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!

April 22, 2022

White Mountains Home Buying 2022

Navigating this spring’s crazy housing market

Sellers are calling the shots. It's still an intense seller’s market. 

We can help you maximize your advantages- so call us when you begin shopping for a home. Here are some general tips on how you can cope with challenging conditions:

  • Shop hard for a mortgage. Buyers might not have much bargaining power when it comes to bidding for homes, but you can shop aggressively for the most advantageous home loan. Getting multiple loan offers can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
  • Prepare for a bidding war. It’s not easy to avoid multiple bidding situations in today’s market, where buyers are paying tens of thousands of dollars over list price just to get a home.
  • Go into the bidding with a plan. In the heat of battle, you can be tempted to boost your offer as you try to win. Before you get into a bidding war, set a clear ceiling on the amount you’re willing to offer for the property – and stick to it.
  • Be careful about skipping inspections. To compete, many buyers have agreed to let sellers off the hook for any issues found by a home inspector. Anytime you waive contingencies, you’re increasing your potential exposure. If you choose this path, be cautious. You can waive the inspection contingency without waiving the inspection itself.
  • Be prepared for the appraisal to come in low. In a hot market, buyers are willing to pay more than an appraiser thinks a home is worth. That throws a wrinkle into the deal and puts the borrower’s mortgage financing at risk. In cases of an “appraisal gap,” the buyer might need to come up with extra cash. “To salvage the transaction, buyers have two options: Either use additional savings to bridge the gap, or renegotiate the purchase price with the seller. Loan officers are documenting borrowers’ reserves with this issue in mind – buyers should know in advance whether they can come up with extra cash.
March 4, 2020

Contract Contingencies

By definition, a contingency is a provision in a real estate contract that makes the contract null and void if a certain event were to occur. Think of it as an escape clause that can be used under defined circumstances. It's also sometimes known as a condition.

It's normal for a number of contingencies to appear in most real estate contracts and transactions. Either the seller or the buyer can propose a condition on just about anything; it's all part of the bargaining back-and-forth. Still, some contingencies are more standard than others, appearing in just about every contract. Here are some of the most typical.

Mortgage Approval Contingency

A contract will typically spell out that the transaction will only be completed if the buyer's mortgage is approved with substantially the same terms and numbers as are stated in the contract. In other words, if the contract specifies a down payment of 30 percent and a conventional 30-year loan, that's what should be approved by the lender. Usually, that's what happens, though sometimes a buyer will be offered a different deal and the terms will change.

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Feb. 11, 2020

Selling Your Home - Remodeling Mistakes

When homeowners decide it is time to sell, they'll realized that after living in a home for years, wear and tear are apparent, and remodeling projects are contemplated in order to update the house, outdoor entertainment areas and landscape. This is where the owner can make mistakes that can cost thousands of dollars in the value of the home.

Remodeling Mistakes

It’s not what you like that matters!

Here are some remodeling mistakes that chase buyers away!

(1) Building a Swimming Pool

Who doesn’t like sitting around a beautiful sparkllng pool on hot summer day? You may be surprised to know that most people just don’t want the hassle. According to HouseLogic, “a swimming pool could increase a home’s value by 7 percent at most — and that’s only in certain circumstances. Because of the cost to build a pool, maintenance expenses and a very minor potential value increase, a swimming pool addition simply isn’t worth it for most homeowners.”

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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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