How do you know if your holiday is off to a great start?  Christmas is traditionally the best time to celebrate and be happy, perfect opportunity to take advantage of the downtime. Christmas is also what we make of it. Some can imagine how everything should be; some think of bright lights, a grand Christmas tree or a joyful family reunion. I’m guessing that one of the fondest memories however is the joy of giving, sharing and a time of getting together with friends and loved ones.

pabloWhat is the best gift?  There are long lists of what we can do during this Christmas season. Included of course on the list is giving gifts. The best gift would all depend on what a person values the most. To some it’s receiving a simple dessert from a neighbor, to some a phone call or visit from a family member or friend and to some it’s enjoying their holiday shopping, to some it has a lot to do with doing a random act kindness, a tangible expression showing appreciation.

If there’s anything constant about the holiday season, it would be the unique celebrations, family traditions, and festivities. These do not happen all at once but are enjoyed all throughout the month.

Here’s a quick guide on how to make your weekend extraordinary in Flagstaff:

Fun Things To Do in Flagstaff This Weekend Dec 5-6, 2015 

HUD recently announced that people who lost their home through a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, may be eligible to finance a home again in as little as 12 months. This is a reduction from the previously required minimum of 36 months from the date of the “most recent event.”

Released August 15, HUD provided guidelines under “Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances” meant to ease the path for home ownership for many.

Boomerang  homebuyers, as they are now known, will need to document that the reason they were unable to make their payments was due to a specific Economic Event.  This impact of this event must have resulted in a decline in income of 20% or more for at least six months.

Some boomerang homebuyers who experienced a bankruptcy and simultaneous foreclosure have discovered that the two events may not be recorded at the same time. In cases where the property did not transfer back to the lender at the time of the bankruptcy, the period for the 36 month minimum waiting period as was required by HUD, did not start until the title transferred back to the lender.  In some states, the time for transfer could be months or even years after the discharge of the bankruptcy.

Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances for the purpose of these guidelines are as follows. The borrower(s) must have experienced a decline in income of 20% or more for a period of at least six months. This could have been due to a job loss or a loss of income tied to earnings like commissions or other customary bonus or incentive income.

Demonstrated Cure

With any situation of extenuating circumstances, a boomerang homebuyer must be able to document that the event was isolated in nature and not likely to reoccur again in the future. The borrower must also be able to document that they have regained economic stability through timely payments for a minimum of 12 months.

The timely payment history will include rental/mortgage payments, installment payments, and/or revolving payments for the 12 months preceding the mortgage application. There also should not be any new collection accounts.

In addition to re-establishing acceptable credit, the borrower(s) will be required to complete Housing Counseling.

Eligibility Requirements for Documenting Loss of Income

In the event of a loss in employment, the lender will need to document the event by a written Verification of Employment evidencing the termination date, public information documenting the closure of the business if applicable and/or documentation of unemployment income.

The lender will also need to substantiate the loss of income through the verification of tax returns, W-2s and tax transcripts.

Important Definitions

HUD announced several key terms that must be reviewed in accordance with this program.

Economic Event: an occurrence beyond the borrowers control that resulted in a Loss of Employment, Loss of Income or a combination of both which resulted in a loss of Household Income of 20% or more for a period of six or more months.

Onset of Economic Event: the month of the start of or loss of income

Recovery from an Economic Event: the re-establishment of acceptable or satisfactory credit. Satisfactory Credit equates to no derogatory credit for any mortgaged or leased property in the 12 months preceding the mortgage application. This also includes any installment or revolving debt for the same period.

Borrower: “Borrower” includes all parties including primary and/or co-borrower as listed on the loan application.

Borrower Household Income: the income of all parties on the application or Household Members as listed from the previous Economic Event and derogatory credit.

Housing Counseling: Counseling from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency related to home ownership and meets acceptable requirements.

Other Requirements and Information

HUD establishes a base line for lenders to underwrite and approve mortgage applications. Some lenders may choose to require baseline standards that exceed the minimum guidelines listed here with regards to time from short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Lenders may also choose to enact additional overlays with requirements to evaluation acceptable credit regarding payment history, collection accounts and/or judgments.

In the event a prior defaulted mortgage was endorsed by FHA, the lender will need to request a waiver which may require additional time for processing. For anyone this pertains to, they would be wise to alert the new lender to this as soon as possible in the loan process.

Boomerang homebuyers whose prior hardship was economically driven should be excited by this announcement from HUD. For many, it is now recognized the worst is behind them and the time to buy a new home is here.

