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Moving With Pets

by Gary Nelson


Are you getting ready to move into your new home and you have pets? To be sure, it will be a worthwhile challenge. Your pets have perhaps even been used to the same surroundings their whole lifetime. When you move, it causes a huge disruption to that sense of protection that your home provided, especially since they don’t know why everything has suddenly changed. That’s why moving is so stressful for animals. How do you remove some of that stress to make the change more bearable?  Here’s a few tips that can help.

Moving With Dogs & Cats

Prepare for the First Few Days

Make sure your dogs and cats are comfortable during the first days in your new home.  Prepare an ‘overnight kit’ that has enough food, litter, toys and other needed items to help your bets feel at home.

Keep Them Out of the Action

If you have a friend who can watch your pets or a kennel during the move, that would be ideal.  After you’re done moving everything in, then you can move them into the fully furnished home after the action has subsided.  But if that’s not an option, try to find them a quiet room in the new house to adjust to.  Make sure you also check on them regularly and try to stick with feeding and walking routines.

Keep Them Inside

Also ensue that your dogs or cats don’t go outside until you get to the new home. They can get lost easily in this strange new surrounding. Again, keep them inside for a few days to let them have time to adjust to their new neighborhood.

Move the House Before You Move Your Pets

Moving your pets last during the move is always the best method.  Try to get as much set up as you can before moving your pets in. You can set up one room first to move them into and keep them there to let them adjust.  Give them plenty of attention and toys to make them feel at home.

Update Their Info

After you move, visit a local pet store or vet to update their tag and chip info.

Moving With Fish

Moving fish can be tricky.  They are easily traumatized and can die easily from a move. To help, if you’re moving short distances, move them in plastic bags filled with their old tank water.  But if you’re moving a long distance, it may be better to find your fish a new home rather than risk them dying.

Moving With Birds

Birds can be, well, flighty.  Just because your bird hasn’t flown off your shoulder before doesn’t mean it won’t after a stressful move. It actually happens more than you think. So make sure you keep your bird caged during the move and even a few days after.

Moving is never easy, but if you prepare, you can make it easier for your furry family.

If you're planning on buying a home in the Flagstaff area and have questions about buying now or saving for a larger down payment, feel free to contact us to help you decide what works best for your situation. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. 

Find the Best Schools in Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson


If you plan on buying a home in Flagstaff and have children in school, you no doubt want to find the best schools for them to attend.  GreatSchools.org is a school rating website that uses a number of factors, such as test scores and parent reviews to rate the top schools in the nation. They've rated the top schools in Flagstaff and have given a number of them top grades.

One thing to keep in mind when finding the right school is that real estate agents are not allowed by law to recommend schools.  Doing so has created issues in the past.  So in the end it's up to you to find the right school for your children.

According to GreatSchools.org, these schools listed below are "rated above average in school quality compared to other schools in the state. Students here perform above average on state tests, have above average college readiness measures, are making above average year-over-year academic improvement, and this school has above average results in how well it’s serving disadvantaged students."

Here are the top 5 schools in Flagstaff:

BASIS Flagstaff
Rated 10/10
1700 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Read the full review.

Northland Preparatory Academy
Rated 9/10
3300 West Sparrow Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Read the full review.

Flagstaff Arts And Leadership Academy
Rated 8/10
3401 North Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001​
Read the full review.​

Flagstaff High School​
Rated 7/10
400 West Elm St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001​
Read the full review.​

You can find more reviews on schools in Flagstaff on GreatSchools.org.

Make sure to use our home search tool to find the right home near the school of your choice. You can also get new listings by email as soon as they hit the market with our free listing alert service. And you can always feel free to call us to help you find the perfect home in Flagstaff.

 

Private Mortgage Insurance - What Is It?

by Gary Nelson

Are you planning on buying a home in Flagstaff? If so, how much do you know about the mortgage process, specifically Private Mortgage Insurance?  If you plan on getting a mortgage offers less than 20% down payment, you’ll notice a lot of programs out there that lets you do this. But if you plan on getting one of these types of loans, you also need to know about Private Mortgage Insurance. If you don’t already know about this type of insurance, how can it help you when you buy your next home?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

The borrower pays the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.”

