When the world is filled with uncertainty in these unprecedented times, it can be scary to decide what actions to take that will make sense in the future. Luckily, there is a world of experts who can guide us for all matters in real estate in the midst of these choppy waters.
The COVID-19 crisis is a massive tragedy and will change the world as we know it. As with all things, however, this too shall pass. We are resilient and hopefully will adjust to our new world the best we can. Our nation, Arizona and Flagstaff are not going anywhere, and if we can just look up from the CDC reports for a moment, here are some thoughts about strategies for one of your biggest financial assets in Flagstaff, your real estate.
Think about selling. If you have real estate and would like to sell it to either downsize, or upsize or move, now is the time to sell in Flagstaff. Our real estate market is on a tear right now, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Low inventory with vibrant demand is moving real estate in Flagstaff at all price points, from condos to luxury gated golf communities. Our local MLS numbers show number of listings is down about 45% from last year in July. How long will our seller’s market last?
Are you a buyer? Work with your realtor to find the property you love and listen to his or her advice regarding how to make your offer competitive enough to rise to the top and be accepted by sellers. Multiple offers are now the norm for desirable properties. With the current low interest rates, you can buy much more house for the same monthly mortgage rate from only a couple months ago. Check the forecasts. Flagstaff is a “buy” right now!
Think about refinancing your mortgage. Do you have a mortgage and want to stay in Flagstaff in your beautiful home? Think about refinancing without delay. Why would you not? Interest rates, for those who qualify, are excellent right now and why not chop your current mortgage payment or even drop your 30-year mortgage and save thousands by committing to 15 years instead. Talk to your favorite local lender, and if you don’t have one, call your trusted real estate advisor. We all have at least a couple favorite recommendations of shining stars in lending who can help you navigate to substantial savings over the years. You and your family will be glad you took the time to check it out.
According to Chris Hallows with Wallick and Volk Mortgage in Flagstaff, for qualified buyers, 15-year mortgage rates are in the low 2%s, 30-year rates are in the low 2%s to high 3%s, Investment property rates are in the 3-4% range. Have credit card debt, or need cash to improve your lovely home in Flagstaff? If you have owned your home during this rising market, talk to your lender about consolidating your debt and take a “cash-out” for home improvements. Don’t wait to get the facts from your lender.
Think about reinvestment. Do you own investment property or vacant land? Do you dream of buying a bigger investment property or something you can rent now but move into later when you retire, maybe in a different part of the country or world? Now may be your opportunity to sell your investment property and defer any capital gains tax by using a 1031 exchange to purchase a property that is in a more desirable area, or is easier to maintain, or will create more income. Your real estate advisor will be happy to recommend 1031 exchange officers to help you decide if an exchange would work for you. FBN
By Paula Mack
Paula Mack is a long-time Flagstaff resident and sales agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-699-6837.