard to hear that someone my not appreciate your choices for themselves. If one person loves modern contemporary they will simply not appreciate the giant rooster collection in the Kitchen as an asset that is buyable. Verses the person who loves the country style kitchen would be turned off to the cold vacant feel of white walls and stainless appliances devoid of color that a modern contemporary might bring.
I personally love staging and decorating for myself and others. If I were not a realtor I would most definitely be happy in design and décor work. So as a result my clients benefit from my passion and I end up in many cases giving staging advice and services to home sellers. These sellers love it, many tell me they have lived in their home for years and had never thought of do the things I do. This is simply a fun challenge for me and because I know so well, as a constant sounding board to buyers, what they want. Buyer’s know I won’t take negative feedback on a home personal like a homeowner would, therefore I hear it all. People have varying tastes and need to see themselves living in a home not necessarily the current homeowner. If a seller doesn’t or won’t see the differences between staging and decorating their home might not sell quickly or for the higher sales price they would like.  Find great pictures and examples on my Pinterest boards. 
Let’s get started on how to take action.
#1 Is cleanliness and special attention to smell. Living in our homes we may have begun to overlook dust, stains and smells but buyers pick up on it right away. This is less about conscience judgment in reality but I can best explain this as… our own dust, stains and smells are perfectly fine but other peoples are gross. Top objectionable smells are; pets, smokers, body and foods.
#2 Everyone has differing taste in décor and furnishings as we have covered however, most people want a home to be welcoming, peaceful and organized. Let’s discuss the top secret tips on tailoring your property so that buyer’s will describe it in those terms rather than by style of decorating.
• Clutter: Have few but larger accessories in any room is a great place to start. Pack up an store collectables and smaller accessories and your that much closer to packed for your move.
• Color: Rooms should not be devoid of color. Instead keeping a tread aware neutral scheme is the way to go. Soft neutrals such as gray, taupe, tans or warm whites make walls more interesting. With pillows and accessories will add punches of again trend aware color when used sparingly.
• Style: If your home is decorated already with a distinct style whether it be Tuscan, shabby chic, modern or country. Scale it back and neutralize the theme, if you do not your home will appeal to a smaller percentage of buyers.
• Dated is dreary: Strive to stage rooms with a fresh and current feel. Use updated neutrals on the walls and furnishings can be painted, stained or slipcovered. Furnishings that have clean lines with simple design are ideal.
• Room symmetry: A room arranged in a symmetrical fashion and furnishings centered with the architecture reads as peaceful. This is an important aesthetic every buyer is drawn to.
• Kitchens & baths: I cannot over stress the importance of cleanliness here. This is also no the time to show off your personal style. You really want to broaden your buying audience by allowing them to see their own décor and tastes can be reflected here. Kitchen countertops should be clear of appliances except maybe a coffee maker. Bathroom surfaces should be clear of personal products and equipment. Remember… this is not about your function of living in your home, its about getting your home sold fast.
#3 Draw attention: Every room should have a clear and distinctive usefulness as an office, bedroom, dining room, reading nook etc… If your home has a unique architectural feature, draw attention to it with a smart use of the space.
Believe me… I do understand that being objective about your home is very difficult and I would never suggest you do these things to stage your home if they did not work. I am interested in results and if you tell me you want to sell your house than I go to work. It has been a lot of fun working with sellers on staging their home and they love the fresh new ideas and even sometimes home accessories that they can then decorate their next home with.

How to sell your home like a pro.

Selling a home in the last few years has involved quite a bit of anxiety and anger for many of us.  In 2005 a book “Freakonomics” publicized statistical evidence that when real estate agents sell their own homes they get a higher price by roughly 3% and keep them on the market 10 days longer than when selling a home for a client.  The authors Steven D Levitt and Steven J Dubner make the suggestion that the agent doesn’t care about the client because the effects on commissions are insignificant.  Funny I have seen the opposite accusation that agents scratch and claw for every penny.  I liked the book, however it fails to understand or even offer any details about why the agent might have such success with a property that is their own and simply assumes the worst.

