Buying a Home September 19, 2022

Things Buyers Can Do in Today’s Housing Market

Rising mortgage rates have defined the 2022 housing market. With increasing rates, purchasing a home has become more costly.

Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,944 from $1,265, an increase of 53.7%” (National Association of Realtors).

Is this causing you to put your home-buying plans on hold? You may want to reconsider. The good news is you can navigate today’s housing market and this rising rate environment with a few simple tips. 

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage & Determine Your Budget

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the most critical steps to take when buying a home. This will give you an idea of how much money you can borrow and what interest rate you will be paying. What monthly payment can you comfortably afford? This is an important question to answer.

Mortgage calculators help you determine your budget. Enter your desired monthly payment, down payment, and interest rate, and it will calculate how much home you can afford.

Remember that your monthly budget should also include property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance costs. These are often overlooked when determining how much house you can afford.

Look for Homes That Are Within Your Budget & Expand Your Search Area and Criteria

There’s no use looking at homes out of your price range. Not only will this cause frustration, but you may end up making an offer on a home that’s not affordable.

To avoid this, only look at homes within your budget, and if you’re having trouble finding a home that meets your needs, try expanding your search area or criteria.

Expanding your search location or re-prioritizing the items on your wish list can open up opportunities you haven’t considered, which could help you afford more of what you need (and want) in a home. As CNET notes:

“Area growth is likely to keep pace with the market, which means that the outskirts of town might be hopping within five years. Consider stepping out of your ideal location by searching in the nearby cities. You may find better prices and more square footage.”

Look for Grants, Gift Funds, and Down Payment Assistance

There are also many options available regarding securing the funding you need to purchase a home. One valuable resource to explore is As NAR indicates: 

“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.” 

Work with a Local, Experienced Realtor

When you work with a local, experienced realtor, they will be able to help you navigate today’s housing market. They will have a pulse on the local market and can help you find homes that meet your needs and budget.

A good realtor will also be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you through the home buying process from start to finish. If you’re looking to buy a home in today’s housing market, following these tips will help you navigate the current landscape and find the right home for you.


Buying a HomeCredit and Mortgage Information August 18, 2022

Buyers Beware of these Home Buying Hazards

When you’re ready to buy a home, you must know the potential hazards that can pop up and kill your deal. Fortunately, a little attention to detail and thorough planning can save you from the heartbreak of a bad buy. Here are seven of the most common:

  1. Last-minute shopping sprees: It’s not uncommon for buyers to make big-ticket purchases just before applying for a mortgage or after pre-approval. But beware because this can ding your credit score and ruin your chances of getting approved.
  2. Changing jobs: If you’re in the process of buying a home and you switch jobs, your mortgage lender may get cold feet. That’s because they like to see stability regarding employment history. So if you’re thinking about making a career change, it’s best to do it after you’ve closed on your home.
  3. Not drilling down deep on seller disclosures: When you’re buying a home, the seller must disclose details pertaining to the property’s condition. Sellers must disclose, so you’re well within your rights to ask after anything which seems unreasonably unexplained. But beware because some sellers may not be entirely forthcoming. So be sure to have your agent review the disclosures carefully before you move forward with the deal.
  4. Not clarifying which appliances/fixtures come with the house:  Before buying a home, ask the seller which appliances and fixtures are included in the sale. Otherwise, you may be surprised when you move in and find that the washer and dryer you thought were included are missing.
  5. Forgetting about HOA dues: If you’re buying a home in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association (HOA), be sure to factor in the monthly or annual HOA dues when budgeting for your new place. These can add up, so you’ll want to be prepared.
  6. Not securing a preliminary title report: A preliminary title report is a document that outlines any potential liens or encumbrances on a piece of property. This is important because it can help you avoid buying a home that’s not free and clear. Be sure to work with a reputable title company to get this done.
  7. Insurance surprises: Homeowners’ insurance can be expensive, so it’s vital to get an estimate of what your policy will cost before you buy a home. Is the house in a flood plain? Will your rates be through the roof for hurricane or earthquake risks? It’s worth investigating early on in the process to either avoid purchasing the home or budget accordingly.

I like to help buyers navigate the home buying process smoothly, armed with all the knowledge they need to find the right home at the right price. Pay attention to the details, and work with a reputable agent and title company to help you through the process. If you keep these potential hazards in mind, you’ll be much less likely to have your home buying deal go sour.

