Oak-Harbor-Real-Estate-Market-Questions2013 was a good year for Real Estate in the NW Phoenix area. Home prices continue to increase at a good, but not crazy pace… bringing values back up for those of us that own homes. The Short Sales and Foreclosures are still with us but in drastically smaller numbers. Investors have bought a lot of homes… some of them flipped but a good number held on and turned them into rentals.  The new homes builders are doing better too. Because the NW area of Phoenix has so many retirement homes we see a large number of second home buyers.  

It looks like our market will continue head towards the normal market with increasing values in 2014. The rate of increase in values is not expected to be as dramatic and per most analysts, that is a good thing. We will see a more balanced and therefore healthy Real Estate market in 2014. Now more than ever sellers will need to have their homes priced right. Proper staging will be needed for a home to sell quickly. We expect there is going to be more available home inventory on the market this year than in 2013, but not dramatically more sales. Buyers will need to work with their lenders to get pre-qualified for home loans facing new, tougher regulation. The Dodd Frank act overseeing regulation of the mortgage industry has added layers of regulations to make sure that people who get a loan can actually afford their loan payments.  Overall these new rules are expected to be healthy for the Real Estate industry and the strength of Real Estate markets in general.

Please contact me if you have any questions to help you to get ready to sell your home or to buy a new one.  You can contact me at Derek@DerekOstrovski.com or call or text me at 602-309-2344. Please do not forget to refer your friends or family if they have questions as well… Thank you.

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Why Has The Seller Decided To Sell Now?

If you ask why the seller is moving, you could learn valuable information to help determine your offer or possibly whether or not you want to buy the home.

Knowing whether the owners are about to go into foreclosure, have experienced trouble in the neighborhood, or if they’ve retired and completely paid off the home can help you understand how urgently they need to sell their property.

Has The Seller Had Any Other Offers?

Don’t forget that you are not only negotiating with the seller for a price, you are also competing with other potential buyers. It really helps to know what you are up against.

It is important to understand that you might not get a 100% straight answer to this question as most sellers know that competition or perceived competition can cause a potential buyer to move forward more quickly and at a higher price.

If you’re comfortable in this discussion, you might want to try and see if you can find out the details of any other offers.

Does The Property Have Special Ownership Costs?

Ask the agent or owner about the other costs associated with owning the property, such as Home Owners Association fees Rec Center fees or Capital Preservation fees. It’s important to know about these extra expenses in advance so you can make an informed offer.

You may also want to ask about any pending litigation concerning the property. Litigation is not always a deal killer, but it’s better to know the details before you sign closing documents.

What Appliances Are Being Sold With The House?

Most of the time, a seller will include their major appliances such as the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher with the home, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t already have these items, it’s important to know whether they are included in the purchase price.

Is There Anything Else That You Want To Leave With The Home?

This is an important question to ask. Especially if there are specific things in the home that you have a strong interest in. Perhaps there is custom art work or a pool table that fits perfectly in the game room.

The seller may be eager to part with those items and include them in the sale of the home or sell them at a large discount. The open house is a great opportunity to learn more about a home before making the decision to buy it, so be sure you ask the right questions.

Our weather is incredible and I am certain you will enjoy your Open House visits… Have fun.

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by http://www.resnet.ushers-index-scale-vertical

If you are a typical homeowner you realize that your monthly utility bills are just a fact of life. And like most people, you would probably prefer to keep more of that money in your bank account. While your monthly bills will never go away, you can take the initiative in reducing your expenses by ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible. But how do you know how energy efficient your home really is compared to similar homes in your neighborhood, for example?

If you and your neighbor are comparing utility bills and yours seem to be higher, maybe you should dig a little further into why you are paying more. The best way to find out how your home rates on an energy efficiency scale is to have a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater visit and do an energy rating on your home.

A RESNET professional will assess your home and provide you with a rating based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index scale. The HERS Index is the nationally recognized standard for rating home energy efficiency. Developed by RESNET, a HERS Index score will give you a good idea of how your house measures up on a national scale.

The U.S Department of Energy has determined that a standard newly built home that conforms to the energy code generates a score of 100 on the HERS Index. This is used as the benchmark for assessing a home’s energy performance. By contrast, a typical resale home in the U.S. scores on average 130, making it 30% less energy efficient than the new home. The lower the HERS score, the more efficient the home is.