Last year, the average down payment for all home buyers across the nation was 10% and 5% for first time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They also reported that  the average down payment for repeat buyers was 14%. That means that Private Mortgage Insurance didn't stop many home buyers from buying homes.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:

The larger the down payment, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac has this advice:

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

If you're planning on buying a home in the Flagstaff area and have questions about buying now or saving for a larger down payment, feel free to contact us to help you decide what works best for your situation. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. 

Have Fun and Learn With These April Events In Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

The month of April promises to bring fun and excitement to the Flagstaff area.  There’s a number of events scheduled this month in Flagstaff that will entertain and delight people of all ages.  You’ll find events for all kinds of interests. It’s what makes Flagstaff such a great place to live.  Here’s what to expect this month in Flagstaff.

Apr 13 – Apr 28
Disney’s Little Mermaid

Alpine Community Theater @ Sinagua Middle School Auditorium

Featuring a cast of 100 from ages 4 to adults, this Disney classic will entertain mermaid fans of all ages. Join this fantastic cast for a heartwarming and upbeat performance. Tickets are only $5 for Ages 5 through 17, Veterans, College Students with ID and seniors 55+. $10.00 for Adults.

April 14
Two Stepping Lesson and Free Dance
The Lumberyard

Learn the two step for free every Friday at the Lumberyard. You don’t need a partner to join this entry level class. Then you can show off your new steps in the main area, with a country music DJ and plenty of dance partners. Or you can go it alone with line dancing. 21 and over.

Apr 21 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Video Production Workshop
Coconino Center for the Arts

This workshop features local videographer, Nick Geib who will present the importance of using video to promote artists. This is the perfect course for beginners as it focuses on maximizing production value on a limited budget. Pricing is $20 for Arts Council Members / $25 General, please register in advance to secure your spot.

Apr 25 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Imarhan

Coconino Center for the Arts

Delve into the calm and passionate music of the Saharan people.  Imarhan sets out to change the ideas that western listeners have about the popularized style of Tuareg music. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 day of show.

There’s always something fun to do in Flagstaff. Check back on our blog for great reasons to buy a home in Flagstaff. And if you're in the market for a home in Flagstaff, sign up for our free listing alerts to see new homes as they hit the Flagstaff market. 

Stage Your Home to Sell in Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

Are you getting ready to put sell your home in Flagstaff? There’s a lot of things that you can do to make your home sell faster and make more money. To this end, many people decide to hire a professional home stager.  That, however, can be expensive.  How can you save money on staging your home to sell? There are certainly plenty of ways you can improve your home’s appearance on your own.  With just a few basic steps, you can increase the appeal of your home to buyers in Flagstaff.   Here’s a few tips that can help.

De-Clutter

Having a clean home may seem a bit obvious. But you really do need to dig down and clean more than you may think.  There’s more than just the clutter from daily life to deal with.  You also should look at all the items you haven’t used for a while and either dispose of or donate them.  Not only will this make your home cleaner now, but will help speed things up when you move. Your home needs to sparkle and be as clean a slate as possible.  And for sentimental or valuable items, think about storing them in an outside storage unit (not in the garage or shed as they need to see those clean as well).

Curb Appeal

The outside of your home speaks volumes about the rest of the home. When it comes to real estate, sometimes you can tell a book by its cover. That is why many buyers will drive by a home before they even schedule a showing. Don’t make them keep driving.  Make sure the yard is clean and maintained.  Add a fresh coat of paint to the siding and trim.  Polish or replace dull hardware.  Clean the walkways and driveway. Also think about investing in new roofing if it’s showing its age.

Do a Walk-Through

How does your home really look to home buyers? Walk through your home with a friend or your real estate agent and examine it with a fresh perspective.  Look at both what needs cleaning and what needs changing. What could be removed to make the room look bigger? Could you change a solid door with a French door to let in more light? Do the kitchen cabinets need new hardware? Even simple changes can make a huge difference.

Other things you can look at in your home are making sure your foyer is clean and clutter free, making the rooms more generic and versatile, find ways to let in more light, cleaning the fridge and organize the cupboards.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice. Gary Nelson and Realty Executives have the experience you need to sell your home in Flagstaff.  Call them at 928-225-3510 to start the process today.

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home in Flagstaff This Spring

by Gary Nelson

Spring has arrived and the home selling season is hotter than it’s been in a while.  This is great news if you plan on selling your home in Flagstaff.  Normally Spring is the best time of year for home sales. Yet this year stands out to be even more promising.  There are a number of reasons why selling your home this year during spring is going to be your best course.  Here are the top 4 reasons why selling your home this Spring is such a great idea.

  1. Strong Demand

Buyer traffic is strong in Arizona, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. This is because home buyers are out in the market and buying homes right now. And more competition means you may end up getting more money for your home in the end.

  1. Less Competition

Over the past 32 months there have been fewer homes on the market. This is a good thing if you’ve been building equity in your home. Yet it may not last. The average number of years that homeowners stayed in their homes has been around 9-10 years since 2011.This was due to the previous negative equity that kept many homeowners from selling.As values rise, more people will sell.So don’t wait too long or you could end up getting less for your home.

  1. The Process Will Be Quicker

Competition is stiff in the Arizona real estate market, and that means more buyers will be ready in advance to buy your home. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one way they do this.Buyers are more likely to know what they want and how much they can spend, which really speeds up the process for everyone.

  1. Time to Move Up

Are you planning on moving into a better home?The good news is that higher priced homes are actually selling for less due to a higher inventory in the higher price ranges. So if you’re selling a starter home, your home will sell more quickly and you’ll be more likely to find a premium home.

This spring promises to be a boon for Flagstaff home sellers.  Gary Nelson and Realty Executives have the experience you need to sell your home in Flagstaff.  Call them at 928-225-3510 to start the process today.

Some say that pizza is the perfect food.  If not, it's certainly the most delicious. Pretty much everyone enjoys a great pie once in a while.  The great news is that Flagstaff boasts some amazing pizza restaurants.  There's definitely a pizza for every taste and budget to be found here. Whether you like to dine in or take it home, you're sure to be in pizza heaven with these top pizzerias in Flagstaff.

Pizzicletta

Featuring wood fired oven pizza and fresh salads, along with a great selection of brews, you might want to plan on take out as the dining room is a bit on the small side. But if you can beat the crowd, then you can enjoy your pie in a unique dining area, or you can go to the brewery next door and order your pizza from there while you enjoy your brews.

Fat Olives

Using a wood fired oven actually constructed in Italy by the Refrattari Valoriani family, they cook their pizzas at 900 degrees in only 90 seconds, lending to a true Neapolitan pizza experience. To add to the authenticity they import their ingredients from Italy along with using traditional techniques to create a truly unforgettable pizza. And if you require gluten free options, they can still make you a delicious pie with their gluten free crust.

Nimarcos Pizza West

The only thing as good as the amazing pizza at Nimarco's is the fast and friendly service. A Flagstaff staple for 35 years, Nimarco's makes their dough and sauce fresh every day.  They have two convenient locations, one near the NAU campus and historic Flagstaff, and the new Westside location near the south campus of NAU on South Milton Road. People rave about the heavenly crust and breadsticks, along with the garlic butter sauce.

Fratellis Pizza

Also featuring stone oven pizzas, Fratellis has been voted best of Flagstaff by AZ Daily Sun readers every year since 2002. And if you want to enjoy something other than pizza, they have equally delicious wings. The friendly staff also adds to the great pizza night experience. They also offer gluten free options.

This just scratches the surface of all the great reasons to buy a home in Flagstaff. Check back on our blog twice a week for more real estate news and local attractions. And if you're in the market for a home in Flagstaff, sign up for our free listing alerts to see new homes as they hit the Flagstaff market. 

Planning For the Worst: Budgeting For Emergency Repairs

by Gary Nelson

Butget for home reapirs and plan for the worstHomes are complicated structures, containing hundreds of moving parts that can wear out over time. Sooner or later they'll need to be replaced. That means that it's essential to budget for emergency repairs. When something essential breaks and causes damage, you usually have no choice but to repair it immediately.

How much should you save?  Financial planners suggest saving about $5000, which is usually enough to cover most emergencies. Another suggested figure is to save between 3 - 6 months equivalent to your home expenses.

Setting aside money can be a challenge for some people. One way to set aside money is to set up a savings account that automatically transfers a set mount of money every time you make a deposit or get a paycheck. You can also find apps for your phone or pad that help save and budget money. When you have money automatically set aside, you tend to forget about it, so it seems to build up faster.

What if you don't have money set aside right now? If you have a credit card, make sure it has enough available balance to cover emergency repairs. But of course, you should default to spending cash if you can, so you can avoid interest.  Or make sure you quickly pay of any repairs charged to your credit card if you can. Another way you can take care of repairs is to refinance your home or take out a line of credit.

