Prescott's Best Homes Real Estate Blog

Sept. 6, 2023

What Buyer Need to Know About HOAs

If you're buying a house in an area under the protection of a Homeowners Association (HOA), there are a few things you need to know before signing the dotted line. Whether you're brand new to homeownership or want some handy tips for navigating these associations, we will explore everything related to HOAs and how they can affect your bottom line - and overall peace of mind.


What is an HOA?

A homeowners association is an organization that manages a community of homes. HOAs are common in condominiums and planned developments. states, "In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans living in homes with HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 25% today, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research."


What Does an HOA Do?

An HOA's primary responsibility is to maintain the community's common areas and enforce the rules outlined in the association's governing documents. This can include everything from mowing the lawn to painting the exterior of buildings.


HOAs may also offer amenities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and playgrounds. Some associations even host social events for residents.


What are the Rules?

Each HOA is governed by a set of documents that detail the rules residents must follow. These documents can include minimum credit scores for buyers, pet restrictions, and noise ordinances.


It's essential to review the association's governing documents before buying a home in an HOA community to be comfortable with the rules.


How Much Does It Cost?


Homeowners need to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on the property size, the number of residents, amenities, etc. Additional fees may be charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a high or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.


Investigating HOA fees when budgeting for your new home is essential.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Living in an HOA Community?


Like anything, there are both pros and cons to living in an HOA community. Here are some things to consider:


  • HOAs can help maintain property values by ensuring the community looks its best.
  • Access to amenities, such as possibly swimming pools and gyms.
  • Living in an HOA community can provide a sense of camaraderie among neighbors.


  • HOAs can be strict about enforcing the rules, which some people may find constricting.
  • HOA fees can add up, and there may be additional assessments charged if the HOA needs to cover an unexpected cost.
  • Some people may not like having their neighbors tell them what they can and cannot do.


Bottom Line


There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it's essential to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you'd like to live.


When looking at a potential property to buy, let's get together so you have a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood's HOA structure and fees. This way, you'll feel confident and fully informed when buying a home.  John Gorden (928) 308-0101

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 10, 2023

Williamson Valley Offers Something For Everyone

Diversity of Williamson Valley 


I love the diversity of the Williamson Valley area north of Prescott, Arizona. The Williamson Valley area is located northwest of downtown Prescott and offers a variety of home styles, subdivisions, and properties.

If you have any questions about homes available in Prescott, call me. I love to talk Prescott, and I love to talk real estate!


Below is some information and homes available at a few subdivisions in the Williamson Valley Corridor in Prescott. Get in touch with me, and I can answer your questions.


Crossroads Ranch


Crossroads Ranch, located along Williamson Valley Road approximately 20 miles north of Prescott, Arizona, is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Prescott landscape. Antelope, javelina, deer, elk, and bobcats enjoy the natural landscape and rolling hills covered with pinon and juniper vegetation. Crossroads Ranch is a 5,000-acre Equestrian Community with home sites ranging from 4 acres to 100 acres. This elite community offers country living with all the conveniences of modern living, including underground utilities and paved streets. Homes in Crossroads Ranch range from modern ranch homes with fertile pastures to incredible gated Custom Estates. There are many parcels still available to build your dream home.


Homes for Sale in Crossroads Ranch

Williamson Valley Ranch


Williamson Valley Ranch in Prescott, Arizona, is a prestigious, private neighborhood conveniently located ten miles north of Prescott. The unique equestrian subdivision features beautiful, custom homes. Many homes are exclusively solar; some are contemporary, while others are classic ranch style. Homes range from 1100 sq ft 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.


Homes for Sale in Williamson Valley Ranch

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. Residents love enjoying country living while living only a few miles from downtown Prescott.


Homes for Sale in Granite Oaks

Talking Rock


Talking Rock is an upscale master-planned golf community in the Williamson Valley corridor north of Prescott, Arizona. This prestigious community offers private and tranquil living only twenty minutes from shopping, dining, and medical services. At the heart of Talking Rock is the inviting Ranch Compound, a one-of-a-kind clubhouse that provides a place to meet for recreation and connect with your neighbors. Architect Jay Morrish designed the highly acclaimed golf course, which lies perfectly in the land's natural contours, the rolling terrain, and the beautiful vistas.


Homes for Sale in Talking Rock


Call me and we can talk about what you are looking for! 


John Gorden


Posted in Buying a Home
July 11, 2023

Save Money on your Heating or Cooling Bills



As a homeowner, you are always looking for ways to save money. Your heating and cooling bills can be a large part of your monthly expenses, so finding ways to reduce those costs can significantly impact your budget.


5 Energy Saving Tips


1. Programmable Thermostat:  Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save money on your heating and cooling bills by allowing you to set specific temperatures for different times of the day. For example, you can select the temperature to lower when you are asleep or out of the house and rise when you are home and awake.


2. Seal Those Leaks: On average, heating and cooling account for almost half of a home’s energy consumption. One way to reduce energy loss and save money on heating or cooling bills is to weatherstrip your doors and windows. Weatherstrip will help to keep the cool or warm air inside your home and prevent it from escaping. (Tip: Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors to save up to 20% on heating costs.) The minor leaks can be equivalent to leaving open a 3-foot-by-3-foot window.


3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly: Another way to save money on your heating and cooling bills is to maintain your HVAC system. This means having it regularly serviced and changing the air filters as needed. Dirty air filters can restrict airflow and make your system work harder, which uses more energy and drives up costs.


4. Utilize Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans can help circulate the air in your home, making it feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Fans can help you reduce your reliance on your heating and cooling system and save you money.


5. Be Mindful of Your Lighting: In the winter, take advantage of natural daylight by opening blinds and curtains during the day. In the summer, do the opposite and close them to keep the heat out. And no matter what time of year it is, use energy-efficient lighting whenever possible. LEDs are a great example of how innovation and technology can make your life easier. They last 25 times longer and consume up to 90 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs. (Tip: By switching five of your home’s most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs, it’s possible to save $75 on energy costs annually.)


APS (Arizona Public Service) also provides helpful power-saving tips on their website:


By making a few upgrades to your home, you’ll save on your utility bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency. When you’re ready to sell your house, these key features will make it even more attractive to potential buyers. Call me at 928-308-0101 when you are ready to discuss what buyers want regarding energy efficiency options in our area.

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 7, 2023

How to Fulfil the Dream of Owning a Home

Buying a home



Homeownership is the American Dream. Owning a home gives us confidence, but mainly, and is a place that provides security and safety or an area to grow a family. 


As a trusted real estate advisor, I want to make the dream of home ownership come true. The first hurdle many face is knowing where to start the process.


Where Do I Start?


There is a list of questions to get you started when you decide to buy a home.


  • How much space do you need?
  • Will this be a short-term starter home or a "forever" home?
  • What is your ideal commute?
  • How much can you spend?
  • Which neighborhood?
  • Do you need to evaluate nearby schools?


Apply for a Mortgage


Next, you need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will examine multiple factors, including your credit history, to determine how much you can borrow. They will look at your history of paying and managing your car loans, student loans, credit cards, and other debts.

Freddie Mac states to determine what you can afford, "you should spend no more than 28% of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income on your mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance."


Saving for a Down Payment


Saving for a down payment doesn't have to be daunting. There are multiple tips to help you:


  • Automatic Savings: Business Insider suggests making an automatic percentage of your paycheck direct deposit it into a savings account set aside for your down payment. They state that "the automatic-savings strategy makes it so you don't have to constantly remember to save money."
  • Learn where your money goes:  Monitor your current spending to determine where you can trim the fat from your budget.
  • Create a Goal: Talk to an agent or lender to determine how much you need to save and work towards that goal.


How Do I Budget and Determine Where My Money Goes is an online budgeting worksheet that can help you stick to a planned budget and increase your savings.


They recommend these five rules: 

  • Identify Goals
  • Record Expenses
  • Record Earnings
  • Compare and Calculate
  • Fix Weak Spots


There are several benefits to buying a home, including an increase in equity and confidence, but more importantly, a home is a place that provides safety and security.


If you plan to buy a home, I encourage you to seek help. When it comes to buying a home, knowledge is power! I am very familiar with the market and trends in selling and purchasing properties in the Quad Cities area. 