*Additional Resource: HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies

Freddie Mac in their report, August 2013 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, explained the three reasons why housing is the key driving force to the overall economic recovery.

The Challenge

The report explains that the path to recovery has been historically slow:

The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009 and, with the release of the second quarter GDP, we now have data on four full years of economic recovery. The data release confirmed what many have felt: four years of recovery have only brought lackluster growth. Compared to all prior postwar recoveries, this expansion has been the weakest. Real GDP has risen by only 9 percent since the recession officially ended, while it grew an average of 17.4 percent in the four years following the end of the previous ten recessions.

The Answer – Housing

Freddie Mac explains that housing drives the economy in three ways. Here are excerpts from the report on each:

Demand for Housing Will Drive Employment

Increased demand for housing will help stimulate new single-family and multifamily construction and boost home sales. We expect starts to hover just below one million (SAAR) over the second half of the year, the best six-month building pace since the first half of 2008. This increased building and sales will add approximately 3/8 of a percentage point directly to GDP growth through residential fixed investment and will employ many more workers in construction and at other housing related firms.

Rising Prices = Increased Family Wealth = Increased Spending

With housing being the biggest asset of most American households, rising house prices directly affect the balance sheet of homeowners. Home equity is the largest component of net wealth for many families. As wealth rises, households generally increase their consumption spending. They may even tap into their equity through a home-equity loan, using the proceeds for either consumption or investment spending. Some evidence that home equity lending has picked up was found in Freddie Mac’s Refinance Report for the second quarter, which saw $9.5 billion in home-equity cashed-out as part of a refinance, up from a year ago.  

Small Business Development is Funded through Home Equity

Rising house prices will help the economic recovery by spurring small business formation, as a business owner’s home often serves as collateral for a start-up. Small business growth has been very weak during the recovery…Recent research by analysts at the U.S. Census Bureau and University of Maryland indicated that slow house price growth has been a key contributing factor to anemic small business growth. According to their analysis 42 percent of the decline in the performance of young firms (relative to mature firms) is due to declines in home prices.

As Freddie Mac explains, the housing recovery is crucial to the recovery of the overall economy.

To see the economic impact of a home sale in your state, click here.

The Beautiful Cox Home

SOLD For $839,000

Listed for $849,500




Testimonial  by Brian Cox: Listed, SOLD and Closed in 40 Days

I had this crazy idea of selling all my properties, so I called Kelly… The whole thing has been really quick. It went very well and I had a pleasant experience, very enjoyable. I would certainly recommend Kelly for any other type of homes you want to sell…Its been great!

– Brian Cox

This Press Release went out a few days after listing:

Phoenix Architect Puts Vacation Home On The Market

Brian Cox, Phoenix Architect lists Vacation Home for $849,500 with Listing Agent Kelly Broaddus.

Flagstaff, AZ, July 03, 2013 –(PR.com)– Architect and interior designer Brian Cox, a partner in Cox James Architects based in Phoenix, is selling his 3583-square-foot abode at 5080 West Kiltie Lane, Flagstaff. A modern home with soaring expanses of glass, the home is listed for $849,500. It is now under contract pending sale after just 18 days on the market.

Built in 2005, Cox’s home is a two-story, four-bedroom house with an attached garage, includes a kitchen, great room and guest quarters on the first floor. The volume of the great room soars the entire two floors. A master suite and study, two bedrooms, a bath and laundry are located upstairs. The home is located in secluded and wooded Westwood.

This home was featured on the 10th anniversary issue of Sources and Design magazine, a premier industry publication for designers, architects and custom homebuilders in the West.

The property is listed by Kelly Broaddus of RE/MAX Fine Living.

Kelly Broaddus is a seasoned real estate professional passionate about customer service and has a team of qualified specialists to best serve Coconino and Yavapi Counties. For the last 15 years Kelly been in helping selling clients get as much as 18% more for their homes than traditional real estate agents by utilizing a proven repeatable system backed by market research to accomplish this goal. She and a partner have assembled a team of professionals that are top in their fields of service to assist clients in reaching goals in the time frame set forth, many times less than market averages with the least amount of hassles and surprises.

Kelly Broaddus Real Estate Advisor Team

Kelly Broaddus




Mortgage Rates Pushed Higher by Market Volatility

June 10, 2013

Mortgage rates continued higher today, further extending the push into fresh 15-month highs confirmed on Friday.   The secondary mortgage market didn’t lose any ground by the end of the session, but volatility trading conditions during the day, along with other factors, kept lenders more defensive (in that rates are higher than they would be if markets were FLAT at current levels).  The weakness wasn’t enough to change the Conventional 30yr Fixed best-execution rate of 4.125%, but it should be noted that there is a wider than normal discrepancy between lenders in terms of how rate sheets have changed from one day to the next.

Here again, the variations in rates between lenders is also a symptom of the same factors pushing rates higher today, despite stable prices in the MBS market (“mortgage-backed-securities”).  Although MBS have the most direct effect on lenders’ rate sheets, there are other factors as well, and we’re seeing several play out at the same time today.  Volatility is the key component and it will always cause wider margins as lenders are forced to account for a wider range of probable outcomes.

Today adds the more specific component of the monthly settlement process for the MBS coupons that are most relevant to rates.  MBS are separated not only by rates but also by vintages.  The smallest discreet vintage is monthly, in that there is a specific bucket of loans of a certain type being filled  for delivery each month.  Once the bucket is filled, attention shifts to the next bucket on the line.

In this case, all Fannie and Freddie 30yr fixed MBS that market participants traded for June delivery will be finalized tomorrow (and are largely finalized already).  Rate offerings tend to be more conservative relative to trading levels heading into this settlement process.    Given that Treasury yields are the highest in over a year, the volatility, and the uncertainty over the Fed Announcement next week, lenders aren’t eager to commit lower rate loans in what still runs the risk of being a risking rate environment.

Loan Originator Perspectives

“No reason to think the steady climb in rates will slow down. Maybe the FED will realize rates have taken off quickly in a short period of time and make a statement to slow the rise or even tilt towards a dip. Locking is the smart move in my book as always.” –Mike Owens, Partner, Horizon Financial Inc.

“MBS mixed to flat to start the week, and, while that’s better than continued losses, certainly doesn’t signal an end to MBS’ recent funk. FOMC statement out next week, and bond market appears to have conceded the Fed will continue taper talk. Sentiment is still firmly with MBS sellers, buyers are non-committal and fleeting. I see no reason to float, can’t fight market sentiment whether we agree with it or not!” -Ted Rood, Senior Originator, WintrustMortgage

Today’s Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.125%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.125%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.625-3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • After rising consistently from all-time lows in September and October 2012, rates challenged the long term trend higher, but failed to sustain a breakout
  • EU and domestic economic data remain relevant to mortgage rates, but uncertainty over the Fed’s bond-buying plans through the rest of the year is causing volatility
  • The further we’ve progressed into 2013, the faster the swings have become
  • Fears about the Fed’s bond-buying intentions were proven well-founded on May 22nd when rates rose to 1yr highs after the Fed confirmed their intention to taper bond buying programs sooner vs later
  • Just as the pendulum pushed far to the positive side of the rate range in April, the opposite swing occurred in May (now the worst single month for rates on record since 2008)
  • (As always, please keep in mind that our talk of Best-Execution always pertains to a completely ideal scenario.  There can be all sorts of reasons that your quoted rate would not be the same as our average rates, and in those cases, assuming you’re following along on a day to day basis, simply use the Best-Ex levels we quote as a baseline to track potential movement in your quoted rate).

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/

coxjames architects


Designed to be very transparent from the inside of the house, but from the street, it appears very understated and somewhat hidden with the large windows expertly concealed.  With views out every window of forest and mountains, privacy and seclusion are felt throughout.  This is the ongoing theme with this magnificent home being intentionally designed with very definitive space, yet very open at the same time.



Exterior and Roof

As you walk down the walkway to the front door, you notice the massive smooth posts held in place by custom designed galvanized steel plates. All of the smooth posts and joists were sand blasted prior to installation with black slag instead of silica sand, because the silica would imbed itself into the wood.


The outside of the house is protected by shingles made of western Red Cedar wood stained with a beautiful semi-transparent stain made by Cabot with 14 stainless steal ring shank nails to prevent rust. The garage door is paneled with clear red cedar 1×6 boards horizontally to the door sections.   As the cedar was applied, each one was meticulously weighed so the garage door springs would be weighted properly with the weight of the wood on the door.

Kovach Roofing, the best metal roofing company in the state of AZ, installed the metal Roof.  A Champagne metallic finish was used, with heavy duty Bituthene® membrane underneath which is self-healing and will adhere itself to the roof under the metal.  

All fascia is doubled up offset 2×14 western Red Cedar forming a hidden vent so the roof space can breath.

The required depth of piers is usually around 30″, in this home the piers were sunk 4 ft.


 End blocks from the quarry are on the fireplace, the marks are from the drill when they drilled the granite to excavate it. They slice it into slabs and polish it, but what are on the fireplaces are the ends of the blocks that they normally discard. They were shipped from Brazil and used as the surround on the three fireplaces.


All three are gas fireplaces that were designed to be capped off if the new owner would like to use wood instead of gas.


They are Rumford fireplaces which are very effective at throwing the heat out because of their shape, the construction of the throat behind the top lintel is of a durable clay.


The Chimney is 26 ft wide, 5 ft deep, and 36 ft high, with three of the Rumford fireplaces on it, one in the living room, the master bedroom, and the study/guest suite.


Windows, Doors, Walls, Floors, Floor registers.

All Weather Shield insulated glass, Low- e. Low-e glass, officially called low emissivity glass, is a type of glass that is treated to decrease the amount of heat that is transmitted through your window into your home. German hardware was installed on all of the Weather Shield doors with a 4-point locking mechanism. 


The doors throughout the house are made of solid Alder wood made to match the other cabinetry throughout the house. The doorframes are made of Alder with no casings they are inset, to create a very clean look. All of the stationery wood in the house was finished and lacquered in place.


All of the walls are made of 5/8 commercial grade sheet rock with a level 5 finish. Skim coating is when the entire surface of the dry wall is thinly coated with the mud, no seams. Three paint colors were used, off white, a grey/green color, and the red accent wall.


The block creating the walls is the heaviest standard block available (not cinder block), made by “Superlite”.  The blocks were shot blasted to create the textured finish. They are actually 8x8x16 but because they are scored, it gives the appearance of 8x8x8.


#3 rebar at 18” on center both ways runs under the entire concrete floor. The concrete has fiberglass in it to increase stability and durability.  They were scored and grouted. The concrete itself was colored “Kahlua” and then it was stained with a Plum and Sienna stain and then sealed.  It is damp mopped with a little Murphy’s oil soap, very low maintenance and high durability.


Upstairs flooring is Bamboo. Truss-joists were used in the floors instead of the regular 2x’s normally used. It creates solid, stable floors. The entire roof is also this type of truss.


Hardware, Light fixtures, Cabinetry, and Staircase 

All hardware is stainless steel throughout the entire house. All light and electrical plates throughout the house were made by Lutron.   The colors of the walls also matching the plates.


All of the lighting in the house is commercial grade, not available to the general public.  Some of it is from the U.S. some of it is Italian.


All cabinetry throughout the house is made of Cherry Wood, including the kitchen. The closets in every room are entirely freestanding and fully adjustable to your needs. They can be moved and arranged as desired. All floors were finished to every wall underneath them so movement is not limited.


A Japanese company, “Seiho International Inc.” uniquely made all of the round air vents upstairs.  All the stainless steel downstairs registers are custom designed by the owner and fabricated by “Magnum Engineering” out of Phoenix the same engineering firm that fabricated the stainless steel handrails, also designed by the owner, completely monolithic, entirely seamless.


The architect designed the stainless steel plates that hold the staircase together and galvanized steel that holds the posts in the front porch. 200 bolts in the staircase alone that all together weigh 400 pounds.



Sound system

Central control is in the downstairs “mud room”.  Every room in the house has speakers and a control switch to adjust volume in each room.




Designed to be very user friendly. Everything appears to be where it should be and where it is most easily utilized. Equipped with ample storage and recessed lighting under the cabinets.  The floor registers are discreetly hidden underneath the center island. The cabinetry is once again, all cherry.


The beautiful granite in the kitchen and throughout the house is Juparana Florence imported from Brazil.


All bathrooms are the same, with the same tile and floors. All tile is done the old fashioned way, mud set, not glued to the dry wall. Cement board to the wall and then a mud screed. Stronger and better quality makes it perfectly flat.


All bathroom and laundry room floors are tiled with a German limestone called Jura Beige


All toilets are high efficiency toto toilets


Bathroom skylights upstairs are all electrically operated and will automatically close when it rains.


Master bedroom

The master bedroom is graced with it’s own balcony and beautiful granite enhanced Rumford fireplace. Pocket doors throughout the house and the master bathroom is the vision of luxury with the moveable cherry wood closets, granite counter tops, and beautiful limestone floor coverings.

Offered by:

RE/MAX Fine Living




coxjames architects

                    Brian Cox, Allied Member ASID | Cox James Architects | Phoenix, Arizona

 Architect and interior designer Brian Cox, a partner in Cox James Architects, is well known for his corporate, hospitality and civic projects throughout Arizona. It isn’t difficult for him to come up with any kind of a design concept, be it corporate or rustic.  “When I design for a client, I design for them, for what they want and need,” Cox explains.

When it came to designing a family vacation home in Flagstaff for himself, his wife Nancy and their two children, Cox was initially stumped. “I play piano and I’m an artist,” he says, “but I don’t like just one kind of music or one kind of art. I started drawing up the house and I realized, ‘Gee, I can do anything I want to do.’

The enormity of choices was a bit overwhelming, and Cox admits he went through four designs, including one that went as far as construction-document phase. The fifth design was the charm, however, and the plans and details pulled together easily.

Cox tapped his New England roots for the stylistic influence of the 3583-square-foot home, set on a pine dotted, two-acre lot with views of Flagstaff’s landmark San Francisco Peaks.  Steep rooflines and cedar shingles recall traditional farmhouses of the Northeast, but cox made the house into a decidedly modern statement with soaring expanses of glass that connect the indoors with the out, angled walls and the juxtaposition of smooth and rough textures.

In plan, the two-story, four-bedroom house with an attached garage includes a kitchen, great room and guest quarters on the first floor. The volume of the great room soars the entire two floors. A master suite and study, two bedrooms, a bath and laundry are located upstairs.

Cox detailed the interior with stained concrete floors on the first level and bamboo flooring upstairs. Anchoring the center of the house is a 26-foot-wide chimney made of shot-blasted concrete block. The chimney has fireplaces for the great room, guest quarters and master suite. Smooth interior drywall, in shades of off-white, sage and deep red, contrasts with the rough textures of the chimney and the exterior’s cedar shingles. Alder doors, sleek cherry cabinetry and granite countertops add depth throughout the interior. Cox used exposed ductwork and stainless-steel accents to give the house an industrial edge.

The floating staircase that leads to the upstairs bedrooms and serves as a sculptural focal point was an exercise in creativity and patience. “There were two ponderosa pines on the property that were victims of bark beetle infestation,” explains Cox. “During construction, I had the trees cut into 16-foot lengths and hauled to a sawmill.” From the sawmill, the rough-sawn wood was trucked down to the warehouse behind Cox’s downtown Phoenix architectural office, where it was air-dried for two years. A mill shop planed and finished the lumber into staircase lengths, which were then hauled back to Cox’s Flagstaff construction site. “I spent a Thursday to a Sunday bolting the staircase together with stainless-steel plates,” Cox remembers. “Would I do it again? I don’t know.”

Cox furnished the home simply, mixing contemporary pieces of his own design with items he snapped up from retailers. “We wanted the house to be done,” says Cox of the project, which was completed in 2003. “We didn’t want to wait weeks and months for the furnishings to arrive.”

Downstairs, a teak dining table is large enough to accommodate 10, seated on “T-Shirt” chairs of laminated maple and chrome designed by Cox. Leather sofas in the great room are decidedly modern, but cozy enough to lounge upon. Cox chose end tables made of logs as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Flagstaff’s traditional building material.  In the master bedroom, a black leather armchair is a prototype of a Cox design for Bernhardt. Several of his own paintings are also displayed in the house.

Cox and his family try to get up to their Flagstaff retreat every other week, year round. “Flagstaff is so relaxing for us,” he explains. “The night sky is pitch black, and we see bears, elk, coyotes, and foxes. It’s just restful.”

Cox and his wife have also made an unwritten pact to keep the Flagstaff home as pristine as the day they moved in. “We don’t bring our suburbia up from Phoenix,” he says with a laugh. “This place is our little design fantasyland. There’s no junk or trinkets up here. We clean up before we leave, and what you see in the photos is what you’ll see in our house.”

Architecture and interior design: Brian Cox, Cox James Architects, Phoenix, AZ.

Builder: TM Construction, Phoenix, AZ.

(Excerpt from “Sources + Design” Magazine, Premier industry publication for designers, architects and custom homebuilders in the West)

Offered by:                                                                                            

RE/MAX Fine Living 


Are you thinking about listing your home? Give me a call and find out how I can get you up to 18% more than traditional real estate agents!