Setting aside money is not the only way to plan for the worst.  Getting a professional home inspection can be a wise investment, as it can be a great insight on what repairs need to be made in the near future. Also make sure to check your homeowners insurance to see which repairs are cover and what are not.

Planning in advance for emergency repairs can save time and headaches, while making sure no further damage occurs to your home.  Check back twice a week for more real estate advice and article about Flagstaff events and attractions.

5 Spring Gardening Tips

by Gary Nelson

Spring gardening tips for Flagstaff

Spring has arrived in Flagstaff, so get ready with those garden tools and get your garden back to it's former glory! What are some sure ways to get the most beautiful garden on the block? Here's a few simple but important tips that can help your flowers bloom this Spring in Flagstaff.

Time to Clean

It's almost certain that debris and weeds have built up during the winter. So it's time to clean the slate as it were and get rid of all the debris and weeds. You don't necessarily need to use a weed killer, just as long as you make sure to get the roots of weeds so they don't grow back so soon.  You're garden tools may also be getting dull, so make sure you check to see if you need to sharpen them.

Revitalize

Has your soil dried out during the winter? Chances are it has and also been compacted. If you add compost or manure this will help revitalize the soil and make it ready for new growth. You can also test the soil to see what exact nutrients are needed so that you get the right mix.

Trim the Old Plants

If any plants survived the winter, they need some attention. They will need to be pruned so that they'll have new growth during the Spring. Wait to do this is in April or May to avoid any unexpected freezing. The best time to prune summer plants is in early spring. 

Spread Mulch

It's always a good idea to use fresh mulch in a garden.  1 - 3 inches of fresh mulch will help control the temperature and keep in the moisture in your garden, along with preventing weeds. Make sure you keep the mulch a few inches from the roots to prevent rotting.

New Plants

You might want to change things up by planting new flowers and shrubs this year. Here's some great spring plants you might try:

  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula
  • Redbuds
  • Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside
  • Lilacs
  • Tulips

If you chose to plant more perennials than annuals, it might help over the years as annuals need to be replaced every year. Perennials can last up to 3 years, making them a better investment.

Join us on our blog every week for more real estate advice for Flagstaff and the surrounding areas.  And make sure to check out our search tool to find the home of your dreams. You can also get free listing alerts of homes in Flagstaff as they hit the market.

Remodeling to Get the Most ROI on Your Home Sale

by Gary Nelson

Are you planning on selling your home in Flagstaff, but feel you need to do some work on it to get a higher return? If your home is starting to look dated, that can adversely affect the selling price.  But on the other hand, you don't want to waste tons of money on improvements that won't be a good return on investment.  So where's the balance? If you do decide that your home needs improvements, then you need to focus on the things that will help sell it and make more money in the end.

The thing to keep in mind though is not every improvement will increase the value of your home. Many projects that need to be done can preserve the value.  So if you do those projects, the value won't be as adversely affected when you sell your home.

So to get down to it, what are the projects that get the highest ROI?

Outside Projects

Basically any project that boosts curb appeal is worth the investment. Remodeling Magazine found that the outside projects that recouped the most are garage door replacement, steel door entry replacement, wood deck addition, and siding and facade projects. Spending money on improving just the siding and facade can be a huge boost to the wow factor of any home.

Kitchens and Baths

The kitchen can really be a make or break deal for home buyers.  Potential buyers can spend the most time inspecting a kitchen.  So it really pays off to invest in a remodel if your kitchen has dated counters and appliances. Bathrooms are also important.  They send a powerful message about your home, so you can expect a high ROI on a bathroom remodel.

The Little Things

If you don't have the money to spend on major remodels, you can still focus on other projects that cost less and make a big difference. You can give your home a fresh coat of paint, trim trees and bushes, plant new bushes and landscaping. De-cluttering and cleaning your home only costs time. If you have an unfinished basement, you can put gray epoxy on the floor and paint the walls white. Never underestimate the power of improving the little things.

Keep in mind that every home is different, and so is every neighborhood. If you're not sure what improvements would be best to sell your home in Flagstaff, feel free to ask us. We know what sells a home in Flagstaff and what buyers are looking for.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 85

Contact Information

The Gary Nelson Group
Realty Executives of Flagsaff
15 E. Cherry Ave. Suite 101
Flagstaff AZ 86001
Direct: 928-225-3510
Office: 928-773-9300
Fax: 928-774-1102