Buying a Home July 11, 2022

Going Beyond the Numbers to Help My Buyers Win

How to Woo Sellers with Personalized Offers

If you’re home hunting in a competitive market, you’ve probably had the heartbreaking experience of losing out on the perfect house. It can be incredibly frustrating to find out the seller rejected your offer in favor of another buyer. How can you do your best to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

When a seller entertains multiple offers, it’s essential to understand that many different factors are in play. You tend to have an advantage if you’re an all-cash buyer, as cash removes potential financing roadblocks. But if you’re like most people, paying cash for a house isn’t an option. What do you do then to make your offer competitive?

First, ensure you have 100% of your financial house in order. When you are financially prepared, you have pre-qualification for a mortgage and proof of funds. Being organized and ready to go will help give you a slight edge from the start. Also, be sure you work with an agent who is highly responsive to requests. Sellers don’t need to wait around for agents to provide necessary information when multiple offers are landing in their inbox.

Beyond these factors, there’s another way to boost your offer’s profile: Personalize it.

While most sellers want to go with someone who will pay the most for their home, you should never discount the emotional dynamic of the home selling and buying experience. Though sellers are ready to move on, they often want to feel like their home is going to someone who genuinely appreciates it and needs it.

Work with your agent to craft a personal letter explaining why you love the seller’s home. What features do you love? How will this home help you personally, professionally, or with your family needs? Include a photo of yourself and your family. Have pets and kids? Bring them into the picture! Putting a human face on the offer can transform your offer from one more name in a pile of numbers into a genuine person worthy of living in the seller’s home.

Tips to Keep in Mind While Writing Your Letter

Build a Connection: Look for a connection you and the seller share. This connection could be being in the same line of work or noticing a hunting sign. Build on that connection.

Keep it Short: Don’t write a novel. Share your point, build a connection, and add a few reasons why you’re the best buyer.

Leave Out Remodeling Plans: If you plan on remodeling, be mindful of the seller’s protectiveness over their home. Even though they are selling their house, they still have emotional attachments to different areas of their home. They may not be fond of knowing that you want to destroy parts of it.

Have your agent personally deliver the offer:  Most of the offers will be electronically transferred and dumped into a crowded email inbox. An electronic offer can be convenient, whereas providing a beautifully prepared package with a personalized letter and picture can impact the seller.

I will go the extra mile in helping you attain your dream home.

Kim Shaw

(928) 710-9148

Selling Your Home June 14, 2022

7 Home Staging Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Staging Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re staging your home to sell, you want to do everything possible to make it look its best. But sometimes, good intentions can lead to embarrassing mistakes that could hurt your home’s value.

Here are seven of the most common home staging mistakes to avoid:

1. Personal Photos Mementos

You may love your family photos and cherished mementos, but potential buyers don’t want to see them. They want to imagine their own family in the home, not yours. So pack up those personal items before staging your home.

2. Too Much Furniture

Too much furniture in a room can make it feel small and cramped. Reduce your furniture down to the essentials and arrange it to make the space feel open and inviting.

3. Poor Lighting

Good lighting is essential in any room, but it’s critical when staging a home for sale. Poor lighting can make a space feel dark and uninviting, so open up the curtains and turn on all the lights before potential buyers come through.

4. Messy Kitchens and Bathrooms

Your kitchen and bathroom are two of the most important rooms in your home, so they must be spotless when you’re staging them. Be sure to clear off countertops, put away dishes, and declutter any cabinets or drawers. In the bathroom, hide any personal items and ensure the counters are clean and clear.

5. Unmade Beds

An unmade bed can make a bedroom look messy and uninviting. Be sure to straighten the sheets and plump the pillows before potential buyers come through.

6. Pets and Pet Messes

Pets can be a turnoff for some potential buyers, so removing them from the home during showings is best. If that’s not possible, put away any pet toys, food, and water dishes. And always clean up any pet messes before potential buyers come through.

7. Personal Items in Plain Sight

You may think your home is clean, but if personal items like mail or bills are in plain sight, potential buyers will think you’re not keeping up with the housework. Be sure to put away any personal items before staging your home.

Avoiding these seven embarrassing mistakes will go a long way toward helping you stage your home successfully and sell it for the best price possible.

About Kim Shaw

Kim moved to Prescott in 1995 and started her Real Estate career in 1998. As a mother of four, and the veteran of 5 corporate relocation’s, Kim brings a world or understanding and expertise into making a new town and a new house into a new home. Kim’s personalized and comprehensive service, complete support to her clients, along with superior service is key to her successful 20 years of thriving in Prescott Real Estate. Kim’s Testimonials Speak Volumes.  Contact Kim

Kim Shaw
(928) 710-9148

Buying a Home May 10, 2022

Remote Employment Offers Housing Benefits

The increase in people working remotely has been a game-changer in many ways. Remote jobs offer the ability to live and work from anywhere. And for people who are looking to buy a home, this trend opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Today’s low inventory can be challenging for homebuyers, especially if you’re looking to purchase your first home. But if you’re one of many people who work remotely, you may have a great opportunity to use the flexibility you have at work to achieve your homebuying goals this year.

For remote employment, instead of being tied to a specific location to be close to your job, you can now search for a home that meets your needs and lifestyle, without worrying about a long commute. So don’t let your job location limit your search – you may be surprised at what you find.

Another benefit of working remotely is that you can live and work in any location that suits your lifestyle. If you want to live in a rural area, for example, you can do so without having to commute into the city for work. Or if you prefer to live in an urban area, you can find a home that’s close to all the amenities and conveniences you need. And since your job location does not limit you, you can take your time to find the perfect home in the perfect location. It could also allow you to search for a more affordable location where you have more options in your price range.  Plus, you can easily relocate if needed.

In a recent report, Arch Capital Services explains how the ongoing trend of remote work can open up more options for homebuyers:

 “. . . This will enable those who are able to work from home on a part-time or hybrid basis to move slightly farther away from job centers. . . . For workers who secure full-time remote jobs, their place of residence will be determined by affordability and personal preferences.”

Remote work doesn’t just give you expanded flexibility for your career as well as for your home. If you’re no longer tied to a location because of your office, you have a great opportunity to expand your housing search. Let’s connect to explore how this can open up your options. Whatever your preference, there’s sure to be a location that’s perfect for you – and your remote work set-up. I can help you with your search today and enjoy all the benefits of working remotely.  

Kim Shaw

(928) 710-9148

Buying a HomePrescott Arizona April 21, 2022

Live on the Links in Prescott

Prescott, Arizona, is a desirable place to live, but it is also an incredibly popular place to play golf!  The Prescott area is home to numerous award-winning golf courses. 

Live on the Green

Many people move to Prescott to live in a golf course community. Below is information on some of the more popular golf course subdivisions in the Prescott quad-city area. If you would like information on any of these areas, contact me, and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Antelope Hills Golf Course – Prescott

Antelope Hills is a small golf community located on the 36-Hole Antelope Hills Golf Course in Prescott, Arizona. This quiet community, conveniently located at the crossroads of Highway 89 and Highway 89A, is just minutes from historic downtown Prescott, the Yavapai Regional Medical Center, and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Antelope Hills residents can enjoy the nearby hiking trails in Pioneer Park, Watson Lake, and Heritage Park.

Hassayampa – Prescott

Copper Canyon Village is tucked away in the tall pines and granite boulders of Prescott, Arizona. The gently rolling terrain, the panoramic views, and the tall Ponderosa pines are just a few of the many reasons Copper Canyon is a popular community in Prescott. Copper Canyon is located on the southwest side of Prescott and is minutes from dining and the quaint shops on the historic Prescott Courthouse Square. There are only 102 lots in this custom subdivision, with several lots still available to build.

Prescott Lakes – Prescott

Prescott Lakes is a master-planned Residential and Private Golf Community in the heart of Prescott. This popular community is comprised of 13 gated and non-gated neighborhoods. The Arnold Palmer Golf Management Group manages the Hale Irwin Signature Championship 18 hole private golf course winding throughout home sites in Prescott lakes. Condos, townhomes, patio homes, custom-built, and estate homes surround the par 72 golf course. Residents can enjoy swimming indoors and outdoors with 30-meter lap lanes, a large open swim area, and a 169 square-foot whirlpool Spa.

Quailwood – Dewey-Humboldt

Quailwood in Dewey/Humboldt, Arizona, is a premier master-planned community located a few miles east of the town of Prescott Valley. This growing community has beautiful views of the Mingus and Bradshaw Mountains. Homes in Quailwood offer townhomes and site-built homes ranging in size from around 1200 sq. ft. up to about 3200 sq. ft. Quailwood offers Tennis Courts, Basketball Courts, an Outdoor Pool, Spa, a Hot Tub, a Workout Room, Community Kitchen, Meeting Rooms, Horse Shoes, Volleyball Courts, a large covered patio, and two Children’s Play Parks.   

Prescott Country Club – Dewey-Humboldt

In Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, the Prescott Country Club is nestled in the golden panoramic valley between the Mingus and Bradshaw Mountain Ranges. This popular subdivision is located at the Fain Intersection and Highway 69, a few miles east of Prescott Valley, minutes from the Prescott Valley Event Center, and only a few miles from the Yavapai Regional Medical Center. This well-established neighborhood is home to one of the top-ranked golf courses in Northern Arizona. Prescott Country Club offers amenities like a clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor pool, restaurant, tennis court, and low monthly HOA dues.

As you can see from the list above, Prescott offers excellent options if you want to live on or near a golf course. Let me know if you want more information on Prescott Real Estate, and I would love to help.

View Homes for Sale in Prescott

Kim Shaw

(928) 710-9148

Selling Your Home March 16, 2022

Is Your Home Ready for Your Retirement?

Preparing For Retirement

If you love your home and plan to live in it through your retirement years, you’ll want to be sure it’s safe for you as you face some of those little challenges aging presents. Now is the time to assess your home and evaluate any changes you may need to make. Doing so will reduce the risk of injury and give your loved one’s peace of mind, especially if you live alone.

Here’s what you’ll want to inspect as you consider aging in place:

  1. Bathroom handrails.  Next to the toilet and tub are the top choices to install handrails. Not only are bars for moments of instability, but they can help you raise and lower yourself more easily. You might also consider converting to a walk-in shower with a seat.
  1. Non-slip surfacing.  There are non-slip mats and tape that can be applied to the floors to minimize the possibility of slipping. Showers and tubs are much safer if you reduce the chance of slippage.
  1. Stairway railings.  Inside and outside stairways should have sturdy, functional rails (i.e., not just decorative).
  1. Ample lighting.  Consider adding lighting indoors and outdoors. Decreased visibility is a significant contributor to falls. Lighting also adds security by deterring would-be burglars.
  1. Sharp edges.  Sharp corners on tables and countertops are a dangerous hazard. Consider replacing these areas with rounded surfaces.
  1. Flat thresholds.  Transitions from room to room should be as bump-free as possible. Stepping over the occasional random stair or elevated threshold may not seem like a significant issue, but removing potential hazards is a good idea.
  1. Storage height.  Look for alternative storage options if you’ve been used to climbing up and down step ladders to access your storage spaces.
  1. Furniture support.  Is your couch too low, do your chairs have armrests for support, or are countertops too high? Find the sweet spot where comfort and safety meet.

Home size is often an issue, especially if upkeep and maintenance issues are a concern. Of course, if you’ve decided your current home isn’t the greatest for an age-in-place approach to your golden years, it may be time to consider a change.  Give me a call if you would like information on downsizing, I would love to help you with this transition.  Kim Shaw (928) 910-9148.

Home Remodeling March 8, 2022

Improve Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

Want to boost the value of your home but don’t have the budget for a significant renovation? Don’t worry; many home improvements can increase your home’s value but don’t require tons of money.

However, when making your home improvements, it is vital to ask yourself, “Will the money I invest be recouped in the sale of the home?” The best renovations not only cover their costs, but they will boost your home’s value and provide you with an excellent return. Of course, the key is identifying home improvements that will deliver the most significant return for the smallest investment.

Here are renovation projects that are both easy and inexpensive ways to dial up your home’s appeal and value:

  • Paint the front door: You might not have the budget for a full exterior paint job, and that is okay, but have you looked at your front door lately? It’s a focal point from the street, and if it’s looking weathered, updating it with a fresh coat of semi-gloss paint will improve its appearance and impact your curb appeal. If you have more room in your budget, consider replacing the door entirely.
  • Paint the foyer/entryway: Interior paint is a noticeable improvement, but you don’t have to make it an all-or-none proposition. Where do people enter your home? Like the front door, your point of entry is the first impression of the inside of your home. Refresh the point of entry of your home and make it look brand new.
  • Change light fixtures and switch plates: You probably don’t even notice your light fixtures anymore, but buyers will. Swapping out the fixtures and modernizing the look goes a long way. The same goes for switch plates; replace the old (and possibly dirty) with fresh new stylish ones.
  • Upgrade kitchen and bath fixtures: Do you need a new sink, or do you need a fresh faucet? It’s incredible how much a deluxe kitchen faucet upgrade can change perceptions of a kitchen. The same goes for the bathrooms: Faucets and even a new toilet can do wonders. Along with this, a detail that often gets overlooked is doorknobs. Replace old doorknobs on kitchen cabinets or anywhere around your home for a fresh and simple upgrade.
  • Garden upgrades: Fresh borders on your flower gardens, new flowers, and fresh mulch are all small touches that refresh a home’s exterior. Remember that simple lawn maintenance can pay off in the end. It is believed that “the cost of maintaining your lawn is only about $330. In exchange, you can recover a value of 303% or $1,000 from this basic fix, according to the National Association of Realtors” (CheatSheet).
  • Clean Carpets: Having a professional clean your carpets is an inexpensive investment to update your home and make it feel cleaner quickly. It is often suggested not to replace wall-to-wall carpeting before selling your home because homeowners like choosing their carpeting. Therefore, cleaning is the best option to create a clean feeling environment.

