Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because Bruce & Pam Wachter - West USA Realty Pinetop care about the communities and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 5, 2020

Appraisal Process Overview

An appraisal is a significant step in the process of buying a home or refinancing a home.

What Is An Appraisal?

An appraisal is an opinion of the estimated value of a home arrived at by an inspection of the property and comparison of recently sold homes in the area to estimate the value.

Before you complete the home buying, selling or refinancing, it’s required that you first get an appraisal to determine an estimate of the value of the home in question. The findings in an appraisal determine the amount a mortgage lender will loan a borrower for the property. In a real estate purchase, it protects the buyer from paying more than the house is worth. In a refinance, it disallows the lender giving the homeowner-borrower more than the home is worth.

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Dec. 27, 2019

Home Security Systems Guide

Despite recent headlines over concerns about privacy and security systems, according to the FBI, more than 2 million homes are burglarized in the United States every year. A burglary about every 13 seconds. To avoid becoming a statistic, victim of a burglary, purchasing a home security system is still your best option. Here's a list of 10 things you should know before you buy a home security system. For one, asset protection devices can alert you even if there is no physical evidence.

1. Asset protection devices protect valuables.

There are devices that will alert you if your valuables have been tampered with. Asset protection devices can let you know if a jewelry box has been opened, a valuable object has been moved or a safe has been tampered, despite there being no visible physical evidence.

Not only useful when it comes to theft, but for reassurance in instances where a repair person, a house cleaner comes into your home while you're not home. You will know whether they disturbed your valuable items. When thinking about asset protection devices, consider how many you will need.

2. Burglar alarms are not the same as home security systems.

There are some major differences between a burglar alarm and a home security system. Home security systems help protect you and your family. A burglar alarm is the traditional type of alarm system that has sensors on doors and windows. It will alert you or law enforcement (per your settings) that an intruder has entered into your home. Very beneficial. A home security system can also warn you about environmental dangers, such as fire, carbon monoxide and even flooding.

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Nov. 25, 2019

Home Staging Tips

Furniture placement for selling

Good furniture arrangement is the key to making a room look great. However, many people have trouble with what goes where. Have you ever stood at the doorway to a bedroom, or the center of your living room, and said, "Something doesn't look right” You may sense that the arrangement is awkward, but you can't put your finger on it. But, each room has an optimal arrangement for staging, and you can determine this by avoiding the most common pitfalls.

Too much furniture.

Curate your best pieces. It’s more advantageous to have a few impactful pieces of furniture, rather than a roomful of some good and some mediocre pieces. Keep a few larger pieces (couch, upholstered chairs, beds, bookcases) unless they are in worn condition or outdated. Colors and styles from years ago don’t make your home look fresh and modern.
Remember that homebuyers are looking at multiple homes and will size up your home to homes with new and trendy furniture that left them with a positive impression. If a room is too "busy" and cramped, the eye doesn’t know where to rest

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Nov. 11, 2019

De-Clutter Your Home for Sale

When you're putting your home up for sale, remember that potential buyers want to see everything. Nothing and nowhere is off-limits from the eyes of a serious home buyer. So it's absolutely vital to maximize every square inch of space in your home by minimizing clutter congestion.


Decluttering isn’t about throwing away your belongings-- it's about preparing your home for sale. Buyers want to be able to visualize and imagine what they can do with the space. By elimating distractions and maximizing usable space, you can display your house at its best. To help, here’s a list of the most important places and items to declutter as you prepare to sell your home.

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Nov. 2, 2019

Negotiate the Best Offer on a Home

You’ve found THE perfect home and you want to make the best offer to make the seller to say “yes.” But there's more to it than just the offer price!

Even if your offer price is competitive, there are still other techniques to make you and your entire offer a lot more attractive to the seller.

To deal with competition from other buyers or a wary seller with a new listing, getting your offer accepted requires a game plan and smart strategy.

