Tucson Real Estate and Community News

June 12, 2018

What Makes a Tucson Home Inspection So Important?

Buying a home takes time, effort, and, of course, money. It seems natural that you might want to skip the home inspection in order to save yourself a few bucks. You're already spending so much with the downpayment, loan fees, title fees, agent fees, etc. What makes a Tucson home inspection so important that you can't just avoid it altogether? I'll tell you why. Because the few hundred dollars you save today could end up costing you thousands in repairs down the road.

What makes a Tucson home inspection so important? An inspector looks in places you don't normally see on your initial walk-through of a property. They might find issues you were unaware of.

What Makes a Tucson Home Inspection So Important?

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Search Tucson homes for saleSo, the home you're looking at offers a great open floor plan. The chef's kitchen appears to be a dream come true. And the spa-like master bathroom sends shivers up your spine. However, it's what you don't see that could get you into trouble. No home is perfect. Even newly constructed homes could have problems. A Tucson home inspection will look at the areas you don't normally view in a walkthrough with your agent (the roof, the crawl space below, the attic above, etc.). The inspector also looks for leaks, structural problems, and possible safety issues. Knowing what's going on behind your walls can better prepare you for what to expect once you own the home.

Gives You Options

A Tucson home inspection gives you the option to go back to the seller to request that repairs be made before the final sale. Or, your agent can negotiate a reduction in the sale price to compensate for the cost of repairs. If the inspection uncovers issues far beyond your tolerance level, you can back out of the sale completely. But you must put the home inspection contingency in writing and complete an actual home inspection first.

Cost Effective

Spending $400 to $500 on a Tucson home inspection may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, the report may uncover plumbing, electrical or other issues that could cost you thousands down the road. If that happens, you'll be wishing you spent the few hundred initially to find out about these problems before you signed on the dotted line.

At the very least, a Tucson home inspection provides the buyer with peace of mind. And you can't put a price on that. Talk to your Tucson REALTOR® about home inspectors they recommend. They work with a wide variety of professionals every day. So, they can be a valuable resource for reliable people.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 5, 2018

Free Summer Meal Program for Tucson Kids Now Open

According to FeedingAmerica.com, more than 41 million people in the USA struggle with enough food to eat each day. More than one million of them live right here in Arizona. Of those, almost 371,000 of them are children. In fact, one in four Arizona children experiences hunger each and every day. As one of the richest countries in the world, this shouldn't happen. Schools provide the only full meal some children receive every day. But when school's out, where do they go? Tucson Unified School District offers a free summer meal program for Tucson kids that continues through mid-July. No judgment. Just good, quality food.

More than 370,000 Arizona children go hungry every day. But they don't have to. TUSD offers a free summer meal program for all Tucson kids ages 1 to 18 (breakfast and lunch) through July 18th.

Free Summer Meal Program for Tucson Kids

Search Tucson homes for saleMost of the schools in the Tuscon Unified School District (TUSD) and off-site locations with recreational programs offer a free summer meal program for kids enrolled in their summer activities. However, this offer also extends to any child between one and 18 who aren't enrolled in a summer program. You'll find a complete list of participating locations here. With the exception of July 4th, kids receive breakfast and lunch absolutely free of charge every Monday through Friday. The program closes on the 4th for the holiday. Just show up and your child will be served. Any parent wishing to eat with their kids pay just $2 for breakfast and $3 for lunch (exact change, please). 

What's on the Menu?

Enjoy pancakes, bagels, burritos or a sunrise sandwich for breakfast. Then, fill up on hamburgers, corn dogs, pizza, calzones, chicken nuggets, and other items for lunch. Each day offers its own unique menu. For those with nut allergies, please be aware that some items may include peanuts or peanut oil. Ask before being served just to make sure. Take a peek at the complete breakfast and lunch menu on the TUSD website.

Do you know someone who could use a little help feeding their kids? Let them know about the free summer meal program available for Tucson kids. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Food Services office at 225-4700. A bilingual helpline has also been set up at 800-352-3792 for those who may need it. Kids should never have to go hungry. Healthy bodies need a healthy mind to operate them. Food nourishes both. Help me spread the word about this very important summer program for our children. Thank you.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Community News
May 29, 2018

Tucson Home Sellers: The Little Things DO Count

You have a nice home. You priced it competitively. But it's been sitting on the market for a while. Why? Tucson home sellers might need to address smaller concerns for buyers in order to drum up some interest. After all, the little things DO count when it comes to selling your home.  

Having a tough time selling your property? Tucson home sellers need to pay attention to the little things or they risk losing out on a sale.

Tucson Home Sellers: Little Things That Turn Away Buyers

Clutter

Search Tucson homes for saleThis actually isn't a "small" thing. Spring cleaning tops your Tucson home seller "honey do" list. Why? Because it's hard to see the beautiful home hiding beneath a mountain of "stuff". Clear out your closets of extra clothes. Keep only enough outfits to get you through a week or so. Pack up the rest. Shoes and accessories, too. Then, hang your clothes up in your closet on nice hangars, leaving lots of room in between. You'll be amazed at how much bigger your closet appears with less clothes filling it up. And don't forget the hall closet and linen closets, too.

But the closets aren't the only places where clutter collects. Remove any housewares from the counter tops that you don't use on a daily basis. They should be stored neatly in your cabinets or pantry. And speaking of your pantry, organize that as well. Then, go through your junk drawer to get rid of all unnecessary items. Finally, only keep enough dishes to accommodate your family stacked nicely inside the cabinets. Believe me when I tell you that buyers look through everything when viewing a home.

Cobwebs

Seriously? Yes. Tucson home sellers need to go through every room of their home and clear out the cobwebs. These make even the brightest room look dingy and unkempt. And take a moment to clean off your ceiling fans, too. You don't want someone turning on the fan just to have a bunch of dust bunnies fall onto them, do you? That's definitely not the impression you want to leave a buyer with.

Cords

You've lived with dangling cords for years. So, you may not even notice them anymore. But a mounted TV with cords strung out below creates doubt in a buyer's mind about where else you might have cut corners in the house. Home improvement stores as well as electronic stores sell kits that let you hide these cords inside the wall. 

Not Staging Your Home

Rooms overflowing with furniture make it difficult for buyers to envision living there. A tall dresser in the master bedroom may work better in the entry way. Your huge dining room table that seats 12 should probably be stored out of sight. In its place, put a smaller round table that seats four to six people. Not sure your decorating skills are up to snuff? Hire a pro. The money you invest now could pay off with a great sale later.

Pets

Buyers beat a hasty retreat when they smell evidence of pets on the premises. Now, most buyers understand that pets are part of many Tucson homes. But that doesn't mean they want to smell them. Make sure to deep clean carpets, upholstery, heavy drapes, etc. Put away pet toys before showing. Empty litter boxes often. Pick up after your dog in the yard every single day. And add dishes of Zeolite (a natural volcanic mineral) around your home to eliminate any smells lingering in the air.

Messy Exterior

Finally, a ratty yard and dingy front door won't make the best first impression on a buyer. Regularly scour for weeds. Keep lawn and bushes trimmed. Give the front door a face lift with a fresh coat of paint.

Buyers take everything into consideration when pondering a home purchase. Tucson home sellers need to understand that the little things DO count when trying to make a good impression. When you're ready to put your home on the market, contact me.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 22, 2018

Amazon Comes to Tucson

Late last week, the City of Tucson made an announcement that promises good things for our local economy. Amazon comes to Tucson next year in the form of an 855,000 square foot fulfillment center at the Port of Tucson. That means more jobs, more tax money, and possibly even more businesses opening up in the area in the future.

Amazon is building a new 855,000 square foot fulfillment center in the City of Tucson. It opens in June 2019, employing 1500 full-time workers.

Amazon Comes to Tucson

Search homes for sale in TucsonThe City of Tucson has been hammering out a deal with Amazon for eight months now. After a previous attempt fell apart, the City never gave up. An agreement was eventually made for Amazon to purchase 95 acres at the Port of Tucson on the City's southeast side. Initially, 80 acres of the land will be developed. They wish to leave 15 acres unaltered for possible future expansion. This shows that Amazon plans to be here for the long haul.

Amazon expects to break ground next month, with final completion and a projected grand opening in June 2019. At that time, they plan on employing 1500 people full-time. That could grow to as many as 1900 during the busy November/December holiday season. We should see positions and salaries posted in the months leading up to the opening next year. Once the City of Tucson receives Amazon's official Certificate of Occupancy, this part of the Tucson area will then be officially annexed into the City of Tucson itself.