Doing a home energy assessment (also known as an energy audit) will provide you with the necessary information to upgrade your home to a new level of energy efficiency. This involves having a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor inspect your house to pinpoint where your home is losing energy. Depending on the type of assessment, this inspection could include a check for air leaks, insulation problems, and all related systems that regulate your home’s comfort level. A certified auditor will also analyze how efficiently the different systems in your home are working together to provide home comfort.

The HERS Index score is also a reliable indication about how energy efficient a house is for anyone considering buying a home – sort of like the MPG sticker on a new car. By finding out what a home’s HERS Index score is, you could save yourself a big headache by avoiding an investment in a property that is an energy hog and may require expensive upgrades down the road.

A HERS Index score is more than just number; it is your guide to reduced energy bills and increased home comfort. Contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor or Rater in your area to give you a full objective assessment of your home’s energy efficiency and learn what you can do to cut your utility costs, and provide a healthy environment for you and your family.

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by DSNews.com 8/19/2013


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is allowing borrowers who went through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale to reenter the market in as little as 12 months, according to a mortgage letter released Friday.

Borrowers who experienced a foreclosure must wait at least three years before getting a chance to get approved for an FHA loan, but with the new guideline, certain borrowers who lost their home as a result of an economic hardship may be considered even earlier.

For borrowers who went through a recession-related financial event, FHA stated it realizes “their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage.”

In order to be eligible for the more lenient approval process, provided documents must show “certain credit impairments” were from loss of employment or loss of income that was beyond the borrower’s control. The lender also needs to verify the income loss was at least 20 percent for a period lasting for at least six months.

Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate they have fully recovered from the event that caused the hardship and complete housing counseling.

According to the letter, recovery from an economic event involves reestablishing “satisfactory credit” for at least 12 months. Criteria for satisfactory credit include 12 months of good payment history on payments such as a mortgage, rent, or credit account.

The new guidance is for case numbers assigned on or after August 15, 2013, and is effective through September 30, 2016.












46. You could pile four 1,300-foot skyscrapers on top of each other and they still would not reach the rim of the Grand Canyon.

47. The hottest temperature recorded in Arizona was 128 degrees at Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994. Phoenix hottest temperature recorded  was 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.  Nothing has come close since. 

48. The coldest temperature recorded in Arizona was 40 degrees below zero at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971.

49. A saguaro cactus can store up to nine tons of water.

50. The state of Massachusetts could fit inside Maricopa County (9,922 sq. miles).

51. The westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought at Picacho Pass on April 15, 1862, near Picacho Peak in Pinal County west of Tucson.  

52. There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest in Arizona, and one-fourth of the state forested.

53. Wyatt Earp was neither the town marshal nor the sheriff in Tombstone at the time of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.  His brother Virgil was the town marshal.
54. On June 6, 1936, the first barrel of tequila produced in the United States rolled off the production line in Nogales, Arizona.

55. The Sonoran Desert is the most biologically diverse desert in North America.

56. Bisbee is the Nation’s southernmost mile-high city.

57. The two largest manmade lakes in the U.S. are Lake Mead and Lake Powell both located in Arizona.

58. The longest remaining intact section of Route 66 can be found in Arizona and runs from Seligman to Topock, a total of 157 unbroken miles.

59. The 13 stripes on the Arizona flag represent the 13 original colonies of the United States.

60. The negotiations for Geronimo’s final surrender took place in Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, Arizona, in 1886.

61. Prescott, Arizona is home to the world’s oldest rodeo,  and Payson, Arizona is home to the world’s oldest continuous rodeo both of which date back to the 1880s.

62. Kartchner Caverns, near Benson, Arizona, is a massive limestone cave with 13,000 feet of passages, two rooms as long as football fields, and one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites: measuring 21 feet 3 inches.


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Arizona…


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31. Built by Del Webb in 1960, Sun City, Arizona was the first 55-plus active adult retirement community in the country.

32. Petrified wood is the official state fossil. The Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona contains America’s largest deposits of petrified wood.

33. Many of the founders of San Francisco in 1776 were Spanish colonists from Tubac, Arizona.

34. Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp to supply military post Camp McDowell.

35. Rainfall averages for Arizona range from less than four inches in the deserts to more than 30 inches per year in the mountains.

36. Rising to a height of 12,643 feet, Mount Humphreys north of Flagstaff is the state’s highest mountain.

37. Roadrunners are not just in cartoons! In Arizona, you’ll see them running up to 17-mph away from their enemies.

38. The Saguaro cactus is the largest cactus found in the U.S.  It can grow as high as a five-story building and is native to the Sonoran Desert, which stretches across southern Arizona.

39. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, grew up on a large family ranch near Duncan, Arizona.

40. The best preserved meteor crater in the world is located near Winslow, Arizona.

41. The average state elevation is 4,000 feet.

42. The Navajo Nation spans 27,000 square miles across the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, but its capital is seated in Window Rock, Arizona.

43. The amount of copper utilized to make the copper dome atop Arizona’s Capitol building is equivalent to the amount used in 4.8 million pennies.

44. Near Yuma, the Colorado River’s elevation dips to 70 feet above sea level, making it the lowest point in the state.

45. The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles southeast of Prescott near the community of Mayer.

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21. When England’s famous London Bridge was replaced in the 1960s, the original was purchased, dismantled, shipped stone by stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it still stands today.

22. Mount Lemmon, in the Santa Catalina Mountains, is the southernmost ski resort in the United States. 

23. Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Picacho, Arizona is the largest privately-owned ostrich ranch in the world outside South Africa.

 24. If you cut down a protected species of cactus in Arizona, you could spend more than a year in prison.

25. The world’s largest to-scale collection of miniature airplane models is housed at the library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

26. The only place in the country where mail is delivered by mule is the village of Supai, located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

27. Located on Arizona’s western border, Parker Dam is the deepest dam in the world at 320 feet.

28. South Mountain Park/Preserve in Phoenix is the largest municipal park in the country.

29. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, located about 55 miles west of Phoenix, generates more electricity than any other U.S. power plant. 

30. Oraibi, a Hopi village located in Navajo County, Arizona, dates back to before A.D. 1200 and is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in America.

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11. The “Five C’s” of Arizona’s economy are:

Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate.  

12. More copper is mined in Arizona than all the other states combined, and the Morenci Mine is the largest copper producer in all of North America.

13. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, two of the most prominent movie stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, were married on March 18, 1939, in Kingman, Arizona.

14. Covering 18,608 sq. miles, Coconino County is the second largest county by land area in the 48 contiguous United States.

15. The world’s largest solar telescope is located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Sells, Arizona.

16. Bisbee, Arizona is known as the Queen of the Copper Mines because during its mining heyday it produced nearly 25 percent of the world’s copper and was the largest city in the Southwest between St Louis and San Francisco.

17. Billy the Kid killed his first man, Windy Cahill, in Bonita, Arizona.

18. Arizona grows enough cotton each year to make more than one pair of jeans for every person in the United States.

19.  Arizona produces the largest amount of Turquoise in the United States.   

20. In 1912, President William Howard Taft was ready to make Arizona a state on February 12, but it was Lincoln’s birthday. The next day, the 13th, was considered bad luck so they waited until the following day.  That’s how Arizona became known as the “Valentine State.”

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Well, I am taking time off so I thought I will introduce you to some of the reasons I have moved to Arizona and why I love it so much.












1. Arizona has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits-more mountains than any one of the other Mountain States (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming).

2. All New England, plus the state of Pennsylvania would fit inside Arizona.

3. Arizona became the 48th state and last of the contiguous states on February 14, 1912.

4. Arizona’s disparate climate can yield both the highest temperature across the nation and the lowest temperature across the nation in the same day.

5. There are more wilderness areas in Arizona than in the entire Midwest. Arizona alone has 90 wilderness areas, while the Midwest has 50.

6. Arizona has 26 peaks that are more than
10,000 feet in elevation.

7. Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world stretching from near Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains region.

8. Yuma, Arizona is the country’s highest producer of winter vegetables, especially lettuce.

9. Arizona is the 6th largest state in the nation, covering 113,909 square miles.

10. Out of all the states in the U.S., Arizona has the largest percentage of its land designated as Indian lands.

We all want to act at the best possible time for the best possible results and most benefit to us.  It is always difficult to decide when it is the right time to act.  Today, sellers are in a unique position they can benefit from:

  • Due to less competition from Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties, inventories are very low.
  • We are seeing strong numbers of buyers due to affordable prices and a low-interest rates.  These numbers are further enhanced by buyers that are just now re-entering the market as qualified buyers.
  • Prices have definitely been rising however, are still historically very low compared with 2006 to 2008. All indications are that prices will continue to rise. For sellers that are considering upgrading time is right as it is easy to sell and they can still take advantage of lower prices and low-interest rates.
  • Due to larger demand and lower supply homes sell quicker. A faster sale in most cases will result in higher price.

Call or email me for a free market analysis for your home.

Derek Ostrovski
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage