Real Estate Information Archive


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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.


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.

Have Fun This Easter in Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

Easter is just around the corner in Flagstaff, so it's time to start planning for fun with the family on April 1.  There's a number of great ways you can spend your Sunday in Flagstaff.  From Easter Sunday brunch, photos with the Easter bunny, to egg hunts, there's fun for the whole family waiting to be had.  Here's a few upcoming events in Flagstaff you can plan for this Easter season.

Visit the Easter Bunny @ Flagstaff Mall

Bring the kids to the Flagstaff Mall for photos with the Easter Bunny in the Bunny Garden starting March 22 and running through Saturday, March 31. Visiting hours are Noon - 6pm from Sunday through Friday and Noon - 7pm on Saturdays. Photo packages start at $16.95.

Brunch at the Double Tree

Brunch is always a great way to start Easter Sunday, and the Double Tree is an ideal place to enjoy a delicious brunch experience.  You can enjoy a variety of entrees like crab legs, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, fresh maki and nigiri sushi, along with grilled chicken, top sirloin and prime rib. There's a buffet for the kids as well, all set in a beautiful and spacious banquet room. And kids under 6 eat free.  Make sure to make a reservation by calling 928-773-8880.

Easter Champagne Brunch / Easter Dinner Specials​

Little America Hotel is hosting an mouthwatering brunch event, with mouth-watering meats, a seafood station with Alaskan crab legs, made-to-order omelets, waffles, and crepes.  You can also select from customary brunch dishes, crisp salads, gourmet cheeses and a great selection of tantalizing desserts featuring a chocolate fondue fountain.  Price for adults is $48, children aged 5-10 $22, and children under 4 are free.

Check back on our blog each week for more great reasons to buy a home in Flagstaff. If you plan on buying a home in Flagstaff, you can find the perfect home with our home search tool. You can also receive free email alerts of new homes as they hit the Flagstaff market. And always feel free to call us at 928-225-3510 to help you find your dream home today.

Have a fun and happy Easter in Flagstaff!

11 Steps to Buying Your First Home in Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

11 Steps to Buying Your First Home in Flagstaff

What an exciting time – you’re ready to buy your first home in Flagstaff! But be careful not to get swept up too much in all that excitement. This is certainly a big decision, so it’s easy to get lost in the process.  There’s a lot of time and money on the line.  But don’t let that deter you.  As long as you know the basic steps involved in buying a home in Flagstaff, then you’ll be better prepared for the experience. You also need to forge relationships with experts in Flagstaff who can help you along the way.

Here are the 11 steps to owning your first home in Flagstaff.

Do Your Homework

  1. With any big decision, it’s always a good idea to sit down and figure out a plan. And there’s plenty of things to think about, such as price, housing type, neighborhood, school districts, and more. Here's a worksheet that can help you lay all these items out. Make sure to fill it out with everyone who’s involved in the process so that everyone has the same goals in mind.
  2. Start Shopping for Homes in Flagstaff
    Now that you know what you're looking for, start looking for listings online.  Here's a great tool for finding the ideal home in Flagstaff and surrounding communities.
  3. Find a Great Agent
    The Gary Nelson Team is ready to help you find the perfect first home and help you through the process
  4. Choose a Lender
    Now it’s time to find the right mortgage lender. Your lender will be working closely with you throughout the process, so it’s important to find one that understands your goals and needs.
  5. Pick a Loan
    Your lender will work with you to determine the right mortgage to fit your financial needs.  You'll need to provide proof of income, employment, and other details.
  6. Look at Homes
    Now things are starting to get interesting! Your agent will help you find homes in in Flagstaff and the surrounding areas in Arizona that fit your budget and the needs you determined in step 1.
  7. Make an Offer
    Now that you’ve located the home you want in Flagstaff, then you make the offer.  Your agent will help you decide how much you want to pay, along with contingencies that both parties can agree on.
  8. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
    This is where you work out the deal for your new home in in Flagstaff.  But watch out that you don’t get carried away by emotions because you want the house. Some sellers may just accept your offer, but some may make a counter-offer.  Your agent will work with you to decide what to do.
  9. Inspect the Home
    When an offer is accepted, then you'll sign a contract that will no doubt include a home inspection contingency.  At this point you'll hire a licensed home inspector to look for needed repairs. If major repairs are needed, then the seller will be asked to make those repairs.
  10. Appraisal
    Your lender needs to determine if the home is worth enough to cover the mortgage.
  11. Close the Deal
    You’re almost there! You just need to sign the final paperwork to finish the deal.  Now it’s time to get moved into your first home!

The Gary Nelson Team has been helping people buy their first home in in Flagstaff for years. They can help you through all of these steps to guide you to owning your first home in in Flagstaff. Give them a call at 928-225-3510 or 928-773-9300 to start your journey to owning your first home today.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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