John Gorden

Posted in Buying a Home
May 10, 2023

How You Know When You’ve Found Your Next Home

Buying a Home

House hunting can be overwhelming. 

As realtors, we genuinely understand that you are preparing to make a substantial financial and emotional investment. As a future homeowner, you take great care to find a "just right" place for you and your family. You can even get a little addicted to touring houses, always convinced the perfect home is just about to hit the market. Sometimes the inability to pull the trigger on the house can cause serious shopper's remorse. You could miss out on a home that, in retrospect, was ideal. 

So how do you know a home is "the one"?

Here are some practical ways to check your buying temperature and know when it's time to make an offer:

1. The home fundamentally meets your needs. There's plenty of compromise in home hunting, so take note when you find one with the basics covered.

2. You would consider renovating for those luxurious little extras. The home may be missing that pool you've always wanted or a detached workshop/garage space. Missing 'wish list' items means you may be tackling a project to make it perfect.

3. You're in love with the kitchen. Studies show that most of our waking hours are connected to or using the kitchen. If you love the kitchen but think the master bedroom is small, consider where you spend most of your time. Be careful not to pass on the home when it could be the one.

4. The bathroom feels comfortable to you. Many times, other people's bathrooms will give you the creeps. If you feel good about the bathroom, it's a healthy sign. 

5. You start to see your possessions in the house. If you're thinking, "Ah yes, the flatscreen could go on that wall," and "Wow, my bed would fit perfectly in this suite," then you're starting to imagine the house as your own.

6. You picture where you are going to place your Christmas tree. Many professionals claim that when you can visualize where your tree will be placed, you may be in the 'right' home.  

7. You become possessive about the house and defend every flaw you see. Maybe your agent points out a flaw and says, "There is a stain in the kitchen sink," and you become defensive to them for saying something so mean about this house. If you see the flaws and decide that defects do not matter, you're falling in love.

8. The idea of someone else buying the home gives you a pit in your stomach. Pay attention if you're "sleeping on the decision" and the idea that the home is no longer an option makes you anxious. It could be offer time!

As realtors, we understand the financial commitment as well as the physical commitment of a move. It isn't a decision that you should take lightly, nor a decision that should be made without a realtor to help you with the tough questions. When you are ready to buy, give me a call, we would love to put our experience to work for you. 

John Gorden

(928) 308-0101

Posted in Buying a Home
April 11, 2023

Stop Your Hose bibs From Dripping

Repair Your Leaking Hose bib

Repairing a hose bib can be an easy and practically free way to stretch your home maintenance budget further. Whether you need to replace a worn-out washer or are looking to upgrade to a more modern, efficient model, the basics of hose bib repair are relatively straightforward. You can complete the repair with some basic plumbing tools and supplies in no time. 


In Prescott, Arizona, it is necessary to protect your home from costly and disruptive plumbing repairs by removing your hoses from hose bibs in the colder months. It's an easy fix that could save you time, money, and stress! Doing so will help you avoid costly plumbing repairs due to broken pipes.  


A local plumber has created some instructional videos on repairing leaking hose bibs and posted them on YouTube. I have provided links to those videos below.

I love Prescott! If you need information on the area, the local housing market, or questions on selling or buying a home in the Prescott area, give me a call, I would love to help!  (928) 308-0101





Posted in Home Maintenance
March 9, 2023

Removing Mortgage Fear


Many potential buyers put off the home-buying process because of the uncertainty of the real estate market and the fear of the steps involved in qualifying for a mortgage. However, it doesn't have to be daunting. Below we have broken down what you'll need to qualify to purchase a home and easy steps you can follow to apply.


To qualify in today's market, you'll need the following:


  1. A Down Payment: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the median down payment is 13% of the home's price, while the median down payment for first-time homebuyers is 7%. Programs are also available to put less or no money down.
  2. Good Credit: You'll need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a conventional loan. If your score is below that, you may still be able to get an FHA loan, which requires a minimum credit score of 580.
  3. Income and Employment History: Lenders want to see steady employment history and income. They may require documentation such as W2s, tax returns, and pay stubs. 


If you are ready to apply, here are five easy steps you can follow:


  1. Find out your current credit history and credit score. This can be easily done by requesting a free credit report.
  2. Gather your documentation. This includes income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify savings).
  3. Contact a real estate professional. A real estate professional will help guide you through the home-buying process and can put you in touch with a mortgage lender. 
  4. Consult with your lender. Your lender can help you determine how much you can afford and what type of loan is best for you.
  5. Get pre-approval. A pre-approval letter estimates what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn't change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you're serious about buying.


With these steps, you can ease your way into the mortgage process and be on your way to owning your dream home. Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure you're ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.


About John Gorden

John Gorden with Better Homes and Garden BloomTree Realty is your Realtor (and ex-Southern Californian). John has specialized knowledge of the greater Prescott area's diverse communities.

John's Real Estate education has taken him through residential and Commercial Real Estate transactions. Trained as an Accredited Buyers Representative with the National Association of Realtors, this ABR designation lets him share positive insights with Buyers regarding the potential purchase of Real Estate. In addition, John holds a CNE, a Certified Negotiation Expert by the National Association of Realtors. On the commercial side, John has a CCSS "Certified Commercial Sales Specialist" awarded by the commercial Real Estate Institute.

Recently John earned a certification as a Retirement and Second Home Specialist, helping buyers find suitable properties during the retirement or Second Home process. All these designations and certifications show hundreds of hours of ongoing training that make John a valuable asset when representing you in either a buying or seller environment.

John Gorden

(928) 308-0101

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 13, 2023

Ideas to Free up your Kitchen Space

Kitchen Storage



Have you ever heard the saying, "the kitchen is the heart of the home?" If that's true, then it is more accurate to say that the kitchen is the powerhouse of your home. From hosting birthday parties and holiday dinners to enjoying casual lunches with family members, a thoughtfully designed kitchen can help bring your dream home alive. And while this space may require a significant investment upfront, in terms of both time and money, its benefits will quickly become evident when looking at the potential return on investment. Below we compiled a few tips and advice on creating an impressive kitchen oasis.


Did you know that the kitchen is the most expensive room in your home to renovate? An article by Master Remodelers states that in upscale kitchen remodels in Pittsburgh, homeowners spend around $128,000. That's a significant investment that isn't always an option for most homeowners.  


So, what's the solution? Does revamping your kitchen require a total renovation? Not always. Fortunately, I have some kitchen hacks to open up your kitchen without you having to do a complete makeover that will not require you to spend thousands of dollars. 


Hack #1: Hang it high. With an appropriately-installed ceiling rack, long-handled pots, pans, and other utensils can be hung high, making them easily accessible. Use your longest-handled pan as a guide and install a hanging rack high enough above your head.


Hack #2: Play all the angles. Pay attention to the unutilized space in the corners. Typically, you will find a chunky wooden knife block tucked into these corners. Consider installing corner shelving or even placing a magnetic knife strip near a convenient corner.


Hack #3: Shelve it for later. Counters and cabinets don't have to do all of the storage work. Nesting shelving in windows or even on the surrounding backsplash and walls can be a great solution. 


Hack #4: Save the sink space. Seldom are you using the sink while prepping veggies, so why not get a large cutting board and lay it across the surface? This way, you turn a sink into a temporary counter.


Hack #5: See the studs. Open up a wall or two in your kitchen to access the recessed space between studs. Subdividing this space with shelves or hanging hooks can be a space saver. Properly finished, these shelves add creativity and simultaneously serve the valuable purpose of creating storage.


Hack #6: Jar it up! Take a mason jar lid and screw it to the underside of an existing shelf or overhang. Now, put items in the mason jar and screw the jar into the lid. Bingo! New hanging storage.


These are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your kitchen space. If you're ready to move to a larger kitchen or want to talk about ways to remodel your current one, we'd love to chat. Our team can help you find the perfect home for sale with the ideal layout and amenities for your needs. Give me a call today, and let's get started!


John Gorden

(928) 308-0101


Posted in Home Maintenance
Jan. 12, 2023

Buyer Beware: 3 Home Buying Misconceptions

3 Big Myths About Home Shopping


There are numerous rollercoasters in life, and buying a home can be one of them. But, when done correctly, the 'real estate rollercoaster' doesn't need to be terrifying. Instead, a real estate transaction should resemble riding the gentle curvy track at the carnival.  


There are myths about the home shopping experience that I like to educate my clients about when it comes to buying a home. As a realtor, my goal is to save pain and stress for both the buyer and seller. I strive to make the home-buying process end with a smooth transaction and skip the scary ride. The tips below, plus several other tools I have up my sleeve, will help you make a successful home purchase.


Myth #1: "That house has been on the market so long I bet we can easily work the seller down."


Maybe, but not necessarily. Days On the Market, abbreviated as DOM, is the time between listing a home on the MLS and the date it is sold or removed from the market. In Prescott, a house is currently on the market for an average of 72 days. There were times in the past when the average days on the market were much lower and when it was a little higher. A home on the market for 100 days isn't necessarily going to go for a 'bargain' just because of the days on the market. Exceptionally high days on the market could mean almost anything. The seller could be unrealistic about their price. Alternatively, the seller may not be particularly motivated to sell for emotional or other personal reasons. At this point, the experience and training of your realtor are beneficial to a successful transaction.


Myth #2: "I want to look at foreclosed homes because they're a real bargain and the banks need to unload them."


Unfortunately, there are several reasons a home may arrive in foreclosure. It could be a death in the family, illness, or divorce. Once the house is in the hands of the banks, the rules of negotiation change. It may be challenging to determine why a bank rejects an offer for a foreclosed or distressed property. 

Financials can cause rejection, which seems counterintuitive. Many distressed sale transactions can be longer and more stressful than regular sales. If you are looking for a bargain or a fixer-upper, contact me. I can set up a personalized search that will alert you when inventory that meets your criteria becomes available.



Myth #3: "I liked this house a lot, but with this market, I bet it will still be there if I decide to buy it."


It is excruciating to see a client fall in love with a home but fail to make a move to purchase that home. If you fall in love with it, someone else will likely fall in love with it as well. Just because a property has been on the market for a little while doesn't mean it will stay on the market. If you don't make an offer on a home, are you comfortable losing this home?


My job as an agent is to represent your interests and do my best to protect you along the way. If you're pursuing a home purchase soon, please get in touch with me today at (928) 308-0101. There are many other ways I can lower your stress and help you find a great home.


Prescott Valley Homes For Sale


Prescott Homes For Sale

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 15, 2022

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster


Ways to Sell Your House Faster

When selling your house, there are a few key things you can prioritize to have the most significant impact for a faster sale:


1. Make Buyers Feel at Home


Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Removing these items will make buyers feel like they belong in the house. According to the 2019 Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors, "83% of buyer's agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home."


Not only will your house spend less time on the market, but the same report mentioned that "One-quarter of buyers' agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 – 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged."


If you don't have time or the budget to stage the entire house, the four rooms you should focus on are the Living Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, and Dining Room. The kitchen should appear decluttered and functional, and the living room should have the accessories kept to a minimum. For example, for the dining room, make sure the dining table is the right size and the paint is light and bright. For the master bedroom, ensure all the clothing is appropriately hung and remove unnecessary furniture.


2. Keep It Organized


Since you took the time to declutter, keep it organized. Before buyers arrive, pick up toys, make the bed, clear off the fridge, toss the newspapers, and put away clean dishes. As mentioned above, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to stage to attract more buyers. Put out a scented candle or some cookies fresh from the oven. Buyers will remember the smell of your home.


3. Price It Right


More inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home gets noticed. A key to selling your house is ensuring it is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI). Proper pricing means you'll drive more traffic to your property and ultimately create more interest in your home.

Realtors have valuable resources available to help find the right selling price; this is one of the many benefits of using a realtor.


4. Give Buyers Full Access


We all have busy lives, but access is one of the top four elements when selling your home. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities to find a buyer. For some buyers, especially those relocating, time is limited. If they cannot get into the house, they will move on to the next one. Let's chat about how we can make your home accessible.


Bottom Line


If you want to sell your home, in the least amount of time, at the best price, and with as little hassle as possible, you need to enlist the help of a seasoned real estate professional. Let's connect today to determine what you need to do to sell your home as quickly as possible.



Posted in Selling Your Home