So what can we learn from this information that is important whether you sell your home yourself or hire a pro?  Let’s start with an example given on an A&E television series “Sell This House”.  Potential buyers are videotaped as they tour homes for sale and sellers are shocked to hear what people are saying about their first impressions of the homes cleanliness, décor and smell.  As a real estate agent I am a constant sounding board for buyer’s complaints and understand the importance of addressing deficiencies in any home for sale.  If I am selling my own home I eliminate any know objections before putting my house on the market.

How to address home deficiencies is a separate topic so watch my video blog on Staging vs. Decorating for more details.

Knowing this, a home’s condition is only the 2nd biggest reason a home won’t sell.  The biggest reason is still price.  Home pricing can be difficult to evaluate but as a real estate agent I am analyzing new home and resale values every day.  Also, before I buy a house myself I am evaluating the value to try to ensure a home will bear a positive potential to sell well later.  Sellers mistakenly allow emotions to get the better of them and choose a price based on need, ego, and even greed.  Unfortunately a seller’s need has nothing to do with market conditions which are generally governed by supply & demand.  As for ego or greed, just because the house down the street sold at a particular price doesn’t mean yours will or should, it’s subjective.  And finally let us consider what happens when accepting an offer.  How does an agent decide for themselves? It’s an educated gamble that agent can make to risk more willingly with their own money.  Just like a stockbroker will take higher risks with their own investments than with their clients investments.  If a gamble is too high in real estate the big risk is that the home sits on the market too long and buyers automatically assume the price is too high, sellers are desperate and unreasonable or something is terribly wrong with the house.

Freakonmics hit on a core belief that agents are scum, crooks and liars.  No one can argue that sometimes that can be true, but not most of the time.  Let’s be honest, there are good and bad in every profession, right?  With that said… would you go to court without an attorney?  We all know their reputation.  Would you go into surgery without a surgeon?  Even though there are some disturbing statistics on hospital deaths, right?  A great seller’s agent understands will what buyers are looking for specifically in price and property condition.  An agent obligation is to understand they are hired to sell your home therefore; it is a product with competition in the market that will either be sold or rejected.  Markets are cyclical and the nuance for market changes can be subtle.

If you decided to hire me, you are hiring a nationally designated “Sellers Representative Specialist” and I guarantee to get you the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Post Foreclosure, Short Sale and Bankruptcy Waiting Periods to buy

Go to for information on the waiting period time lines based on when you should be able to qualify for buying a home after financial distress. Flagstaff, AZ Realtor Georgina Dalton call or text 602-471-8299

Home Affordable Refinancing

Home Affordable Refinancing Program HARP 2.0 is revamping high loan to value loans (LTV). Starting middle of March 2012 an updated home affordable program is hoped to help many more borrowers that the original HARP refinancing.
Here are some of the make it or break it guidelines for home refinancing.
• Very Important… your mortgage must have been originated prior to June 1st 2009
• No late mortgage payments in the last 6 months, it may be ok if you had 1 late payment in a year of only 30 days
• Your FICO score should be 620 or better and there could be “Lender Overlays” which means they can make up additional rules
• Your mortgage must be a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan
This can be checked if you do not know if your mortgage is backed by Fannie or Freddie but you should check on Fannie Mae first as they hold the majority of the notes and if not then check with Freddie Mac.

• There is NO income verification
• There is in most cases NO APPRAISAL
• It does not matter how underwater you are in your mortgage to refinance under this home affordable program
• Again there are no loan to value requirements so it does not matter what your home is worth
How a lower interest rate could affect your payment –
1st example
200,000 at 6% interest your principle and interest would be $1199 per month
200,000 at 4% interest your principle and interest would be $954.00 per month and a $246.00 savings
2nd example
400,000 at 6% interest your principle and interest would be $2398 per month
400,000 at 4% interest your principle and interest would be $1909.00 per month and a $489.00 savings
PLUS Taxes, Insurance and Mortgage Insurance if it applies

You do not need a realtor to refinance your home. You do not have to use your current mortgage lender. But… you do need to make sure you are refinancing with a participating home affordable HARP lender. I will do some additional videos on that later.
HARP 2.0 is not meant to stop or postpone foreclosure. If you can no longer afford your mortgage payment reach out to me and I can give you the facts so you can make the decision as to what is best for you. I am not an attorney or CPA but I can answer some of the initial questions so you can move forward to the ultimate decision.


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