Sunday, June 23, 2013

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Fountain Hills, AZ!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first official days of summer! Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were taking down holiday decorations? It’s amazing how time flies, and yet again we’re in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year. From soccer practice, to summer camp, to family vacations, summer tends to disappear before it’s begun.

As a Fountain Hills real estate agent, one of my goals for this blog is to keep residents and visitors in the know about local events and places to explore around town. There is so much going on this season that it can be challenging to soak it all in! With our nation’s birthday upon us in a couple of weeks, I thought it was only appropriate to fill Fountain Hills, AZ residents in on our very own Fourth of July celebration.

Fourth at the Fountain will be held on July 4, 2013 at picturesque Fountain Park. A nominal fee ($5 per person, 12 and under are free) grants you access to an evening of patriotic fun. The event kicks off with a live musical performance by local favorite, “Ageing Hipsters,” at 5:30pm. At 8:30pm, stick around for a spectacular nighttime demo by the Arizona Skyhawks Parachute Team featuring music and flares. A bounce house, fun slide, and dunk tank will provide entertainment all evening long. And, what Fourth of July celebration is complete without great food? If you don’t plan on participating in the hot dog eating contest, you can still fill up on food and drinks available for purchase from on-site vendors.

Fountain Hills, AZ is an incredibly tight community that comes together throughout the year to celebrate local events big and small. In particular, the Fourth of July is one of those holidays where family traditions are sparked and carry on for years to come. If you’ve decided to buy a home in Fountain Hills, I hope the Fourth at the Fountain celebration becomes something you look forward to each and every summer.

In the midst of all of the barbecues and pool parties, this season is significant for those who are looking to buy a home in Fountain Hills before the school year begins. If you have yet to start your home search, don’t panic! As a Fountain Hills real estate agent, I have extensive experience helping Arizona homebuyers achieve their goals of homeownership from the initial planning stages through closing. When you’re ready, please contact me and I’d be happy to help you get started.

Happy Fourth of July! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mortgage 101 for First-Time Homebuyers

Have you finally made the decision to quit the renting game and buy a home in Fountain Hills? Congratulations! This is a huge milestone that I promise you won’t regret. You’ll always look back at this time in your life and remember feeling independent, excited, and a little bit overwhelmed. With how complicated the home buying process has become over the years, I’m sympathetic to how daunting the task can seem. However, it is my job as a Fountain Hills real estate agent to make this experience as stress-free and as fun as possible for you.

A very important step in the home buying process is to secure financing. It’s uncommon that a homebuyer pays for his or her new home in cash, and even more rare when a first-timer does so. Here’s where a mortgage comes in. For those who are completely new to the home buying process, a mortgage is a loan you take out to finance the purchase of your new home. You have many options when it comes to selecting a mortgage, which is a process your Fountain Hills real estate agent can guide you through from start to finish.

You are generally required to have 20% of the purchase price up front as a down payment. You will pay the remainder of the purchase price in monthly installments over a period of 15 or 30 years, depending on the mortgage you select and get approved for. You also have the option of choosing an adjustable mortgage rate or a fixed-rate loan. Typically, homebuyers will select an adjustable mortgage rate in a seller’s market when interest rates are high. The mortgage rate will be fixed for a number of years, and then change over time as interest rates fluctuate. A fixed-rate loan is your best bet in a buyer’s market. You’ll lock in a low interest rate that will remain consistent over the lifetime of your loan.

Once you have decided to buy a home in Fountain Hills, it can be difficult to ignore the impulse to start shopping immediately. A little bit of online browsing never hurt anybody, but I strongly suggest that every homebuyer first pay a visit to his or her local bank to discuss financing. While getting preapproved for a mortgage isn’t a requirement to buy a home, it does give you a realistic idea of how much you can afford. This way, you’ll start your Fountain Hills home search on the right foot and in the right price range.

While there’s a lot more to it, I just wanted to provide a few basic principles to help you start thinking about your approach to obtaining a mortgage. As a
Fountain Hills real estate agent, I am available to you at any point in the home buying process whether you have a quick question or would like an experienced professional to assist you all the way through closing. One of the best parts is that there is no obligation and my services are completely free of charge. What’s not to love? When you’re ready to take the next step in the home buying process, please give me a call. I look forward to helping you become a homeowner in Fountain Hills!