Phoenix Metro Real Estate and Community News

July 13, 2020

PHOENIX METRO AREA MARKET UPDATE

A wave of high-end homes are populating the housing market while new listings for affordable homes remain far below the levels of one year ago, according to a new survey released Wednesday by Zillow. 
 
The Phoenix Metro Market mirrors this report...on steroids!
 
  • In the mid-range of the Market $500k - $1M range new inventory is down about 78% in June year-over-year. This is particularly frustrating for buyers relying on financing in order to purchase a home. Agents are competing for the same properties sometimes yielding 20+ offers within the first 2 days of listing. Cash buyers are winning with offers waiving inspection and appraisal contingencies.
  • Listings over $1M in June were up a whopping 30% year-over-year. This is better news for buyers in the luxury market and for those moving from the mid-west and California who have nothing to sell looking to plant roots in Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.
  • New listings $500K and under in June were down a frightening 82% year-over-year creating a feeding frenzy for investors with cash who are able to scoop up properties that will immediately turn a rental profit, as the rental market continues to soar here.
  • Overall, the market is vibrant here in Phoenix. There is no shortage of buyers looking for a wonderful lifestyle at a modest cost of living compared to markets with a higher taxes and property values with similar lifestyle attributes. Those luxury buyers have a bit of an advantage here, currently while sellers are enjoying "the sky's the limit" profits as buyers fight for most properties under $1M.
July 7, 2020

GIVE YOUR DECK A FACELIFT!

Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you,
refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still
fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck
finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if it's more worn down,
the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware,
giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis.
Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically
when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps,
or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing
bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, 
you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever
route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home.
You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but
maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

July 6, 2020

HOME OWNERSHIP AND FREEDOM FOR ALL

In these trying times, it’s important to remember what matters most — equality. Now more than ever, Americans are tasked with the challenge to speak up, get our opinions heard and spread an important message about equal opportunity.

On this Fourth of July, perhaps we ought to look back at how we got here in the first place. Originally, it was just a dream, then a manifesto, and later, a declaration. The U.S. Declaration of Independence states:  

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

How is it that we often gloss over one of the most important declarations in our nation’s history? Let these words sink in for a minute. All men created equal. Unalienable rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Isn’t that what we all aspire to achieve? I would like to think so. Between the overwhelming effects of the pandemic to the injustices that many of us face and fight against every single day, one thing remains — the American dream. 

Last year, I wrote about the American dream and its ties to homeownership. It still rings true today, perhaps even more so, as our very livelihood and personal freedoms are being challenged on the world stage. 

No matter how bleak it gets, I still believe in the greater good, in the power of equality and in the strength that comes from aspiring to achieve the very basis of the American dream. This of course leads me to an iconic speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that I am often reminded of, particularly as we near this Fourth of July. 

“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal … “

This dream is not only rooted in equality but in the most basic of human needs — the freedom to earn a wage, to vote, to own a home. The American dream is not dead. It’s alive and well. And if we continue to work together from a place of peace and justice for all, impactful change will come. 

Until then, we must continue to fight the good fight. We must listen. We must demonstrate our commitment to making the world a better place.

As stewards of homeownership, we are called upon to ensure that every American, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, has the opportunity to pursue that most essential part of the American dream. Because homeownership is and always will be one of the greatest freedoms of all.

July 5, 2020

5 NEGOTIATING TACTICS THAT KILL A SALE

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.
July 4, 2020

WHICH DOWN PAYMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.

THE DOWNSIDE

The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.

THE UPSIDE

The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.

 


THE HAPPY MEDIUM

Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.

 

Posted in Home Financing
July 3, 2020

WHAT TO REPAIR BEFORE YOU LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in
the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a
big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally,
it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating
any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing
scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile
in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and
driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in
mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to
potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real
eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and
sinks may be worth the investment

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 2, 2020

TOWNHOUSE VS. CONDO: WHICH SHOULD YOU BUY?

Whether it’s your first time buying or you just want to purchase something smaller, townhouses and condos are
both great options. Check out the differences between the two to help aid you in your search!

Condominiums

Condominiums are similar to apartments in that you purchase an individual unit inside of a larger building, but
not the property it sits on. This generally includes access to the building’s amenities, such as the clubhouse, pool,
and gym. However, condo owners are not responsible for the upkeep and repair of these common areas. Because
of the number of shared spaces, living in a condo often allows for meeting new people and building a strong sense
of community. There is a fairly similar vetting process for loan approval as for a full-sized home; however, the lender
will also look at the health of the condo association.

Townhouses

Those who purchase a townhome are generally purchasing the complete unit, both inside and out, including the land
it sits on. This might also include the driveway, yard, or roof. Traditionally, these units are two- or three-stories tall
and may also include common areas like pools and parks. Townhome owners pay a fee to a homeowners association
every month and the loan process is the same as buying a full-sized home.

Which is the best choice?

Both townhomes and condos offer less maintenance than a traditional home and generally offer great shared areas.
Your decision ultimately comes down to you and your family’s needs and wants. Things you’ll want to take into consideration include location, lifestyle, family growth, and price.

Posted in Home Buying
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates