Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

How Much is a Home With a View in Flagstaff Worth?

by Gary Nelson

The fabulous vistas of the Flagstaff area are certainly hard for a homeowner to resist. But how much are you going to pay to see those amazing views of the mountains, water, or other scenic features from the comfort of your home? What you need to determine is how much extra that cost is and if it’s worth it.

According to appraisers and analysts, there’s no simple answer. Principal data scientist Andy Krause at Greenfield Advisors says “Views are actually really difficult to quantify. It’s somewhat subjective. What makes a better water view? Do you want it to be wider? Do you want more of the water from a taller angle? You know, some of that is in the eye of the beholder.”

And that’s the difficult part of the equation. Not all views are equal, and not all tastes are the same.

If a view is a must have for your next home in Flagstaff, here’s a couple of tips.

Is the view protected?

A homeowner of an expensive home in Houston sued after a high-rise office tower was built across the street. The building ended up blocking their view and they no longer had privacy in their backyard, as office workers could see their backyard and pool. But if they had done some research, they would have seen that the area was zoned for such a building, and so the lawsuit was dismissed. To avoid this happening to you, it’s a good idea to check with planning authorities about zoning near your home and if there’s any large projects planned where your view is going to be.

Find a Great View with a Not As Great House

You may be able to find a house with a great view, but maybe the windows are smaller and don’t show off the scenery.  In that case, you may pay less for the home and then invest money in a limited remodel to add larger windows or perhaps a rooftop deck. Make sure you check the deed for restrictions as well as homeowner association rules, if any.

What could be better than a home with a spectacular view of the Flagstaff area? If you’re looking to buy a home in Flagstaff, whether it’s a spectacular mountain view, or just a regular view, we can help you find the perfect home. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on our blog every week for more real estate advice and news, along with articles about living in Flagstaff.

What to Consider With Home Inspections

by Gary Nelson

what to consider during a home inspection

Are you getting ready to buy or sell your home in Flagstaff?  If so, the home inspection is an important part of the process. A home inspection is so critical because it will determine the condition of the home.  A good home inspection will let you know what problems need to be addressed right now before the home is sold, and what potential issues that may need to be dealt with later.

What are some important things to consider when getting a home inspection?

  1. Research the Inspector

You may want to hire whoever is recommended to inspect your home and not check the inspector’s background and record.  This could be a costly mistake, as the inspection is only as good as the inspector.

Here are some important questions to ask a potential inspector:

  • How long have you been inspecting homes professionally?
  • How many home inspections have you performed in your career?
  • What are your qualifications, certifications and training?
  • What did you do for work before you were a home inspector? (Preferably, you want someone who was a contractor or builder.)

You should also make sure that the home inspector is receiving ongoing education and keeping current. They should be skilled enough to clearly explain the home’s good and bad points so that you can make the best decisions possible, whether you’re buying or selling a home in Flagstaff.

  1. Be There During the Inspection

There’s no rule saying you have to be at the inspection, but if you are there you can see the issues first hand and have them explained more clearly.  Reading the report doesn’t always reveal all that needs repairing.  When you see the issues in person and have the home inspector explain them, it will be far more helpful.  Even though an inspection may take a few hours, it’s well worth your time as it could save you a great deal of money.

  1. Get a Presale Inspection

If you’re selling a home in Flagstaff, you may be tempted to leave the inspection to the buyer. But it’s better for you to have an inspection before you put your home on the market.  If the buyer’s inspection reveals repairs that are needed to make the sale, you won’t have as much time to make the needed repairs. But if your home is inspected before you put it on the market, you’ll have more time to make needed repairs and will have more control over the costs.

A good home inspection is crucial to buying a home, so make sure you find the best inspector you can. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home Flagstaff and the surrounding area, we can help.  We’re happy to answer any questions about the process and make sure you have the right information going into the home inspection process. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool


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. 

How to Find the Right Mortgage Lender

by Gary Nelson

Mortgage Broker

Finding a mortgage lender in Flagstaff or online can be a challenge, especially if you don't know what to ask or what points to cover. It's ideal then to prepare to talk to mortgage executives at different types of institutions, like a bank, a lender, and a broker. As a buyer, your first meeting with a lender should be to see if you trust them and what you qualify for.

First you need to find a lender. How do you do this?

1. Talk to a lender before you start looking for a home.

Processing mortgage paperwork can take a long time, so you should start looking for lenders and rates before you decide on your house so you don't lose out on it. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will make the entire process smoother. In fact, some real estate agents may reject offers from buyers without a mortgage pre-approved, so it makes send to be prepared.

2. Contact different types of lending institutions. 

There are multiple ways of getting a loan. There are banks, credit unions, online lenders, and brokers who offer mortgages. Check out different websites to see where you can find the best deal. Even though you can visit banks and credit unions in person, you may have to call an online company.  Remember to be careful of scams with online lenders.

3. Research common terms and conditions. 

Make sure that you get familiar with the terms and types of mortgages that you may talk about with a lender. Here are some of the terms you will likely encounter:

Interest rate: This is the amount you pay to borrow the loan. The interest rate is a percentage of the loan. You pay this on top of the money you owe to repay the loan.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): This is the amount you will pay every year for the loan including fees and interest.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM): This type of mortgage has interest rates that change over time. Rates may start low and then increase which works fine you are planning to sell the house after a few years.

Fixed Rate Mortgage: This type of mortgage has interest rates that do not change over time. If you plan on keeping the house the full length of the mortgage, this type is ideal.

Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage: This type of mortgage has fixed fees for the first year or two. After this point, the rates may change.

Make sure that when you talk to a lender that you're prepared.  Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice.

Should You Use an Appraisal Contingency?

by Gary Nelson

The time has come at last! You're buying your new home in Flagstaff.  Things are going smoothly so far. The seller has accepted the offer, the contracts are signed and you've put down your deposit.  Now comes the appraisal.  What could go wrong? It turns out that the home is appraised for less than what you offered. Now the bank refuses give you the loan.  Of course you want to avoid this and you can with appraisal contingencies.

Not everyone knows about appraisal contingencies. But you should, because they can save you a lot of trouble. They are conditions that have to be met on a real estate contract before it becomes legally binding.  Most real estate contract include these conditions:

The appraisal contingency: This states that the home has to be appraised at the sale price or higher.  This will help keep the mortgage from falling through.

The finance contingency: This mandates that the deal is based on the bank granting the loan.

The inspection contingency: The home must pass inspection.

If these conditions are not met in a certain period of time, you can back away from the deal with your deposit.

How exactly does an appraisal contingency work? When a home is appraised, the bank will usually only loan the amount that the home is appraised for.  That means that if the appraisal is lower than the seller's asking price, you can walk away from the deal and get your money back if the seller refuses to lower the price.

But isn't this the same thing as a finance contingency?  Almost. If the bank agrees to a smaller loan that meets the finance contingency, then the seller can demand that you make up the difference from your own pocket.  In this case the appraisal contingency protects you, otherwise you have to come up with that extra money, or be in breech of contract and possibly lose your deposit. That's why you should have both the appraisal and finance contingency in a contract.

Does this mean you should always have contingencies in a real estate contract? That depends. Usually a seller can get offers from multiple buyers, especially in a hot market.  The easier the deal is for the seller (by not having contingencies), the better chance you have of getting the home.  But you risk that you won't get the loan you need. In the end, it's up to you, based on the market and what risks you want to take either way.

Important Questions Every Home Buyer Should Ask

by Gary Nelson

Buying a home can be such an exciting time, so it can be easy to get carried away with all the emotions.  So that means that now is the time to think carefully about your decisions.  Most likely you’ll find the ideal home.  And when that happens, people sometimes will let their emotions take over and not ask the important questions that need to be asked. Not asking the right questions can lead to a great deal of buyer remorse.

What are the most important questions to ask when buying a home? Here’s a few to consider.

Are There Any Major Issues?

Sometimes we want to overlook things that get in the way of something we love otherwise.  Yet those little things can add up to big problems down the road.  Finding out potential issues is a critical step that can’t be skimmed over.  Make sure you get an unbiased inspection of the home before making any decisions.

What Is the Home’s Market Value?

Finding out the market value of the home is the biggest step in determining how much of an offer to make.  Even though there’s no magic formula for making an offer, the market value is certainly the biggest factor in making a decision.

How Much Did the Seller Pay For the Home?

Did the current owner buy the home as a residence or to flip it?  Even if they made improvements to the house, it doesn’t mean that will increase the value. Knowing how much the previous owner paid will give insight into whether or not the home is overpriced.

How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

The motivation level of a seller can sometimes be determined by how long the home has been listed. Sure, the agent can affect this factor.  But you can have your agent can look to see how many times the home has been relisted and the pricing history.

Click here to find more important questions to ask when buying a home.  And always feel free to call me for expert advice.

5 Reason Why Owning a Home in Flagstaff Makes Sense

by Gary Nelson

The dream of owning a home in Flagstaff has never been more attainable.  Recent reports show that the number of people who own a home has rebounded from recent lows and is headed in the right direction.  The reasons to own a home may differ from person to person, but there are also many basic similarities.

Here are 5 basic reasons you should own your own home.

  1. It’s a way to save – When you pay your mortgage, you build equity in your home that can be used later in life.  You can use it to pay off credit card debt, put a child through college, or renovations.  If you pay rent, your landlord is the one with that equity.
  2. Tax savings – You can save on taxes by owning your own home.  You can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and profits from selling your home, but make sure to always check with your accountant first to find out which tax advantages apply to you in the Flagstaff area.
  3. Lock in monthly costs – When you get a fixed rate mortgage, you will lock in your monthly costs for up to 30 years.  Even when your home value increases, your monthly costs won’t.
  4. Cheaper than renting - According to the latest report from Trulia, it is now 37.4% less expensive to buy a home of your own than to rent in the US. That number varies throughout the country but ranges from 6% cheaper in San Jose, CA to 57% cheaper in Detroit, MI.
  5. No other investment lets you live inside of it – You can invest your money in gold or the stock market, but you will still need somewhere to live. In a home that you own, you can wake up every morning knowing that your investment is gaining value while providing you a safe place to live.

Before you sign another lease, why not sit down with to better understand all your options.

We're excited to present an all-new home search tool to our website! You can now more easily find the perfect home in Flagstaff.  If you've used our previous search feature, you'll notice similarities.  But this new search page makes it easier to refine your property search so that you only view the homes that meet your specific criteria.  Plus, it's mobile friendly, so you can use it on the road as you're searching the Flagstaff area for homes.

There's two great ways to search for your next home in Flagstaff:

Search by Location

You can search for homes in Flagstaff using a number of easily defined criteria.  Looking for recently listed homes? Just click the "New (Within 7 Days)" box.  You can select a specific location, a property type, specific home features, garage spaces, square feet, acres and more. And of course you can define your search by price range.

Draw on a Map - NEW FEATURE!

Don't quite know the name of the exact location you want to find a home in? If you can find it on a map, then you can search for it on our search tool.  This powerful feature lest you draw a shape around the area that you want to search in.  The, just like the Search by Location tab, you can refine your search using the same parameters.

Searching for the perfect home in the Flagstaff area has never been easier! Visit our new home search page today to start your journey to finding your new home.  And feel free to contact us any time at 928-225-3510 if you need help.

Home Buyers – Protect Yourself From Equifax Breech

by Gary Nelson

If you’ve been watching the news, by now you’re certainly aware of the massive data theft of 143 million consumer’s personal data from national credit bureau Equifax.  This is a situation that will affect a lot of lives.  It could especially affect home buyers and mortgage applicants.

Most American with a credit history could be affected. Addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license and credit card numbers could all be at risk.  These could be made available to the highest bidders on the Dark Web. 

Home buyers and mortgage applicants may be the most at risk, since they have a significant amount of information on file at the credit bureaus. This could cause serious problems down the road, especially during the buying process.

There’s no need to panic, as steps can be taken to protect yourself.  You can lock down your credit files with fraud alerts or credit file freezes, which will prevent people from opening accounts in your name and will prevent them from getting credit reports.

The FTC has helpful information on identify-theft countermeasures at And if you’re thinking of doing a freeze, a good site is You can also get free, three-bureau credit monitoring service being offered by Equifax at The most important first step is to check your three credit reports for free at and see whether anyone has been tampering with your accounts.

Are all the kids moved out and you have the house to yourself? Are you planning on retiring where you are or do you want to move somewhere more desirable? Are you living in a home that's beyond what you can care for?

Is there a way for you to match your current needs with your future goals?  The answer for you might be the equity you have in your house.

CoreLogic states in their Equity Report that the average homeowner has gained $14,000 in equity over the past year.  And the farther west you go, the higher it can be! So the question is, do you know how much your home has appreciated?

If your someone who's looking to find a smaller place to live, you could sell your home and use the profit to buy a smaller home or condo, while eliminating some of the maintenance of a larger home.

If you want to buy a vacation home, you could use the additional cash from the sale of your home to make a down payment on a vacation home in a place where you want to retire. If you can't afford to live there full-time, then you can rent it out during peak vacation times and pay off the mortgage faster.

Purchasing your retirement home now will allow you to take full advantage of today’s seller’s market, allow you to cash in on the equity you have already built, and take comfort in knowing that a plan is in place for a smooth transition into retirement.

There are many reasons to relocate in retirement, including a change in climate, proximity to family and grandchildren, and so much more. What are the reasons you want to move? Are the reasons to stay more important? Meet with a local real estate professional who can perform an equity evaluation to determine your options, today!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

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