Currently, Amazon operates four other fulfillment cities in Arizona. All of them are located in Mohave County: three in Phoenix and one in Goodyear. They employ 7000 people total at these facilities alone. Their Tucson facility will be the first one located outside Mohave County.

How the New Amazon Facility Affects Tucson

For years, officials have been trying to build Tucson's reputation as a transportation hub. Target operates the largest industrial building in the Tucson area (at 975,000 square feet). In October 2016, Home Goods opened up an 850,000 square foot distribution center in the City. The addition of Amazon to the mix helps strengthen Tucson's reputation as a solid logistics hub in the southwest. That could encourage other companies to set up operations here as well.

Why did Amazon finally choose Tucson for its newest fulfillment center? Demographics and location. Even though incentives tend to be a typical part of negotiations with big companies like this, Amazon never asked for any. They saw that they would have a vast pool of qualified workers to choose from and felt the location would better enable them to serve their customers. In fact, they're already having an impact on the City. Several businesses have expressed an interest in locating operations near the future Amazon center. This brings revenue into City coffers, which is good news for all involved.

Looks like good things are happening for the Tucson community! I'm excited to see what the future holds and how this latest development affects our economy in the months and years to come.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Community News
May 15, 2018

How to Protect Your Tucson Home from the Summer Sun

Summer's just around the corner. Temperatures consistently hit highs of the upper 90s right now. By the end of next week, we could reach triple-digit territory. Living in the desert means higher energy costs during this time of year. Last month, I talked about some of the Tucson water rebates available to residents. Today, I'm going to discuss how to protect your Tucson home for the summer sun. By making a few small changes, you can lower your energy usage as well as your monthly utility costs pretty easily.

Hot summers mean higher energy consumption and cost. Find out what you can do to lower your usage and monthly utility bill at your Tucson home during the heat of summer.

Tucson Home Summer Energy Saving Tips

Sprinkler System

Search Tucson homes for saleTest the sprinkler system of your Tucson home to see if any sprinkler heads malfunction. Check the exterior faucets for leaks as well. Replace any broken parts.

A/C Unit

Schedule a maintenance check of your air conditioning unit right away. A/C companies tend to get busy this time of year. So, there may be a little backlog. You should plan on setting up an annual check of your system early in the spring each year. This helps to identify small problems, which allows you to fix them before they become big problems. During peak A/C months (now through September), change out your air conditioning filter once every month. Regular usage builds up dirt and dust. A clean air filter allows your A/C unit to function properly, lowering your monthly energy bill.

Thermostat

For my next Tucson home summer energy saving tip, set your thermostat a little higher. By raising it just one degree higher than normal, you save 3% off your utility bill. Better yet, invest in a smart system like the Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee 4 or the Go Control Z Wave. These programmable systems learn your family's daily routines. Then, they adapt to your heating and cooling needs accordingly. You can also utilize ceiling fans or oscillating fans to help circulate the air in your home. Air blown on your skin makes the ambient temperature feel a lot lower and uses much less energy than your A/C unit. That way, you can raise the temperature on your thermostat without breaking a sweat.

Windows and Doors

One of the biggest energy sucks in any Tucson household is from air leaks. Check the doors and windows of your Tucson home for places where air can escape or enter. If you can see daylight through a solid exterior door, you've got a problem. Most likely, the door was hung incorrectly. You may need a pro to come out and fix it. Seal up any cracks around the windows. Your best bet is to schedule a home energy audit with Tucson Electric Power. This will identify the largest culprits of energy waste in your home.

Appliances

One thing above all else saves you big on energy usage with your appliances: unplugging. Blenders, coffee makers, mixers, computers, TVs, etc. Even when not in use, they steal energy when they're plugged in. For large appliances, plug them into a power strip that allows you to safely turn them off when not in use. Only plug in your smaller appliances when you plan on using them. Make it a habit to unplug them when you're done.

Cooking in the Summer

Finally, cooking in the oven or on the stove during the summer turns the entire kitchen into a furnace. Take it outside and grill on the barbecue more often. Or, incorporate slow cooker or instant pot recipes into your meal times. Even a toaster oven gives off less heat than your stove.

Do you have any energy-saving tips for Tuscon homeowners? What do you do to keep the summer heat at bay inside your home? Please leave your helpful tips in the comments below.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Homeowner Tips
May 8, 2018

Moving Into Your First Tucson Home

The stress of buying your first Tucson home doesn't end with the signing of your loan and the handing over of a key. Unfortunately, moving tends to extend that stress for a little bit longer. However, with a little planning and organization, moving into your first Tucson home won't be as stressful as you thought.

Avoid unnecessary stress when moving into your first Tucson home by following these helpful tips. A little homework and planning ahead can go a long way to alleviating the stress of a move.

Moving Tips for the First-Time Tucson Home Owner

Scheduling the Move

Search Tucson homes for saleThe first thing you need to do after you have a closing date for your first Tucson home is to schedule the move. We're right in the middle of the busy season for Tucson real estate. That means that moving companies are busy. If you wait, you risk not being able to hire a mover in a timely manner. As soon as you know what day your home is set to close, schedule your move.

Hiring a Pro or Doing it Yourself

Some people hire professionals to move them into their first Tucson home. Others go the do-it-yourself route. If you do want a pro to take care of the hard labor, make sure you get quotes from several different moving companies. Those quotes need to be in writing, too. Ask for proof of insurance. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors for recommendations, if possible.

If hiring a pro isn't in the budget, then you'll need to rent a truck. Call around or go online for quotes. Make sure you get the right size vehicle to get the job done. A smaller van is great for several trips back and forth across town. But, if you're making a city-to-city or state-to-state move, you'll need something that takes care of all your belongings in one trip. Also, make sure you buy enough boxes, tape, and other packing materials needed to pack up all of your home's belongings securely.

Packing

Finally, don't wait to pack. Get started on it as soon as you start looking at Tuscon homes. Waiting until the last minute means moving stuff you don't use anymore or leaving behind things you should have taken with you. Take it one room at a time. Limit your wardrobe to a week's worth of clothes. Pack everything else up. Keep only the necessary items to get you through your daily routine. Get rid of anything you haven't used in the last 12 months. Gift or donate them. Trash the unusable stuff. And don't overpack your boxes. Remember, you're going to have to move them at some point. Overpacking could put undue stress on the boxes, causing them to break open, spilling their contents out onto the floor and possibly breaking something.

What moving tips have you found useful over the years? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 30, 2018

Tips for Successfully Downsizing Your Tucson Home

People sell their homes for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, a new job takes you out of your city. Others need a larger space for their growing family. Yet others find themselves in an "empty nest" situation and need to downsize. Downsizing can be a little tricky for some homeowners. Here are a few tips you can use for successfully downsizing your Tucson home without regrets.

Are you considering downsizing your Tucson home? Use these simple tips to make the process a little easier on your heart and make a successful transition without regrets.

Downsizing Your Tucson Home

Better Sooner Than Later

Search Tucson homes for saleDon't wait until your kids are completely out of the house or for your mortgage to be paid off before downsizing your Tucson home. If the last of your kids plans on moving out in the next six months, start your smaller Tucson home search now. Also, the older we get, the harder it is to move. Bad backs. Sore muscles. A debilitating disease. Not fun things to think about, but the tendency for these to happen increases as we get older. If downsizing your Tucson home is a definite priority for you, start the search now. Your kids can handle a smaller place for a little while. Meanwhile, they can also help you get everything moved and situated right now.

Downsizing in Stages

Instead of tackling everything all at once, consider downsizing your Tucson home room by room. Talk to your kids about what items of yours they might want that you don't plan on taking with you to the new place. But make sure that they will take the furniture, dishes, artwork, etc. before you move. Otherwise, storing things that they might want later won't help you accomplish your downsizing goal. Donate what you can. Or, hold a yard sale and make a couple of bucks without having to haul your extra stuff away. You can also contact places like ReStore (Habitat for Humanity's second-hand store), Goodwill or the Salvation Army to come pick up large items you don't have room for but would like someone else to be able to use.

Is it Going to Fit?

When downsizing your Tucson home, you need to measure the rooms in your new house. Then, measure the furniture you decided to keep. If the pieces aren't going to fit, donate them to an individual or an organization before you move. Only take what will actually fit into your new place. 

No Regrets

Most of us hold on to things much longer than we need to. We attach sentimental value to items that have no monetary value to them. Let the "stuff" go. You can always take pictures of the things you like most before you get rid of them. Digital picture frames allow you to store hundreds of photos in one small space. Then, you can look at that photo and relive the same memories you had when holding that exact object. It's an easier way to downsize without leaving your memories behind.

Have you had to downsize your home or a family member's home in the past? What words of wisdom can you give to make this sometimes difficult process a little easier for a Tucson homeowner? Please leave your tips in the comments below.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 24, 2018

Tucson Water Rebates: Save Water, Save Money

Water conservation stays top of mind when you live in a desert climate like Tucson. Toilets, showers, faucets, and clothes washers make up the majority of daily indoor water usage for American citizens. It's these specific areas that the Tucson Water Department wants residents to target. They offer several different Tucson Water rebates when you make certain changes to decrease your home's water usage.

Update your toilets, washing machine, and irrigation system or implement a rainwater harvesting program at your home and receive several different Tucson Water rebates in return.

Tuscon Water Rebates: Save Water, Save Money

Toilets

Search Tucson homes for saleTake advantage of the Tucson Water rebates when you replace your old toilets with newer high-efficiency ones (HETs). Homeowners receive $75 per toilet (max of two toilets per household). Older toilets use 3.8 gallons of water per flush. Newer HETs drop that down to just 1.28 gallons per flush. Your home must have been built before 1991 (before 1994 in Pima County). And you must use an approved HET. Hint: look for the WaterSense logo.

Limited income Tucson families can also take advantage of the rebate. The toilet being replaced must have been manufactured in 1991 or before (you should the date stamped on the inside of the toilet lid). Income restrictions apply. One person households are limited to one toilet exchange. Two or more people allow two toilets to be replaced to receive the rebate.

Washing Machine

Is it time for a new washing machine? Did you replace your old washing machine in the last couple of years? You might be eligible for a Tucson Water rebate of up to $200. You need to have been a Tucson Water customer at the time the washer was installed. It needs to have been purchased no earlier than August 1, 2015. And, it must be listed on their official product list to be eligible.

Rainwater Harvesting

Curious about how you can incorporate rainwater harvesting into your home's water usage? Attend the free Tucson Water workshop to find out how. Then, receive up to $2000 in rebates when you add rainwater harvesting to your home. Limited income residents can receive a $400 grant and up to $2000 in loans towards setting up a rainwater harvesting system on their property.

Gray Water

Finally, the last one of the Tucson Water rebates available for homeowners is a gray water rebate. That's water collected from sinks, tubs, showers, and clothes washers. This makes up approximately one-third of your entire interior household water usage. Gray water can then be utilized for watering plants, trees, and other landscaping around your home. If you installed a gray water irrigation system on January 1st, 2013 or afterward, you could be eligible for as much as $1000 in rebates. You will need to attend a free workshop hosted by Tucson Water that discusses the benefits of a gray water irrigation system.

For more information about the various Tucson Water rebates, including eligibility requirements, income restrictions, etc., please visit Tucson Water's residential rebates page here. The sooner you reduce your home's water usage, the sooner you'll be able to save money on your monthly water bill. You must be a current Tucson Water customer in order to qualify for any of these rebates. One last thing to keep in mind, too. If you plan on selling your Tucson home anytime soon, these changes make a great selling point for today's Tucson buyers.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Homeowner Tips
April 17, 2018

How Much Does That Tucson Home Really Cost?

You've decided to buy a Tucson home. Congratulations! Why pay someone else's mortgage when you can be paying your own? Maybe you needed some assistance with your down payment. But that's only one part of the total money you'll need to buy a home. Exactly how much does that Tucson home really cost? Here are some hidden expenses you might not have thought about.

Your down payment is only one portion of the money involved in buying a Tucson home. Other expenses might creep up on you if you don't know what they are. How much does it really cost to buy a home?

How Much Does That Tucson Home Really Cost?

Closing Costs

Search homes for sale in TucsonIn addition to your down payment, you're going to need money to pay the closing costs on your Tucson home. These include loan origination fees, title fees, recording fees, taxes, insurance, and prepaid interest among other things. The total for these closing costs typically run between 3% and 5% of your home's purchase price. So, if you pay $200,000 for your home, expect to pay $6000-$10,000 in closing costs alone. Your mortgage company may also require that an appraisal be performed to assess the value of the home you wish to purchase. Depending on the size of the house, you could be paying anywhere from $400 to $1000 for an appraisal. You might be able to negotiate that the seller pays some or all of the closing costs. But, that doesn't always happen. It's best to have this money saved up just in case.

Inspections

I always recommend that a buyer get a home inspection done right away. This might alert you to major, costly issues in the home. However, these professionals only perform a cursory inspection. If they see that there could be an issue with pests, the roof or the plumbing, you might need to call in a specialist to perform a more thorough inspection of the potential problem areas. Depending on how many different inspections you end up with, you could spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Keep in mind, though, that this money could save you tens of thousands in the long run. So, this is an investment worth making.

HOA Fees

Another hidden cost of buying a Tucson home involves HOA fees. These vary depending on the association your home is located in. It's important to find out 1) if your home is located in an HOA and 2) how much that monthly fee will be. Also, ask about what it costs to set you up with the HOA once you become a new homeowner. 

Other Miscellaneous Costs

Finally, we come to the miscellaneous stuff. Moving costs, regular ongoing maintenance, any repairs needed when you move in, utilities, etc. We don't normally associate these as the regular cost of purchasing a Tucson home. But they are very real. Even if you move everything yourself, there's the cost of renting a truck, gas, and packaging materials.

If you've only ever rented before, you're probably used to just calling the landlord when something breaks. No more. One of the joys of homeownership is that you are now responsible for the hassle and expense when something goes wrong. A bigger home means more square footage to cool down in the hot Tucson summers, too. So, it might be a good idea to invest in some energy-efficient upgrades.

Don't let these "hidden costs" deter you from your dream of owning a Tucson home. Just make sure you budget wisely. And remember that you still get a tax break by being a homeowner. That helps offset some of these costs over time. When you're ready to look for your dream Tucson home, give me a call. I'd love to show you what's available right now.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 3, 2018

What Tucson Buyers Are Looking For in Today's Market

One of the keys to successfully selling your home is knowing your audience. While Baby Boomers comprised the majority of the market in the past, Gen X-ers and Millennials dominate the real estate market nowadays. Learn more about what Tucson buyers are looking for in today's market so you can make any necessary changes before you list.

When selling your home, it helps to know what your target audience is looking for. Find out what today's Tucson buyers want in order to stage and market your home appropriately for a successful sale.

What Tucson Buyers Want

Design Trends

Search all available Tucson homes for saleIn the past, experts recommended using a completely neutral palette to appeal to a wider audience when staging a home. Ditch the brown and gray tones. Today's Tucson buyers want a nice creamy white and beige background with pops of color throughout. Also, depersonalizing is out. Now, I'm not saying you should continue to display your collection of commemorative Elvis plates. But, a couple of family photos and some of your nicer art pieces put here and there throughout add a nice, homey touch that helps buyers see themselves living in.

Open Floor Plans

Another trend that isn't going away anytime soon is the open floor plan. By and large, this is the #1 thing Tucson buyers want. No matter the size of the home, opening up walls so that you can see from the kitchen to the front room makes the living area appear much larger. It would be worth the investment to open up your main living area if at all possible.

Smart Home Features

Yet another thing Tucson buyers of all demographics ask for is smart home features. Energy-efficient appliances remain high on their priority list. But, "smart" features rule the roost. The most requested item? Smart thermostats. Nest and Ecobee4 offer great systems that learn your habits as they go, increasing efficiency. A smart security system and lighting system are also high on the priority list. ADT and Vivint rank tops for security experts. And Lutron provides a wireless kit that allows you to turn lights on and off as well as dim them from your smartphone or tablet. Also, consider adding voice-activated controls like the Echo Dot ("Alexa") or Apple's iOS system ("Siri"). Tucson buyers want to see these features already installed in the home before they purchase.

Curb Appeal

Finally, don't neglect your home's curb appeal. Making sure your property looks its best from the very first moment a Tucson buyer sees it needs to be at the top of your "honey-do" list. Set yourself apart from the terra-cotta tones we see in most other Tucson homes. A fresh white or light gray on the exterior could set your home apart from the others in the neighborhood. Make sure to get rid of any weeds that pop up. Add flowering succulents to your landscaping. Keep all shrubs trimmed up. You only have one chance to make a first impression. So, make it good.

When selling your Tucson home, it helps to know what your target audience wants. That way, you can market and stage your home appropriately. When you're ready to sell your home, contact me. I'm always ready to help.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate

Posted in Selling Your Home