By Holly Henbest

Happy New Year! Is buying or selling your home on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? If so, your timing couldn’t be better. Desert Ridge and the surrounding area is a hot destination for snowbird buyers and the snowbirds will soon be flocking here for all the upcoming Arizona activities! Events like Barrett Jackson (January 11-19), The Phoenix Open (January 27 – February 2) and Spring Training games (February 21 – March 24) bring in visitors who often turn into Buyers. Our area is a big hit with snowbirds for several reasons – proximity to events, golf courses, spas, shopping, dining, hiking, biking and easy freeway and airport access.

This is also a great time for Buyers and Sellers because loan limits have just been increased. The FHA loan limit for Arizona is now $331,760, which is an increase of nearly $17,000 over 2019’s loan limit of $314,827. The conforming loan limit has increased to $510,400, which is an increase of $26,050 over 2019. Increased loan limits are big news for Buyers and Sellers because according to the National Association of Realtors, 88 percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase. 97 percent of buyers 38 years and younger financed, and 61 percent of all buyers used conventional loans to finance their home. Buyers can now more easily afford a higher purchase price, and Sellers have now increased their pool of available Buyers for their homes due to increased affordability.

If you’re wanting to prepare your home to sell, we suggest these first steps. To start, fix anything that you know is broken. We all enjoy the razzle dazzle of upgrades and home improvements, but if your home is in need of repair, then start with repairs first. The big items to review first – roof, air conditioning, windows, pool equipment, plumbing, electrical and easily identified cosmetic issues. Often times Sellers think they need to upgrade their flooring, kitchen and bathrooms, but if your roof is in need of repair, your pool finish is cracking or your windows are fogged, then adding a flashy quartz counter won’t distract Buyers from critical issues with the home. So, start with the basics and ensure your home is in good repair.

Your next step should be to de-clutter, and the New Year is a great time for that activity. Start with small projects like drawers and cabinets, and then hit the closets and garage. You’ll also want to clear additional clutter in your home, such as pictures, knickknacks and collectibles. When you start going through your home, think about what you’ll want to have in your next home. Will it fit? Do you still love it? Maybe it’s time to donate or sell it, rather than pack it for your next home. The more you get packed, sold or donated now, the easier your eventual move will go.

Do you have questions about buying or selling? Need some advice on de-cluttering, repairs or upgrading? Give The Henbest Team at call at 480-266-8785 or [email protected].

Holly has been a Desert Ridge resident since 2000 and has been a Realtor since 2006. She is the Leader of The Henbest Team with Realty One Group. Holly is ranked in the top ½ of 1 percent of Realtors in Arizona and is a Certified Luxury Marketing Expert. She was also ranked #24 in 2019 by the Phoenix Business Journal and recognized by So Scottsdale Magazine as a Real Estate Superstar for 2019.