Typically sellers will choose the best offer first and start negotiating with that buyer. And you want that to be YOU!

Here are our strategies to help you get the deal done and make your “home sweet home” dream come true.

Set Your Metrics

First get your own parameters mapped out of what you’re not willing to do to get a home. Have resolve since you don’t want to make an offer that's too sweet even for you.

Don’t forget about your deal breakers and what your top price is (the absolute max you’d be willing to offer). You don’t want to get pulled into a deal you’ll regret if your “monthly” mortgage gets way over budget.

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Posted in home buying tips
Oct. 29, 2019

Real Estate Reality TV vs REAL Life

Binge-watching HGTV is the most fun! And shows such as “Property Brothers,”Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” are really enjoyable. All the places you get to virtually visit! All the dream homes you'll see! The interesting "everyday people", the personalities. It's great entertainment. But is it real? Is this how it is in real life? Hardly.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.
Truth: There might be a few buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but the National Association of Realtors tell us the average home buyer personally sees at least 10 homes during their home search. And, after seeing 3 homes, Reality "Buyers" sit down, talk briefly, and decide to make an offer. Does that happen? Again, rarely. There are consultations with their agent, maybe family. There are comps pulled, there is consultation with a lender. Maybe a second/third showing in the next few days. It can take days or more of deliberating to decide to make an offer.

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Posted in Real Estate Trends
Oct. 9, 2019

Market Value vs. Market Price

The market price of your is based on what willing buyers in the market will pay for your home. However, buyers are all different with different needs, wants, tastes. For some buyers, location is paramount. Families may consider schools over the size and condition of a home.

The market value is an opinion of what a property would sell for in a competitive market based on the features and benefits of that property (the value), the overall real estate market, supply and demand, and what other similar properties have sold for in the same condition.

So as you can see, while each valuation model is similar, there is a difference. Market value is determined by the overall dynamics of the market. Market price is determined by buyers' choices.

We’ve outlined some of the most important factors that influence your home’s value:

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Sept. 19, 2019

Why Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Why you need to get pre-approvedBefore you start shopping for a home, unless you have cash to pay for your purchase, mortgage pre-approval is your #1 home buying assignment.

  1. Pre-approval tells you what price range you can afford
  2. Realtors and sellers will not take you seriously without it
  3. Sellers and Realtors may not even let you see the homes
  4. You need one to be able to submit an offer
  5. Your mortgage process will be smoother and faster

That brief list should be enough to convince you about why you need a pre-approval. But possibly 42% of homebuyers start looking at homes online, and try to see homes without mortgage pre-approval. For numerous reasons, this is a significantly bad idea.

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Sept. 6, 2019

Eight Unexpected Home Buying Expenses

It's easy to feel overwhelmed during the home-buying process. Whether it's your first home, a "move-up" home, or vacation home. Buying a home isn't something you do all of the time! So, it can be challenging. After all, a home is probably the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. And it's one that can involve many complicated financial steps. But keep your eye on the prize! What you'll go through will be forgotten, and you'll have years and years of enjoyment in your new home. As you are certainly aware, you have to come up with a down payment. But, the up-front costs don't end there. In fact, once you have an accepted offer, a surprise package of additional required, and sometimes, non-negotiable fees that can total well into the five figures. So here are eight costs that will hit your finances the hardest, and what you can do to minimize the impact.

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July 22, 2019

The 10 Commandments of Home Buying

Recently, we heard that several Buyers (not ours, thank goodness!), had ruined their home loan process and new home purchase by:

1."Borrowing" money from their down payment, or just spending it outright.

2. A couple of others went out and bought new furniture/cars.

3. Another charged up one credit card to the tune of $20K.


When you are buying a home, you want your financial records and everything associated with your finances to be super squared away so you can qualify for the lowest rate available at the time of your application. It's an admittedly stressful chore to prepare for applying for a home loan. Following the 10 commandments below will help you watch your P&Qs on your way to home loan success.

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Posted in home buying tips