Keep Your Energy Bill Low While Selling Your Home

Joan’s Real Estate Corner…

Whether you are moving into a new home, getting ready to sell yours or a vacant home, keeping energy costs down is desirable to both buyers and sellers.  Even though there are many energy-efficient options these days, there are a growing number of energy-suckers.

You might be surprised to learn just how much that beautiful water feature costs to keep it running 24/7 year-round. Depending on where you live and the wattage needed, that fountain could cost an extra $30 per month. Read more

Value in Homeownership

Joan’s Real Estate Corner…  Value in Homeownership

Is there value in owning a home? The recently released 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers bring us some promising results. Today homeowners are living in their homes longer, and after several years of price declines, are seeing rises in home equity gains.

It was only earlier this decade that so many buyers jumped on the investment bandwagon. They bought and sold within incredibly short time frames, and walked away with profits. But as the booms busted, many sellers found they had bought at the top of the market and as prices corrected, they lost more than just dollars. Foreclosure rates skyrocketed. Historically, however, homeownership is a long term investment, and one that brings many rewards. Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner…

Seniors Only: Surviving the Economic Crisis with a Reverse Mortgage

In the midst of the current credit crunch, we tend to overlook the financial needs of senior homeowners, especially those who own their homes free and clear or are pretty close to being debt free. However, these homeowners often experience their own credit crisis – having loads of equity locked up in their homes and not being able to get at it. President Obama’s plan is not designed to bail them out, and many don’t qualify for refinancing to cash out some or all of their equity.

Fortunately, homeowners 62 years and older can often bail themselves out of financial trouble with a reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage, the homeowners have no monthly mortgage payment. Instead, the “lender” makes payments to the homeowner out of the equity in the home. The payment plan can be in any of the following forms: Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… Holiday Home Safety

The Holiday season is upon us, and for most it is a time full of joy, fellowship, and family. But the unexpected can and does happen.

So, from stopping theft to preventing fires, here are a few tips from the experts that can help keep your family safe this time of year. Fire safety comes with the territory of the holidays. Trees and lighting can both be dangerous if not done correctly.

When selecting a real tree, be sure to buy one that is fresh. This means you should look for a fragrant tree that is a rich, deep green color. Also, the trunk should still be sticky with sap. Old trees are dry and brittle, and thus can be very flammable. Read more

Real Estate Corner…

Q.  How important is landscaping in buying or selling a house?

A.  Good landscaping can increase your home’s resale value by 14 percent, according to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.  Better curb appeal may speed up the sale by as much as six weeks. 

Professionals recommend that you invest 10 percent of your home’s value in landscaping.  More than just plantings, this includes structural features such as lighting, outdoor rooms, fences and pools.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Determine what you need.  Are you landscaping to sell your home or to enjoy the property yourself for the longer term. 


  • Get professional guidance.  Depending on the scope of your project and budget, consider hiring an arborist, a landscape designer or a certified landscape architect.  Ask friends for recommendations or search web sites such as the one for The American Society of Landscape Architects.
  • Develop a plan.  Set your priorities ─ what needs to be done (have you solved that drainage problem?) versus what you’d like to do (put in an outdoor entertainment area).  If you take a piecemeal approach, the result will look disorganized and cost you more money in the long run.


Q.  What should I know about buying a foreclosed home?   

A.  There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a foreclosed home.  Here are some general tips:

  • See the house in person.   Don’t rely on a low price and internet pictures.


  • Conduct a title search.  Find out whether it has a second mortgage or a lien on it. 
  • Get an up-to-date inspection.  Conditions change and older inspections probably no longer apply. 


  • Budget for repairs and renovations. Chances are the longer the house has been vacant, the more problems there may be. 
  • Study the neighborhood.  Is the house in a crime area or surrounded by other foreclosures? 


  • Get expert help. Work with a real estate agent who is experienced in foreclosures.

Published by: Craig Forte, Service for Life® Newsletter Subscription

 If you have any questions, or need capable and trustworthy representation,

please call Joan at 480.241.7542

Joan Byrnes, SRES

Realty One Group

Will You Be Priced to Sell?

It has long been a motto of real estate, and the saying goes, “location, location, location.” It’s what sells a property, they say. But recent times have brought to light that the real deciding factor on how fast, or even if, your home sells all comes down to price.

It’s not that buyers are attracted by shiny, new things, but in a sense they are. When a home is newly listed it gathers a lot of interest. The listing agent may send out emails, webcasts, and virtual tours. They launch their entire marketing program. Even the MLS indicates the home as “newly listed.” After a few weeks, however, if no momentum has been built, the home will then face a must steeper challenge on the road to selling. Read more