Want a second pair of eyes to advise you on your remodeling, big or small? I am happy to help you make a checklist to prepare your home for sale. Give me a call today: (928) 710-9148

Buying a Home February 17, 2022

Plenty of Horse Properties in Prescott

Horses Love Prescott

Are you looking for a place to live with your horses in beautiful Prescott, Arizona? You are in luck; there are numerous horse-friendly communities in the Prescott area.

Below are a couple of popular horse communities in Prescott. If you don’t see what you are looking for here, don’t worry, there are several other horse communities in our area, give me a call, and I will help you find a property perfect for you and your horse! (928) 710-9148

Granite Oaks

Granite Oaks in Prescott, Arizona, is located at the base of the Granite Mountain in the Williamson Valley corridor, near Williamson Valley Road and Bard Ranch Road. The subdivision of upscale custom homes borders the state land and has access to acres and acres of endless riding and hiking trails. The home sites range from 1 to 3 acres offering lots of privacy and horse privileges. Being able to enjoy country living while only a few miles from downtown Prescott is one of many reasons people fall in love with Granite Oaks.

American Ranch

American Ranch subdivision in Prescott, is located just a few miles north of downtown Prescott . It offers outdoor adventure, multiple amenities, and homes ranging from one to five acres each. The homes in this subdivision are custom built and designed to view the gorgeous mountain and forest views! American Ranch offers amenities including a $3m Equestrian Center, fitness/exercise center, outdoor heated pool, spa, tennis, basketball, and a catch and release bass fishing lake.

Williamson Valley Ranch

Williamson Valley Ranch in Prescott, Arizona, is a prestigious, private neighborhood conveniently located just ten short miles north of the city of Prescott. This equestrian subdivision features beautiful, unique custom homes. Many homes use total solar energy; some are contemporary in design, while others are classic ranch style. Homes range in size from 1100 sq ft on up to over 6000 square feet, with lots ranging from 3 to 8 acres. There is plenty of room for the kids, toys, and horses! In Williamson Valley Ranch, you’ll enjoy country living at its finest complete with paved roads, underground utilities, and riding and hiking trails nearby.

Want More Information on Horse Properties in Prescott?

Give me a call!

Kim Shaw

(928) 710-9148

Buying a Home January 20, 2022

Evaluating Local Schools When Relocating

The quality of schools is a contributing factor for anyone buying a home. The Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt areas have numerous award-winning public, private, and charter schools in the area. Each has something unique to offer.

With so many options, the challenge is how do you evaluate schools? Consider these tips:

  • Visit the School: Take time to visit the schools and meet teachers during class hours so you can observe how students interact with each other and what types of activities they get involved in.
  • Investigate After-School Activities: Find out if after-school activities such as music lessons, sports teams, tutoring, etc., are offered at the school and if transportation is provided.
  • Public or Private: Do you want your children to attend a public or private school?
  • Student to Teacher Ratio:  Ask how many children there are in each class and the average number of students per teacher (student-teacher ratio).
  • Visit Open Houses or Evenings for Prospective Families: These are great opportunities for you to meet other parents who are already sending their children to the school.
  • Public Transportation:  Does the bus pick up your kids at home? Is it also available after school?
  • Community Involvement: Does the school have volunteers, parent groups or support organizations? This is a great indicator of how much engagement there is in the schools by community members.

Be sure to ask me for information. As a realtor in the Prescott area, I know the schools very well and am happy to help in any way I can.

I moved to Prescott in 1995 and started my Real Estate career in 1998. As a mother of four, and the veteran of 5 corporate relocation’s, I brings a world of understanding and expertise into making a new town and a new house into a new home. My personalized and comprehensive service, complete support to my clients, along with superior service is key to my successful 20 years of thriving in Prescott Real Estate.