Google Cardboard Glasses and Virtual Home Tours

Are we now in the era of TOTAL RECALL with the widespread use of affordable Google glasses from video games, movies to now touring homes from the seat of your own chair???

(Please click on photo below to watch my latest video on how they work!)image

Matterport Tours, also known as 3d Virtual Reality Home Tours have been in use for a couple of years now by yours truly and a few other high tech geeky Realtors- I even did a tutorial video back in 2015 on You Tube (click link here) because what I found was being such new technology, most did not know how to use it when they saw the link in our listings online.

NOW we’ve gotten into a whole ‘nother level of using this techie tool in order to sell homes, by incorporating Google glasses with those tours by downloading the app and using a pair of the glasses.  Will this also be the wave of the future?  I’m thinking so!  We will have several of these available at our new office for our clients to try for themselves as we’d love feedback.  We’ve heard some people say they get motion sickness because it’s THAT real of an experience… What do you think? We’d love to know as we are ordering these tours for most of our listings these days.

July Real Estate Market update

2016-07 Infographic and Commentary_Page_1 (Click image above or HERE for downloadable PDF)


Monthly Sales Up 7.7%
Listings Under Contract Up 5.6%

For Buyers:
Unless you’re looking for a property in the lowest price ranges, there’s a decent amount of supply to choose from in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. As prices rise, most buyers will ad-just what they buy in terms of size or location in accordance with their budget. Over time, we’ve seen the average size home purchased continue to rise, even when prices were at their highest. For example, in 2002 the average sized home purchased was 1,607sf. It rose to 1,632sf in 2006, then 1,715 in 2011 and 1,762sf so far in 2016. Of properties sold under $200K in 2006, the average size is currently 1,388sf. Between $200K-$300K, the average size is 1,829sf. $300K-$500K is 2,385sf. $500K-$1M is 3,189sf. $1M-$2M is 4,421sf and over $2M is 6,338sf.

For Sellers:
The median sales price has risen a whopping $20,000 since January’s measure of $210,000, a 9.5% increase. This type of disparity can spur articles and discussion about real estate “bubbles” and rapid price appreciation. This looks very exciting for sellers until it’s compared to the price per square foot measure, which has only increased 1.5% from $138.73 to $140.84 during the same time frame. The difference in growth rates between the median sales price and the average sales price per square foot can be attributed to a shift in the composition of sales by price range. Due to the lack of supply of properties below $150,000, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has seen a significant drop in percentage of sales in this price range. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in market share within the $200,000 - $300,000 price range where there is also more supply. The increase in supply over $200,000 keeps individual property appreciation per square foot more sustainable. However, because the under $150,000 market continues to lose market share as the over $200,000 market gains, the median sales price measure is pushed up higher than the rate of the average price per square foot. For the median measure to increase, sales over $230,000 would need to achieve 51% market share or more.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

June’s Real Estate Market Update


Cromford Infographic report_Page_1

Click image above or HERE for PDF version of the full article

Total Monthly Sales Up 3.4%
Monthly Median Sales Price Up 6.5% to $226,900

For Buyers
Welcome to June! The weather is heating up and Realtors are using oven mitts on lava-hot lockboxes and keys to show property. If you’re planning to continue your search into the summer, you may find some relief in the competition for that perfect property. While other potential buyers are distracted by graduations, vacations and weekend getaways, that leaves a slightly longer window of opportunity for snagging up those new properties that hit the market. Don’t expect current price trends to change anytime soon. There is still more demand than supply in many areas under $500,000 so expect sales prices to continue rising through the summer, especially for properties under $200,000.

For Sellers
This month we’ve introduced the Listing Success Rate into our graphic. This measure counts all of the listings that closed, canceled or expired over the last month and takes a percentage of those that closed. The current measure is 76.7%, which is very positive considering it was 66% at the end of 2014. The price ranges with the highest success rates are $100,000-$200,000 with 85% of listings successfully closing and only 15% cancelling or expiring followed by the $200,000-$300,000 price range with an 81% success rate. The higher price ranges over $500,000 are seeing lower success rates with those over $1M seeing more properties cancel or expire in a month than close. This is actually typical as many sellers in these price ranges choose to cancel their listings once temperatures reach over 100 degrees and relist when things cool off in October, causing a higher than normal cancellation rate for June.


May Real Estate Market Update

2016-05 Infographic and Commentary_Page_1

(Click on photo above or here to download PDF document)

Listings Under Contract Up 6.5%
Monthly Median Sales Price Up 9.9%

For Buyers
May is often the last month of “buyer season” before the summer slowdown. In anticipation
of hotter temperatures, graduations and upcoming summer vacations, many home buyers
would prefer to get their contracts into escrow and closed before the end of June. As a result,
there are many areas of the valley where there are currently more properties in escrow than
active for sale. Not surprisingly, those areas are concentrated where the average sale price is
under $250,000 in parts of the Southeast Valley (such as North Tempe, West Mesa, North
Chandler and North Gilbert), South Phoenix, and most of the West Valley. This is temporary,
buyers can expect relief from competing offers in the summer months if they choose to brave
the higher temperatures.

For Sellers
Overall sales have been following 2015 pretty closely thus far. April was down less than 1%
from April last year, but year-to-date sales are up 2.5% as of week 19. The main difference is
in the activity by price range. Sales under $175,000 have been declining year-over-year for
the past 9 months with April 2016 down 18.4% from April 2015. This is not due to low demand,
but low supply of homes available for sale. April sales between $175,000 and
$600,000 are up 15% year-over-year and down 9.3% over $600,000. The big difference between
these price points is the level of supply. It’s chronically low in the bottom price ranges
and too high at the top, causing vastly different experiences for sellers. Properties selling under
$175,000 are experiencing annual appreciation around 10% since the beginning of
2016. Middle range properties are seeing around 3-5% annual appreciation, and the high end
properties over $500,000 are experiencing flat appreciation rates at best with some price
ranges at the very top seeing negative annual appreciation.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Recently we reached out to our database asking for help to rename a video we posted both on Facebook and via email.  Boy, did they rise to the occasion!?! THANK YOU to everyone who participated!

We had a ton of replies to go through and narrowed it down to the top few, of which we ended up combining into one name.  We also plan to use the new tag line/title for other future marketing purposes as well, besides the renaming of the video above… so it was really important we didn’t make a rash decision.

JUST KNOW- We really did struggle because there were so many GREAT ideas given! (Just FYI- James does do a lot more than sleep most work days btw HAHA!)

One worth mentioning that caught our eyes (even though we didn’t end up going with it) was “Far Beyond Driven”.  Simply put, it rang true!  (Not to mention there’s a few scenes in the video of Rebecca actually driving, so nice play on words to the person who submitted that one!)

Drumroll please….

The winners were a combination of “#IWorkForYou”, “Sunrise to Sold”, and “Integrity, From Dawn to Dusk” creating the NEW TITLE of our last video: #IntegritySunrisetoSold

How we came up with the winner:

#1 “#IWorkForYou” The use of hashtags # is a great way to tag different posts online and keep a trending history of various related posts and to also help to catch the attention of all those Millennial Clients that will only search online for their next home or Agent.

#2 “Sunrise to Sold” Truth be told, Rebecca is much more of a morning girl than a night owl and it’s true that we never give up until our job for our client is done, period.  Even after we’ve successfully helped a client close on either/or/both the sale/purchase of a home- we stay in touch and remain in service perpetually. We hope this part helps to convey that commitment to our clientele that we want to be a part of their lives indefinitely.

#3 “Integrity, From Dawn to Dusk” While similar to #2, it has a with a very important component- the word INTEGRITY. When Rebecca first opened Integrity All Star Realty back in late 2007, it was important then and remains an important part of our business today.  We pride ourselves in following through and always keeping the clients interest as a priority. We do “Walk the Talk” and if ever fall short (as we are human), we will make sure to make it right- whatever the issue may be!

We know the value of treating people right and keeping our clients “for life”.  We pride ourselves on the number of repeat clients we have and the tremendous reviews and referrals they are willing to post and share on our behalf. WE TRULY are GRATEFUL for each and every one of them.  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH that we are speaking about!!!

If you are a past client and haven’t had a chance to toot our horn yet, but would still like to, please visit:

We will be reaching out to our winners and notable mention this week to award their prizes! Congrats!!

April Real Estate Market Update

2016-04 Infographic and Commentary_Page_1

(Click on photo above or here to download PDF document)

Sales Up 7% Over 2015
Median Sales Price Up 6.4%
Active Listings Up 1%

For Buyers
For the first time since November 2014, supply is higher than it was the previous year. This is generally good news for buyers, as it means there are more listings competing for their attention. However, buyers looking for homes under $200,000 will find this is not true. The Phoenix Metropolitan area is still nearly 19% below normal in supply, with the lower price ranges in the shortest sup-ply. Sales under $200,000 have made up 45.5% of all sales in the last 12 months, so this is a significant market to be in short supply. Buyers looking over $300,000 are experiencing an 11% increase in supply valley wide. The increased competition is resulting in a 19% increase in weekly price reductions compared to this time last year, especially among listings over $500,000.

For Sellers
The good news for sellers is that contracts in escrow are up 5% and sales are also up 7% over last year. Demand has been rising over the past month and seasonally is close to its highest level for buyer activity. Sellers who wish to list their home at the “peak” of buyer activity should not wait too much longer. April and May are typically the highest months for buyer activity before slowing down in the summer months. This is especially true in the luxury market over $500,000. It’s not uncommon for buyer contract activity to drop anywhere from 25%-40% between May and August as seasonal buyers head towards cooler climates.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer-Glatfelter, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report
©2016 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

City Rankings, 5 yrs ago vs today

In October of 2011, I wrote a blog about the ranking of the cities in the Metro Phoenix area based on their price per sqft and the percentage of change from the previous year’s amounts…. The column on the right is the last rankings I pulled just a couple of days ago. 

Using Chandler as an example- it’s ranking #10 in the valley today with an average price of $138.75. That’s an increase of 3.8% on average from 2015, when the average for the city was $133.63.  Compare that to 2011/2010’s numbers and I think anyone would be convinced that the worse is way behind us…. In 2011, Chandler ranked #13 at a mere $93.51 a sqft which was DOWN from 2010 by 9.3% when Chandler had been $103.09 a sqft. 


















Truth be told, April of 2011 was our true bottom of the financial crisis- at least here locally…. It’s great to see that in the last 5+ years, our local Chandler market has rebounded by 32%, so while last year we saw an increase of 3.8%, the average in the last 5 years has been closer to 6% appreciation a year.  Those folks that bought in 2011 and still own today should be quite happy with themselves as they’ve done really well on their investments!

When we think back to a year ago, the market was tepid and not showing any of the positive signs that suddenly appeared in early February 2015. If you look at the daily market snapshot today you can see that almost all of the indicators are substantially more positive than they were a year ago, including:

  • days of inventory down 20%
  • annual sales rate up 10%
  • days on market (sales) down 10%
  • days on market (actives) down 7%
  • listing success rate up 6%
  • contract ratio up 29%

So we enter 2016 in much better shape than we entered 2015 (per the Cromford Report)

I personally feel a great momentum in our marketplace and expect 2016 to be a bustling year with lots of real estate changing hands… Don’t live in Chandler?  How’d your city you live in rank?  If you need help deciding whether now is a good time to jump into or out of this market, please feel free to contact our office for a no obligation consultation- 480-243-4242 as we are happy to help you with your real estate needs!

THE BIG SHORT- Have you seen it yet?


The_Big_Short_teaser_posterWell buckle your seat belts, that is if you’re NOT a millennial OR someone who wasn’t effected by the housing crash 10 years ago…

Me?  During the crash, I had been a Sales Manager for a local homebuilder with several rental properties at the peak of the market, many of which had 2 loans on them… When the market did crash, besides the joy I experienced (I’m being quite facetious at the moment) at letting go most of our Sales representatives we had at the time, I had the pleasure of either short selling or losing to foreclosure all of the properties I’d owned, went through a divorce with 2 young children and left my 6 figure job because I saw the writing on the wall and knew that builder was going to struggle to stay afloat- which not only did they file BK, but so did I ultimately…

So throughout the movie, I found myself moaning and groaning as I relived all the emotions every time I saw a flash of a bank like “Countrywide” or “Wachovia” on the screen or when they went into major description of the loans like the “Nina” loans which were No Income No Asset verification that were given basically to anyone with a pulse.

Basically the depths and layers of greed that facilitated all of the fraud that occurred leading up to and during the crash was astonishing to me….

25.-What-the-Big-Short-teaches-the-little-guySome notable quotes from the movie:

Jared Vennett: Tell me the difference between stupid and illegal and I'll have my wife's brother arrested.


Mark Baum: I don't get it. Why are they confessing?

Danny Moses: They're not confessing.

Porter Collins: They're bragging.






Not only did I go through my own financial crisis which forced me to learn how to negotiate Short Sales; but in years 2008-2013, with the help of my team, we literally helped hundreds of people successfully avoid foreclosure by completing Short Sales themselves.  They were lengthy, stressful and dealing with the Banks that caused the mess was far from fun… The worse part for me was sitting at the dining table hearing the stories of loss, loss of job, income, etc… I saw many tears during those years which today I blame the majority of my grey hairs on. It’s a proven fact that home ownership makes happier homes, to the point of where I’ve seen studies where homeownership increases stability and benefits children directly with higher test scores.

So here we are in 2015, when looking around, seems life and the economy is much better than it was in general with employment rates and homeownership rates much much higher than it was during the crash.  I pray we’ve learned our lessons… the genius who predicted the crash sadly may not agree…

One thing I can tell you after my 22 year full time experience in this industry is that our Real Estate market is cyclical and if it seems too good to be true, then there probably is a catch.  I personally live a lot more conservatively than I did 10 years ago and rather than find myself in debt up to my eyeballs, I prefer to live beneath my means as I never want to go through that ever ever again. 

It’s a LOT more fun selling houses when my clients are making a profit and what’s even better is helping my past Short Sale clients become homeowners again, it truly is one of my favorite things to do today…

Considering selling your home this Holiday Season?


If you are, you MAY want to think twice before you give Ken Griswald a run for his money with the Christmas lights…

BUT DON’T GET ME WRONG… some Holiday decor is actually recommended.  The numbers show that demand during this season tends to wan some however the Buyers that do come out tend NOT to be tire kickers and usually are quite serious!!  If you follow our tips, you will have greater chances to sell your home during the holiday season!

Most of these tips are important to follow year round, but even more crucial this time of year:

  1. Clean thoroughly, De-Clutter and pack away what you don’t need and STAGE your home! Accentuate the positive- Dangle a little mistletoe to show off an entryway and be an equal opportunity decorator- don’t be overly religious so as not to turn off certain prospective Buyers.  Go easy on the lights and think about going with a skinnier tree so your home doesn’t feel cluttered.  Consider stashing wrapped gifts in a closet or stacked neatly in a corner. Curb appeal is especially important this time of year when trees have lost their leaves so spend some extra time sprucing up your front entryway.  A wreath or bowl of pinecones will help your home feel festive without going overboard.
  2. Use a Realtor that incorporates professional photography into your marketing, particularly twilight and aerial shots,  3d or live video as well.  ‘Tis the season to be busy… a lot of shopping will take place online- the key is to ensure your audience has plenty to look at to entice them to come see your home in person.  Get them emotionally involved so they are “sold” before they arrive to your doorstep by giving them lots to look at online.
  3. Once your prospective Buyer arrives, make sure your home is warm (physically) and inviting to all of their senses! Be accommodating with showing requests, everyone is busy busy busy! A little ambiance with candles, cider simmering on the stove or Holiday candles burning along with some light music and treats; so it smells good, feels good, sounds good, tastes good- will definitely go a long way with making your guests feel right at home.
  4. People are looking for deals year round, but especially this time of year.  Be sure to price your home right, sweeten your “deal” to make your home more appealing over your competition by offering an incentive like closing costs or a home warranty.  Pre-MLS marketing and inviting the neighbors over for a private open house are wonderful strategies to help get your home more attention sooner than later and help get it SOLD!

Please click HERE for full Cromford Report with more stats for month of November. If you’re thinking about selling, then it’s really important to know the current stats before you decide on your list price- what your neighbor sold for last summer will have little bearing today on your list price as the market has changed significantly since then.  The following is an excerpt from the full report:

The cooling trend that started gently in August has now developed more momentum. Things are getting better for Buyers and worse for Sellers.

  • Active Listings: 21,439 versus 24,846 last year - down 13.7% - but up 7.1% from 20,024 last month
  • Under Contract Listings: 9,026 versus 8,008 last year - up 12.7% - and up very slightly from 9,003 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 6,214 versus 6,271 last year - down 0.9% - and down 12.7% from 7,117 last month

The above numbers demonstrate a weakness in closed sales but a strength in under contract listings.

Sales were down 1% from October last year, the weakest year over year comparison for any ANY month since January but the price trends continue to show positive appreciation. It’s becoming clear that the top and bottom end of the price ranges are selling less and the middle is selling more, compared with last year at this time. The bottom is selling less due to low supply while the top end is selling less due to lower demand.

At the end of the day, the statistics do show that if you have a reason to sell soon, do it now as actually December is a much stronger month for real estate sales than January or February due to the spending that occurs during Christmas… It takes most families until Springtime to recoup and get caught up financially and be in a better position to purchase a home.  One fantastic thing about Arizona which does tend to go against the rest of the country this time of year, is our weather and attraction of Winter Visitors, which is definitely in our favor and helps improve demand and your likelihood of selling your home during the Holiday Season.

One last thought to share- IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW is considering BUYING, now if the time!  During the summer most of our listings sold immediately with multiple offers and some bidding wars, so while the scales are tipping in the favor of Buyers- now is the time to go find a deal!  Sellers that have their homes on the market right now tend to be quite motivated and less competition means more buying power!

Give us a call at 480-243-4242 for help with any of your Real Estate needs- we are always happy to help!

Real Estate Market update for 3rd quarter 2015

(Click on photo (or here) to open PDF doc)SEV Summary Market Conditions

The above stats are for the Southeast Valley to include Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes and Queen Creek for the last 3 years.  We had a STELLAR March through July this year, that is for sure!  The average price per sqft is about $50 more than it was 3 years ago when Distressed properties were a huge impact in our market, they constituted more than half of the inventory back then. 

Current Demand levels are considered normal however there are areas with less supply than others that keep the overall Market index higher than average, which typically favors Sellers.  The last few weeks we have had some seasonal decline, but our market is still quite busy overall and the month of August isn’t quite over yet.

The following commentary is from Mike Orr of the Cromford report with specific stats you may find interesting regarding the month of August (click here to download the pdf document), especially if you’re currently in the position to BUY &/OR SELL a home right now. 

As always, we are here and happy to help you figure out the best strategy for your family- give us a call at 480-243-4242 or send Rebecca an email at if you’re thinking about Real Estate or know someone you care about is!


Current Local Real Estate Market Update & Stats

Please check out the video and read the latest stats below- our biggest concern is the affordability for our entry level buyers or folks that have been renting… IF that is you or someone you know- PLEASE call us to help at 480-243-4242 or email Rebecca directly at to get the home ownership process started right away, before rates increase any further!


The following is an excerpt from the “Recent News” published by Mike Orr of the Cromford Report:

Overall demand has returned to just above normal with little to no sign of further momentum beyond this point. Currently the supply situation is the most important thing to watch and this is what determines how much competition buyers will experience.

Basic stats for this past year for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 21,512 versus 26,205 last year - down 17.9% - and down 3.5% from 22,303 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending & UCB): 12,276 versus 10,584 last year - up 15.8% - and up 2.4% from 11,988 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 8,363 versus 7,572 last year - up 10.4% - and up 6.0% from 7,887 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $135.88 versus $130.27 last year - up 4.3% - and up 2.9% from $131.99 last month!

From a seller's perspective, there is a lot of encouragement in this batch of numbers, though buyers might be dismayed to see price per sq. ft. rise by almost 3% in a single month.

For the market as a whole we currently see 3.1 months of supply, which is significantly below normal, but not excessively so. However, when we look at the single-family market by price range we see certain price bands with much lower supply:

  • $100K-$125K - 0.8 months (versus 1.8 on May 1, 2014)
  • $125K-$150K - 0.9 months (versus 1.9)
  • $150K-$175K - 1.1 months (versus 2.3)
  • $175K-$200K - 1.3 months (versus 2.6)

A few years ago we had almost 7,000 active listings between $100K and $150K. Now we have just 909.

As we move upmarket from $250K, things become a little easier for buyers because supply is less scarce. Once we get above $400K there are more active listings than last year and most buyers are having a much easier time with less competition from other buyers. In other words, demand is good but supply is plentiful at these higher price points.

Although many are feeling more optimistic about the market, and justifiably so, the lack of supply of entry-level homes is a very troubling sign. This is good for current homeowners but bad for those currently renting and wanting to get started in home ownership. This could become even more of a problem if mortgage interest rates rise, adding to affordability problems for the first time home buyer.

spring market

Real Estate market has heated up this SPRING!

We’ve been waiting after a slow 2014 for our market to heat up and it’s here!

The above video is a short summary of the current market conditions we are experiencing locally, data provided by the Cromford Report; our local experts of Real Estate market data analysis.

We’ve been seeing homes that are priced right selling immediately with multiple offers and certain price ranges are definitely more competitive than others.  IF a home is in the FHA price range (280k and below), if it shows nice and priced well, don’t expect it to be on the market but a few days right now…

We saw a 35.2% increase in sales volume overall in the Valley from just last month alone?!?!

Many more homes are pending, but the good news is that with an increase in price/demand- we are seeing more Sellers listing their homes and the rate of new listings has ticked up a tad.

It’s quite natural, per Mike Orr of the Cromford report, for news of a stronger market to bring out some more sellers.  If this continues it will help keep the market from getting too frenzied…

We saw the FRENZY in 2012 when plenty of Buyers just gave up trying to compete for a home- the difference today is that it’s not the Investors that Buyers are competing against but rather other people who are moving up/down, relocating to Sunny Arizona, or that have been renting like the “Millennial” and “Boomerang” Buyers- GOOD thing too as the RATES are still VERY LOW.

We are being warned however if this pace continues, prices and rates both may raise which will effect drastically the size home someone will qualify for – so moral to this story – if you’ve been waiting to either Buy or Sell- now is the time while our market is SIZZLING!

Please call us at 480-243-4242 and we are happy to help you with your Real Estate needs!

It should be easier to get a MORTGAGE!!!

As a veteran real estate broker of 20+ years, I’ve had the luxury of working full time through some great HIGHS in our local market and some great LOWS and one thing about Real Estate that can be said (besides “location, location, location”) is that Real Estate is cyclical and those that can predict the trends first typically do best in any market…. 

I’ve decided this month would be a great month to give some great tips on what to avoid doing when applying for a Mortgage loan- especially since there are so many of my past short sale clients that would love nothing more than to buy a home today, but their credit hasn’t recovered yet enough to allow them to do so. 

Per Mike Orr of the Cromford Report, “Sales in September 2014 were slightly weaker than last year which reflects the lack of financing available to ordinary homeowners. Tight lending standards, especially for first time home buyers seem to be having a major negative effect on demand. If Ben Bernanke cannot successfully refinance his home based on current lending rules, what hope do the rest of us have?”

Last month, we helped a couple of buyers purchase homes and they did go through quite a bit of stress in the end of the transactions related to the financing of their new home.  I try my very best to mitigate that stress but without a crystal ball, sometimes it’s hard to predict things that the underwriters may have issue with about an application until the very end… with that said, when I asked colleague Ryan C. Nelson- Southwest Regional Manager of Academy Mortgage, he said the most important thing they do for their clients is work with them to improve their credit/FICO scores during the process because that will dictate what rate someone will get for a mortgage and from there determines their maximum loan amount too. The best rates/terms on a loan is 740+ FICO with 25% down. The average FICO score is 690 for FHA and 711 for Conventional applicants according to Ryan Nelson. Seems most of the clients we’ve worked with recently have been even lower than that… which can make homeownership tough to obtain.

I think for me the biggest piece of advice I can alert our clients to is that once you apply for a mortgage and are pre-approved, the process is just starting and it’s not over until the minute the transaction records and I’m giving them keys. 

The mortgage company is required to verify EVERYTHING from job history, to re-pulling credit, to verifying rental history literally the day the transaction funds and records.  I had a client last month that switched jobs during the process and created a huge scare, luckily her fiancé made sufficient income because had he not, they’d still be waiting for the keys to their new home and the lender did not find out until the day before we were supposed to close.  It’s horror stories like these that I think may be keeping people from “dealing with” getting a mortgage… but are also keeping them from getting the home of their dreams too!

The underwriter of the loan is like a police detective and they look for any holes in an application that could lead to a loan going into default.  Mind you, in 2006, it was the exact opposite- people were encouraged to lie on their applications and nothing was verified and because of that- the mortgage industry was blamed for the fall of our Real Estate market.  (part of the cyclical market I referred to above) That is why today it feels like it’s harder to get a loan than ever- But if you can follow these simple tips we’ve gotten from Joe Smith of Cobalt mortgage and Lanie Martin of HomeOwners Financial Group- we can make it a whole lot easier on those of you thinking about buying a home soon.

  • Do not lie on any part of your loan application.  The underwriter will find out.  No ifs ands or buts…
  • Now is not the time to apply for financing for new furniture, appliances, car, that big screen tv, etc. Anytime you apply for credit, your credit report is pulled and that drops your score, even if you decided not to make the purchase.  Do not co-sign for anyone for anything if at all possible!
  • Do not get behind on any bills.  Having a late payment hit your credit before the purchase is finalized can devastate your deal.  Normally you must be current for at least 12 months minimum on all of your reoccurring debts.
  • Lenders will go over your most recent bank statements. You will have to explain unusual deposits or withdraws and they will require clear documentation on them as well- Do not “shuffle” money between accounts.
  • Do not have “mattress money”.  All money used, even a gift from a family member, must get documented where it’s come from and usually must be in a bank account for at least 60 days in order to use it towards the purchase of a home.  This is for both the initial earnest deposit and the final closing funds, so be sure to talk with your lender about where your money is that you plan to use and get their advice on how to access it and document it. (order a wire transfer, use of a personal check, purchasing a cashiers check, etc…)
  • Do not change employment during the process.  Gaps of employment of over 30 days can be a big problem so be sure to discuss in detail any employment history if you haven’t worked for the same place for the last 2 years.
  • Do not throw out any paperwork or spend time trying to work around items needed by your lender, they ask for things because the underwriter does, so if you are not able to provide what they are asking for, tell them immediately so they can try to figure something else out and time is of the essence… so don’t drag your feet getting items asked for.
  • With respect to fixing credit, I’ve written blogs on how to fix your credit yourself before you apply for a mortgage, but once you are working with a mortgage lender, DO NOT pay off charge offs, collections, close any credit cards or do anything that could impact your FICO/credit score without advice from your lender first- sometimes paying things off can worsen your score and if your loan was based on a certain score, that can really mess up everything for you which you don’t want.

Moral of this story:  Confide in your Mortgage Lender and share all pertinent information with them, don’t try to hide anything and work with them regarding credit and money documentation.  They are on your side to help you get the house you want!  Their livelihood depends on it, so if you can trust them – it will make your life easier in the end- promise!

Free Suns Tickets!

photo We have been given 2 pairs of Suns tickets by our great industry partners, Academy Mortgage and Lawyers title, which we will be raffling off tomorrow at our 2 open houses.  In order to enter, all  you have to do is stop by and see these great homes while we are open!

If in the meantime, you decide to buy one of them or tell a friend, we won’t mind at all! 

osr open houseThe first open house is participating in a MEGA neighborhood open house from 10-3 in South Chandler, here’s a link to a great video we posted on it and Old Stone Ranch…

click photo for link here--->>

and our other fantastic listing is located in Finley Farms in the center of Gilbert… we will hold that one open from 11-2

It is available today with a ZERO down program (in case any of you are currently renting and don’t have a down payment saved) called Home in 5… payment is comparable to what rent would be but owning allows you to write off the interest paid- did I mention it also has brand new carpet and appliances and paint too?

Keep your fingers crossed for us that we will have good weather – and if you can’t make either open house but would still like to enter to win, we are happy to arrange a private showing of either listing too- just give us a call at 480-243-4242!

THIS September may be best month yet locally for HOME Buyers

CR2Periodically I like to share the information I get regarding our local market statistics to help our clients determine if right now is the right time for them to buy or sell Real Estate.  I was lucky to get to sit in on a presentation by Michael Orr last week of the Cromford reportClick here for power point presentation

I found it quite insightful due to the fact that he verifies the information in our local MLS data is correct and bases his analysis on those statistics rather than basing his information on National data.  He started off his presentation like so many of us do with the disclaimer/definition of a “good” market- because every market can be good, depending on who you are and your goals. 

He was clear to say that the Real Estate agents that focus on the distressed market or local homebuilders today may not think it’s a “good” market right now- but if you are a BUYER looking to purchase by September of this year, this is a GREAT market right now…

Basically, it boils down to the simple law of Supply and Demand as the Cromford Index shows currently. 

In Chandler for example, the demand being in the RED but the supply in the green shows currently Buyers have the upper hand. However, a truly balanced market would be at 100 for the Market index and we are not far off from it. 

Michael predicted that by Spring of 2015, we most likely will see it gradually return to a Sellers market.  Nothing crazy, just a slight push upwards, along the lines of inflation which traditionally before the market crashed in 06, 2-5% a year increase in value is all that a homeowner would expect from his home and be quite happy for it.

This time last year, the Market Index was at 151 for Metro Phoenix with a Supply of 63.1 and Demand at 95.3.  Things have changed quickly in this past year as it was clearly a Sellers market back then.  The prices were also lower too… So a seller today without a huge urgency to sell, very well may be better off today than where they would have fared just 1 year ago as well… seems in life and in real estate, there’s always 2 sides to every coin… If there were a Seller just getting out of the market entirely, we’d most likely recommend to wait until Springtime to sell HOWEVER if they were wanting to purchase, they may fair better selling with today’s prices and incentives that Buyers are receiving rather than waiting to both sell and buy in the Springtime because that way as Buyers, they too can take advantage of the DEALS happening out in our marketplace today.


Michael Orr also spoke to why he thinks that the demand has dropped (please watch the power point presentation, link at top of blog for further stats and details) but mostly because our younger generation (Millenials) are preferring to rent homes today instead of purchasing for many reasons and there’s so many people still renting as a result of losing a home to foreclosure/short sale that the RENTAL MARKET has only gotten more expensive in recent years making it a great time to be a LANDLORD.  Because of this (along with the interest rates remaining super low), it’s CHEAPER TO OWN your home than rent today, not to mention the great tax benefits of owning vs renting a home.

ford Crom

City of Chandler’s NEWEST City park going in OLD STONE RANCH!

Citrus Vista Concept Plan.pdf


Click link to City’s Park Planning website:

City park


What’s truly impressive and one of the reasons why the City of Chandler is always winning awards is the PLANNING that has been done for the City’s future. PLEASE CLICK HERE for the complete article with Map but here’s an excert from “RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE TOWARD BUILD-OUT” 

The City realizes that residents will continue to gauge their quality of life by the variety of leisure activities available. The Recreation and Open Space Element responds to the City's growing demands for parks, recreation and open space as build-out approaches. The development and implementation of parks and recreation services are guided by input from Chandler citizens. As Chandler's remaining vacant lands are converted to urban use, reservations for parks and open space are critical. Well-maintained parks contribute to community vitality through enhanced property values and attraction of desirable businesses and employers.
This Element combines two statutorily required Elements: Open Space and Recreation. It contains goals, objectives and strategies for the provision and management of open space, parks and recreation services. GOAL: PROVIDE QUALITY PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CONVENIENT TO ALL NEIGHBORHOODS THAT MEET THE NEEDS OF A DIVERSE POPULATION. Objective: Provide at least one ten-acre neighborhood park within each residential square mile, where possible. Objective: Provide a system of community parks with service radius of 2 miles or less that provide a diversified mix of amenities. Objective: Develop comprehensive recreational resources to meet regional park needs. 


I personally LOVE living in the city of Chandler for everything this great city has to offer.  PLEASE Click here for Video regarding the City of Chandler I shot this past year with the DCCP that talks about it’s rich history, current events and great employers!

Our newest listing is located directly across the street from this future park.  Whoever ends up purchasing this gorgeous home will undoubtedly enjoy the NEW CITRUS VISTA park once it’s completed in about a year from now.  Today and Tomorrow we will be holding this great new home open – if you know of someone who may be interested in this great home, please share this video with them and tell them to stop by at one of our open houses!

Here’s the listing with all of the photos and details, please call 480-243-4242 for any questions about it or any of our homes for sale:,12,1

List of “Excess Funds” you may be entitled to if you had a Foreclosure

How is that possible, you may ask?

I had remembered something a long time ago in a class about this, but really never gave it much thought until now because I haven't heard much about it since until recently… one of my past clients is getting a check for OVER $20k!?!  She called me to look into what she thought may be a scam (because it sounded too good to possibly be true) but it turned out it was no scam at all….

I’d helped my client’s husband short sale his home that he’d purchased before they were married back in 2011.  She was able to purchase a newer home in Anthem (under just her name) and they moved in with what they'd hoped to be a fresh start… but sadly they’d run into hard times again and lost this home to “Foreclosure”.  The company that purchased their home at the Auction luckily allowed them to rent it back, so as of today they are still living there.  Sadly, they no longer are able to benefit from tax write off of the mortgage interest or taxes and had equity they’d lost… well, sort of… they did end up qualifying to receive some of the equity they had up until the date of the actual auction.

PER Arizona Revised Statutes 33-812- My client is entitled to the proceeds resulting from her foreclosure of her home which was sold for more than the amount owed the lender.  It got me thinking, how many more people out there I may know may be entitled to $ from their foreclosure too?

                   (Click image below for PDF of entire list)


Please be sure to share with anyone/everyone just in case they could benefit like my client did.

If you’re curious what happens at a Foreclosure Auction (AKA Trustee Sale), please click this link to a blog I’d written a little over 4 years ago that features a slide show from an auction I’d personally attended.  Mainly, the folks today that I expect that are on this list are folks like my client that’d purchased their home when the market was down or prior to the crash and lost it since 2012 when the prices started appreciating again locally.





Homes Sell FASTER when Staged!



The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to get crazy with expensive fixes, just doing the basic like lightening/brightening and cleaning/de-cluttering will give you an average return of 594%-769%?!?!?

See chart below for the average return on your Staging Investment….


Recently, my husband and I came across a great example of what a difference STAGING a home professionally can make on the value of a home.  We were incredibly impressed with a currently Active listing located within our neighborhood (same floor plan of our own home). We’d been "following" the home as we also have done upgrades to our own home and are happy to see how well this investor has helped increase the value of his home- while positively affecting the value of the neighboring homes as well, including our own.

Originally purchased as a Short Sale for $393,000 2/10/14 & a recent listing appraisal came in for $524,000 after the updating/staging was completed.

Click here for the current listing info, we’d be happy to show you this lovely home in person!

What some more ideas on Staging your home?

New home builders are masters of ensuring their homes show at 100% all of the time because it’s a proven fact that doing so improves BOTH the time on market and overall price their homes sell for.

If you are near Chandler, we’ve compiled a list of New Home Builders in the Chandler area.

Click here--->> Chandler Builder Roadmap to Download your own copy of the Chandler Builder Roadmap .

To download your own Staging Checklist, click here

We are also happy to come and give you a free no obligation consultation for your own home if you've been thinking about selling, please call 480-243-4242 or email to set an appointment.

Is it a “GOOD” Market right now?

I get asked that question ALL OF THE TIME!  My answer is always the same too… IT DEPENDS!

Not because I don’t know or because I’m trying to be coy, but because it really does depend if you are a Buyer or a Seller, or an Investor, or or or… at one point, I guess I should correct my statement above because for a little while I used to say it was actually a BANK’S market during our “dark years” as I call them when Short Sales and Foreclosures dominated our marketplace and dictated home pricing. 

DashboardToday we are much more balanced and back to a more “normal” market but it has been leaning in the Buyer’s favor as of late… which isn’t entirely bad news for Sellers since our market had increased in value so much this past year and a half.  The majority of homeowners are no longer upside down in their mortgages any longer like they were in 2012 before the investors help to drive up demand.

2 years ago, I had buyers that literally GAVE UP trying to buy a new home because they couldn’t compete against those cash investors.  With more Sellers putting their homes on the market today, it’s helping increase the Supply and the Demand has stayed lower than normal levels, which was the case even two years ago but we had such few homes on the market and so competition was fierce that it still sent prices upwards.

That helped bring back the Builders into the market which has given Buyers even more options, especially in the city of Chandler!  We have compiled a HUGE list of Chandler Builders, check out our Builders Corner in our Newsletter for our “Roadmap” to where they all are located and what they are offering Buyers today. Cromford summary

During years 2008-2013, my team helped over 400+ families successfully sell their homes as Short Sales.  What we’ve seen and heard, is that more upward pricing is not expected to happen until loan guidelines ease up to allow more of the people who are currently renting as a result of Short Sale or Foreclosure to purchase a home again.  They have introduced loan programs this past year to help, but more is needed.  Rates are still historically very low, in the 4’s but combined with increase in value, it’s gotten harder for some people to qualify for a home again.  We have teamed up with experts, so if that sounds similar to your situation, please let me know and I will be sure to get you in touch with the right mortgage company that can help.  According to Trulia, in Arizona, it’s 33% cheaper to own than to rent… let’s hope mortgage guidelines continue to get easier while the rates are this low!

At the end of the day, one thing that remains the same is CHANGE.  Please stay tuned and we will continue to provide market updates via Mike Orr of the Cromford Reports, as he’s proven to be the most reliable source for our local marketplace stats because of his knack for scrubbing the data provided by our local Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

If we can be of assistance, simply call us at 480-243-4242 or email



If you want to live in Maricopa County, you can get 5% of the purchase price of your home from the city of Phoenix as a grant and you don’t have to pay it back!  We just had one of o-r buyers get most of their earnest deposit back once they closed on their new home using this program, give us a call at 480-243-4242 to learn how to take advantage of this free money!


Last 10 yrs of Local Real Estate Stats- Phew, what a Ride!?!

(Stats & Graphics Courtesy of Mike Orr, Cromford Report)

City Rankings-top tenWOW, I wasn’t kidding when I said “What a Ride!?!”  I’ve had the luxury of working now full time for over 20 yrs in my chosen profession and I can honestly say that this last Real Estate "Roller Coaster Ride" lasted much longer than most of us ever had anticipated.

I do practice Real Estate all over the Valley, but with my office and home located in the City of Chandler, the following stats in this blog will be based on the City of Chandler. If you do not live in Chandler but instead in another Metro Phoenix city, please see the following list of 41 Cities to see where your city ranks with price per sqft.  The market conditions that effected our homes’ values over the last 10 years took the same "ride" all over our Valley, however just at slightly different price points depending on the area itself. Currently, the City of Chandler is Ranked #10 for Annual Average $ per sqft in the Valley of the Sun at $125.48, an appreciation of 19.2% from last years average.  crystal-ball-art-therapy-300x270

In order to better predict what’s ahead for 2014, studying the past to see the trend we are currently on is best unless you have a crystal ball… and if you do, can you please enlighten me on where to get one as sadly I don’t think I remembered to put that on my list to Santa this year??

In 1994, I'd bought my first home off of Ray & McClintock Rds in Chandler for $1 over the Auction list price of $88k ($54.83 $pft).  Being just 1 year after I'd first earned my Real Estate license, with rates fluctuating between 6 3/4% to 7% (which was considered good at the time as historically we'd seen rates much higher) it was all I could qualify for.  Being a foreclosure, it was a true fixer upper but a great starter home being a HUD home.  Features included: being built in 1983, 2 story, corner cul-de-sac lot with West facing oversized backyard, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1605 sqft., 2 car garage with covered porch and patio.  I'd sold it 6 years later in 2001 for 140k ($87.23 $psf). That’s an average of 10% appreciation per year which had far exceeded the “norm” at the time. (interesting side note, in February of both year 2001 and 2011, our average price per sqft was the same in Chandler @ $88.35 $psf).

Traditionally, 4-6% per year annual appreciation was a safe investment and one you could typically count on in a normal market when one owned Real Estate and was higher than one could yield with your local bank on interest.  An average interest rate of around 7% was also average was what one could expect in the mid-nineties vs. today's still historic low rates which are at or below 5%

10 yr Chandler Stats-page-001

(If the image is hard for you to read above, please click on it to download the pdf)

Let’s now fast forward from 1994 to 2004, so we can focus on average annual appreciation in Chandler in just the last 10 yrs.

  • Week 1 January 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler was 3.5% & $103.61 was the $psf (vs. today’s $133.69 $psf)
  • Week 30 July 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler was 9.9% (say goodbye to single digit appreciation for a couple of years, keep all arms and legs inside at all times, this “ridehas started… )
  • Week 52 December 2004, average annual appreciation in Chandler has now hit 25.6% (What the ????) image

HOLD ON TIGHT- we are climbing to the top of our ride just a short year later… The average annual appreciation in Chandler peaked in 7/05 to a whopping 53.4%!  By the end of 2005 (Week 52) December we rolled through Splash Mountain and cooled to a mere 39.2% average annual appreciation in Chandler.  What was going on here? In just 6 short months, we dropped 14.2% Was this just a seasonal cool off? Or was it a sign that we may be heading for more than just "Splash Mountain" and instead a drop from The Matterhorn Mountain (wherein lies the Abominable Snow Man)? Obviously, we all know now it was sadly the latter of the two…

In 2006:

  • Week 1 January 2006 average annual appreciation in Chandler was 37.2%.
  • June 2006, we hit our peak price per sqft at $186.03.
  • Week 52 December 2006 average annual appreciation in Chandler was –5.5%!?! (We dropped another 31.7% in value in just 1 year, on top of the 14.2% loss from the previous year???).

(Why this happened and who was to blame was the topic of many a blog already, my focus today is to get you to tomorrow’s likelihood for our local market so that you may make an educated decision of what’s best for you and your family in 2014.)

In 2007-2011 (AKA The Dark Years):

  • Week 23 June 2007, we had a tiny positive appreciation recorded of just a paltry 1.2% and just leading to that in May 2007 an annual average appreciation of 0.03%.
  • Mid 2010 we had 2 more recordings of positive appreciations being recorded of 0.02 & 0.01% right before the 2010 tax credit expired.
  • Week 15 April 2009, we hit the bottom of our Real Estate Roller Coaster Ride at -29.5% annual average appreciation in the City of Chandler- that’s a change of 82.9% in just under 4 yrs; What goes up, must go down as the saying goes… Average $psf $103.39. (loss of $83 $psf from 2006's peak of $186)
  • Week 52 December 2009, the pendulum swings a little in our favor and we end the year at a –10.6% annual average appreciation.
  • In 2010 & 2011, we bounced around the bottom around –5% to –10% for the most part. (Average $88.48 $psf, back to same level of 2001,10 yrs prior, by Feb 2011)
  • Market primarily made up of REO’s, Foreclosures, Lender Owned, Auctions, Trustee sales and Short Sales.  Traditional sales were few and far between and building industry had almost completely stopped building with many going out of business completely.

FINALLY, Some much needed good news, in 2012:

  • Week 3 January 2012, we were back into positive annual average appreciation at 1.3% (Happy Days are here Again!).
  • Week 46 November 2012, Chandler average annual appreciation of 31.3% Many homes are no longer under water and less and less homes are being sold as Short sales and/or being lost to Trustee Sale.
  • Week 52 December 2012, 25.6% was Chandler’s annual average appreciation.

In 2013:

  • Week 51 December 2013, 10.1% is Chandler’s current annual average appreciation.  Down 15.5% in 1 year.  Are we experiencing a second bubble many people have asked?

Let’s take a closer look at this past year with weekly appreciation stats:

  • Week 1 January 2013 23%
  • Week 16 April 2013 27.5% - Maybe not a bubble??
  • Week 21 May 2013 15.2% - 12% loss in just 5 months, ok maybe there is a bubble coming after all??
  • Week 31 August 2013 21.4% - Rebounded a little, due to summer perhaps?
  • Week 42 October 2013 18.9% - Most cash investors have by now left AZ & moved on to other pastures...
  • Week 51 December 2013 10.1%

In October we had our Government Shut Down which had hurt consumer confidence, the Feds had also announced they were going to taper buying bonds which sent rates higher (which they are also doing again right now), & decreased affordability with higher prices have all led us to where we are today. Watch blog with Academy mortgage from October 2013 talking about this in more detail.

Finally, here we are with 2014 nearly upon us.

If pricing continues to remain flat, we would be at 0% (ZERO) appreciation before long, but the good news is that there’s 1.7% appreciation predicted for January 2014, meaning that within a month, we may be at an annual average appreciation of just under 12%.  When the Cromford Market Index hits 100%, that would mean that Supply and Demand would be Equal.  We’d have more of a Traditional market with an average supply of 4-5 months.  It’d be a "Safe" market to invest in where you wouldn’t risk losing Equity, but the gains would be minimal, like in the beginning of 2004. Our current weekly trend is at 5.1% average appreciation which is quite healthy.  We are coming off of a culmination of the last 12 months having a total of 19.2% annual average appreciation over where we were 1 year ago.  This is actually a much more fun environment to live and work in because we most likely will not see any huge highs or lows if we continue on the current path we are on.  Builders will continue to gain momentum as the resale inventory is still low, therefore keeping prices stable if not increasing ever so slightly.

Chandler STATS 2yrs-page-001

(If the image is hard for you to read above, please click on it to download the pdf)

annual sales priceToday:  Supply is at 73.1% and Demand is at 80.3% however our Market Index overall is still above 100%, coming in at 109.7%.  Our current Annual Average Price is slightly higher than where we came in last month, at $272k per home in the City of Chandler.  1 yr ago we were at $263K, and 2 yrs ago we were at $215k. Our Market index respectively were 173.4% and 137.1%.  As prices have raised, our Market Index has lowered, which is hand in hand with the Supply and Demand stats.

From my educated guess, I am liking where we are going. It appears our Roller Coaster ride has finally come to an end, for now anyhow.  Real Estate is cyclical and one thing that is constant is change.   2014 should be a year where the waters seem to calm and good homes will sell within normal traditional time frames when they show nicely and priced appropriately.  Expect interest rates to remain good in historic terms, at or around 5%.  Our current annual appreciation of 5.1% is a good “safe” place to be.  (Click here for Mike Orr’s commentary on the overall market for December) Whether you may be a Buyer or Seller (or both) in 2014, it should be a good time to make your next Real Estate move.  We are here to help!

crystal_ball_by_destinysoloInformation provided is a combination of Rebecca’s opinion based on the Real Estate stats provided by the Cromford report and Rebecca’s 20+ year experience working full time in our local Residential Real Estate Market. If you don’t live in Chandler, but would like to know the stats for your city, please feel free to contact Rebecca and she can provide it to you or a customized report for the Real Estate you own now or would like to own. Please feel free to contact Rebecca at 480-243-4242.

National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals honors the Top Agents in the U.S.A.


(Click the photo above for the link to the entire list for 2013)

What an honor!

Rebecca Hidalgo, Designated Broker and Owner of Integrity All Star Realty, made the Top 250 Hispanic Realtors in the United States list 2 years in a row now, but for 2013 she cruised up close to the top of the rankings with being awarded the #2 spot in the State of Arizona & #25 in the ENTIRE COUNTRY!?

After her 20+ years in the business, she truly could not have accomplished such a feat without the help of her team and her loyal clients from over the years and wants to give a heartfelt thank you to those that helped her along the way.

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More!

sweat equity

Sweat Equity- Earn your own Down Payment!

Ch3 SE

It’s been so exciting for us representing Bellago Homes at Tierra Vista because of all of the attention we’ve received for re-introducing to our local marketplace SWEAT EQUITY.  We were interviewed first by the Arizona Republic in late September which lead to Channel 5 picking up the story in October and most recently Ch 15 Home Hunter show and Ch 3 (click photo to see their Facebook post and all of the comments from others about it)

What is Sweat Equity you may ask?  It’s a LABOR OF LOVE!  The true definition is that it’s a program that allows Home Buyers to literally SWEAT while they are earning their down payment through the physical labor of painting their Brand New Home.  FHA loan Guidelines allow for the 3.5% down payment requirements for borrowers to receive “gifts” from family members for their down payments AND they also allow them to earn their down payment via credit they receive for the labor involved in painting and/or installing the landscaping on a new home, existing resale homes do not qualify for this program.  The catch is finding a Builder locally that would allow the new Buyer to participate in this program.

Initially, when Bellago Homes decided to introduce the program at their community in South Phoenix named Tierra Vista, it was simply to help folks qualify for a mortgage loan that otherwise may not be able to save up for a Down Payment on their own and that didn’t have family members able to “gift” them a Down Payment.  What SURPRISED us the most was that during the interview process, we found a common theme among the Buyers that had participated in the program…. it was that the money wasn’t their ONLY motivation, but rather the PRIDE of ownership that they helped in the process of building their new home.  Our first Buyer who completed this project, Biniam Debesay, said it best when interviewed by the Arizona Republic “It gave me a chance to put my hands into it, I can say I did this instead of saying somebody else did it.  If I knew how to build the house, I would have done that too”.  We heard similar comments said by the other two Buyers, Sandra Salcido and Lilliana Paniagua, when they were interviewed by the local TV News Stations.

Wayne Funk of Bellago Homes did a video that’s on the Bellago Homes website, explaining the program even better.

Wayne comes from a family of builders and had experience with this program in the early 90’s.  The homebuyers of Bellago Homes can earn anywhere from $2375 to almost $4000 to be applied towards their down payment.  Combined with the preferred lender incentive he offers, and the Home in 5 program, we’ve seen a few of the buyers actually get their deposit refunded to them when their home is complete and the escrow has closed.  It’s a very exciting program for those folks hit hardest during the economic downturn that have been renters after losing their homes and those that never thought that home ownership could be a possibility for them.

Another great thing about this program is that these homes have been value engineered.  With Wayne’s background with custom homes, he’s incorporated the finer elements of construction into his homes at Tierra Vista that normally production type homes at this low price point of 130’s would never include.  The Canterra Stone Exterior features, S- Shaped Tile Roofs, & Energy Star efficiency are just a few of the many quality features.  The benefit to the Buyer is they receive a great home that’s not just more attractive (to help with it’s resale value) but with very affordable energy usages and low HERS ratings, much less than a comparable existing home built just 10 years ago.

For more information on Bellago Homes and this program, please call 480-243-4242 or visit for more information.

Habitat for Humanity – making a difference in Chandler

Article just featured in:




Wayne and Tyler @ HFH

Wayne and Tyler Funk, father and son.  Wayne is the owner of Bellago Homes and they were one of many of the wonderful people swinging hammers to help Isabel Duran with building her new home. kesler address




Photo of what her home used to look (like compliments of Google) click on photo for map to property in case you’d like to drive by and check out the current progress. 

Rebecca and her team will be there on 2/1/14 to feed the hungry volunteers helping the Duran family with building their new home.

Contest Winners Announced!!!

A little over a month ago, at the Chandler Block Party, we had kicked off our Holiday Client Appreciation Contest.

For the last week, Rebecca has gotten the pleasure of playing Santa and delivering the prizes to our Winners.

Grand Prize Winners, Vickie & Brian Corr

Brian & Vickie Corr- Grand Prize Winners Caribbean Cruise for 2

 Second Place Winner, Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson- Second Place Winner $500

Drew Swankie, Janis Orona, & Joe Takacs- Third Place Winners, Kindle Fire HD Tablets

Thank you to everyone of our clients for contributing to our success in 2013.  Without our loyal clients, we would never have reached our goals that we had this past year & we are truly appreciative of all of our clients we've had to date, not just those that won prizes in our contest!

Best wishes to you and your family in 2014 from Rebecca Hidalgo and Integrity All Star Realty!!!

Client Appreciation Holiday Contest!?!

A couple of weeks ago, we kicked off here at Integrity All Star Realty our Client Appreciation Holiday Contest and one way to enter to win was by stopping by our booth at the Chandler Block Party. Our booth was quite the hit with both little ones and their parents alike and we had over 80 people stop by and register to win! (I have a feeling that the Red Balloons may have helped a little).







IMG_2426Without the help of our Sponsors, we wouldn’t have been able to give away as many great prizes, so we’d like to thank:

Yvette Myers of Old Republic Home Warranty (2 visa gift cards $25)

Ryan Nelson and Chad Melin of Academy Mortgage (Pair of Suns Tickets, pens, water bottles, blankets, car chargers)

Anthony Penna of Lawyers Title (2 pairs of Suns Tickets)

Rich Thurman of Shoe Thrill ($100 gift certificate)



GRAND Prizes yet to be awarded: 3 Kindle Fires HDs, $500, Caribbean Cruise for 2 (or $1000)

We will announce the winners of our final drawing on December 20th, just in time for Christmas & LUCKILY IT ISN’T TOO LATE to get in on this contest-

You can STILL like our Facebook pages:

Past Clients can write a review either on Yelp, Angie’s List, &/or Google:

And finally, if you refer us a new client, we will put your name in 5 times! That’s right, 5x for each friend or family you trust us enough to refer our way for Real Estate help.

So, the more times you connect with us, the more entries you have in the contest. (IF someone really wants to win that cruise, they just need to do all of the above and their chances to win will greatly increase!)




Mortgage Rates – Part 1 of 3

Last week, I mentioned I didn’t have a crystal ball...

What I can do is research and stay on top of our market and share my educated opinion with my clients to help guide them in the right direction; with that said, I visited with Ryan Nelson over at Academy mortgage recently and we took the video’s below so you could hear our discussion if you were interested in learning a little more...
We broke them up into 3 short 2-3 minute topics:

The first one being on Mortgage Rates since they are such a hot topic lately with the Gov’t shutdown.

Concept of real estate business in dark background.

Loan Guideline Changes – Part 2 of 3

The second one is regarding the actual LOAN guideline changes that are making it easier for more people to buy sooner after a Short Sale or Foreclosure.


Local Real Estate Market Info – Part 3 of 3

The last one being on Prices and our Local REAL ESTATE Market in general as we are definitely returning to more of a Traditional Buyer’s Market again (after the last year in a half of investors driving demand up and making it difficult for the regular people to get a good home)

There will be some great deals to be had in the next couple of months as we are in the holiday season already and are seeing seller’s having price reductions for the first time in a long long time...

So if you or someone you know has been considering buying a home, there hasn’t been a better time to BUY in a very long time!

(With that said, if you are a potential seller of a home anytime soon, don’t be too sad to hear this news as the prices for homes definitely increased this past year – it just means that there may not be multiple offers the first day your home hits the market, but as long as it shows well and is priced right, it will sell!)


Sweat Equity Program Featured on CBS

Bellago Home's innovated sweat equity program that allows potential home owners to paint the inside of their home and receive cash toward their down payment is featured in this video from CBS News in Phoenix.

Check out Bellago Homes

Our local Real Estate Market – The Cromford Market Index


The Cromford Index™ is a set of market indicators that we use to measure the balance of supply and demand which that indicates the balance of the residential resale market. Values below 100 indicate a market that favors buyers. Values above 100 indicate a market that favors sellers. A value of 100 is equally balanced.

Right now- we are at the same market index as we were in 2004, BEFORE the insanity started in our local marketplace 9 years ago, which caused the bottom out of our market just 2 years later in 2007. It’s almost as if years 2005-2012 never happened with regards to pricing, rates, demand, etc…. We are back to being in a Traditional Marketplace again, with Short Sales and Foreclosures combined only comprising less than 1/5 of the available homes on the market to choose from.

imageWhat we’ve noticed with these charts is that the peak of the recent investor craze (which caused multiple offer bidding wars this past year and caused many buyers to give up even trying to purchase) was in 2012 primarily as by early Spring of 2013, it’s gotten easier and easier for buyers looking to purchase a home as the demand has dropped.

With the balance of supply and demand changing, we’ve also seen fluctuations in the interest rates that buyers could get on their mortgage loans. When rates were at insane never before seen lows (in the 3’s), we saw that help drive demand back up, which also helped bring values back up… as that happened and demand increased, we also saw rates start to climb again. 

In the last 6 months, we’ve seen demand decrease as the rates increased so much so that this past week, the Feds announced they will continue to purchase 85 Billion dollars worth of bonds on a monthly basis which caused our rates to decrease again. 

We’ve also seen a easing in the mortgage guidelines allowing folks in the “penalty box” ( they had a short sale, foreclosure, or bankruptcy) to buy again within a year or less versus 3-7 years and Programs like the “Home in 5” granting 5% of FREE $ to assist with down payments to make it easier for more buyers to return to the market sooner than later.

What does that mean for Buyers and Sellers today?

For Buyers: Rates are still at historic lows, in the 4’s makes purchasing more affordable than renting. Better selection of homes as the demand has recently fallen.  Easing of guidelines to make it attainable to purchase a home again for people who didn’t think they could yet.

For Sellers: Sellers need to be realistic when selling their homes.  They cannot expect multiple offers without pricing right and ensuring the home shows really well.  Staging always helps to sell a home faster for higher dollar amount.

Whether you’ve been considering purchasing &/or Selling and need help of qualified experienced Realtors who care about their clients, give us a call, we are always happy to help with no obligation.  We have several tools like our App provided by Academy Mortgage to make the task easier for our clients. 480-243-4242

“We are starting to see a few signs of weakening demand”

The Cromford Report - Market Snapshot - Chandler-page-001Weakening demand for Real Estate here locally may be a good or bad thing, depending on whether you are a buyer or a seller.  Per the Cromford Report’s Market Summary for the beginning of June, it appears we are experiencing a natural cooling off of our marketplace as obstacles for buyers are starting to get harder to overcome. If you speak to some of our recent buyers, they would share some frustrations for sure on not being quick enough to get the house they’d hoped to get due to great competition for the “good” ones.

Per the Arizona Regional MLS, we had 9,183 sales in the Greater Phoenix this past May, which was the strongest month for sales since June 2011. 1,228 were short sales, 699 were REO sales plus an additional 192 were HUD sales (FHA REO’s) but 7,064 were normal (traditional) equity sales?!? That is the largest number of normal sales in a month since May 2006 at the height of the housing bubble!!!  Leaving us with a paltry 1.7 month current supply of inventory. 

Of those homes that are Active, we’re finding that a lot of them are undesirable or over-priced. Attractive homes at realistic prices are few and far between and usually last only a few days before they go under contract.

The Cromford Report - Major City Dashboard-page-001With the change of season from spring to summer this will probably change and we expect the number of active listings to start rising, peaking in late November. This is just a normal seasonal pattern.

We expect little to no increase in June and our short term outlook is for pricing to remain in a tight range around $120 per sq.ft. for the next couple of months.

We suspect that the combination of stiff competition, rising interest rates and rising prices are taking the wind out of some buyer's sails. If this trend develops further we may end up with demand well below average in order to match the supply which is already far below average.

The chart above has stats for the City of Chandler, if you live in a different City in the Phoenix Metro area and would like to see the statistics for your city, just call or email us and we’ll be happy to provide it to you. Knowing where the market has been critical to help advise our clients of how to proceed with their Real Estate needs, short of getting a crystal ball (I’ve been on the look out for one for many years now), relying on the stats from the Cromford report is one of our best tools available to us local Realtors. For a copy of the full Report from Cromford, please click here.


Law of Supply and Demand

Last summer I wrote the following blog on our site:

It’s interesting to me to see this past Sunday’s Newspaper because they did a big article about Real Estate and how home values have gone up 34% from 2011 to 2012. Click here to see full article which contains stats on different zip codes, so if you already own a home locally, you can see what has been going on in your neighborhood. Mainly because those of us in the industry saw this coming since last year and explains why since last year, the local builders have been getting back to business buying and developing land to build new homes on again. (Click here for blog from last October)

When talking with clients today, trying to decide what to do next is their biggest problem.

If they have a home to sell, are they still upside down or should they wait just a little longer to sell?

Are prices really going to come up more in my area anytime soon?

If they want to buy while rates are still low (well below 4% still) and before prices raise any more, where should they start?

I’ve consulted with many recently afraid to sell and be out of a home because it’s been so competitive to get a “good” home to replace the one they would like to sell.

You can search for homes right HERE via the MLS if you are looking to buy or sell just to see what’s out there that would interest you or if you’d like to check your own home value you can click HERE for our FREE home calculator.

I see today’s predicament so many are facing as a catch 22 and it’s hard to give a generic answer when it’s a complex problem for many and why I like to be able to consult specifically with our clients on their needs and wants to develop the best game plan for them and their families.

Please feel free to contact me HERE or call 480-243-4242 to get started taking care of your own Real Estate needs from a company that cares!


Chandler Farmers Market Every Thursday

Are you eating your veggies? Well downtown Chandler makes it easier to find fresh produce by having a Farmer's Market every Thursday from 3pm - 7pm. So, head over to downtown Chandler at Dr. AJ Chandler Park and stock your shelves!


Underwater home

I have to admit, I was just a little nervous when I rang in the New Year and our elected Politicians still hadn’t come together to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 for another year.  I was extremely relieved when I awoke yesterday to the FANTASTIC NEWS. (<—click link- there were also other mortgage related extensions like the Mortgage Interest Deduction that were passed with the Fiscal Cliff deal)

We also had many clients that were concerned about getting their own Short Sale done & closed by the 12/31/12 deadline, just in case our government did not extend it. (We had 3 alone that closed this past Monday afternoon, all as MAJOR rushes to beat it!)

I also know that in the last few months, the FISCAL CLIFF has had many people personally fiscally frozen, not able or willing to make large financial decisions due to the fear of the unknown future of our National Economy and how going off the cliff may have impacted them directly.

The GREAT NEWS is that if you or someone you knew were one of those folks, waiting and holding off to find out the outcome to the political squabbling in our House and Senate- wait no longer! Click HERE to get started having your questions answered regarding IF a  Short Sale is a viable option for you at this time.  To find out IF your home is even underwater any longer (with our appreciation last year of 20+% in the Valley, many are not), just use our FREE SIMPLE calculator that can help predict when your home will become an ASSET again- if it isn’t already….

With Mortgage Rates still in the 3% range- it’s also still a fabulous time to PURCHASE a home, especially since the Mortgage Interest is still tax deductable, thanks to the deal struck yesterday in Washington at 2 am EST.

Whether it’s to BUY &/or SELL a home, if you are looking in the Phoenix Metro Area- please give the professionals of Integrity All Star Realty the privilege to help you and your family with their next Real Estate transaction, as it’s our passion and we couldn’t be happier about how this exciting news will help the majority of people out there!  Just call 480-243-4242 to get started, Rebecca Hidalgo and her agents are always happy to assist!

I still have an upside down home- What should I do next?


Did you know that in the last 3 months, our local Real Estate market has seen a jump in prices by 15% overall? 

Have you asked yourself yet where that leaves you and your family?

Have you wondered if you can qualify to buy a *Home Again* today while the rates and prices are still so low?

Have you had a home that was upside down (or still own one) and did a Short Sale or had a Foreclosure in the past few years?

  • If you do still own a home today, should you keep it & rent it out or sell it?
  • How much could you rent it for?
  • How much could you sell it for?
  • Would it be a Short Sale?
  • Would you qualify for incentive money to do a Short Sale?
  • Should you short sale it today and rent your next home or can you buy now still right after having done a short sale?
  • When will it be worth what you owe on it again?
  • Should you just stay in your current home? Refinance it? Apply for a Loan Mod? Harp 2.0? Principal Reduction? Remodel? Do nothing and keep making your current mortgage payments?

What’s the best solution for you?

Everyone’s situation is a little different- Just CALL 480-243-4242 to get YOUR answers from professionals who care! We have a team of professionals that we partner with which include: Mortgage prequalification and credit advice, Real Estate Lawyers- Legal consultations & discounted negotiation services,  Property Management with discounted services as well!


Hidalgo_Rebecca yard sign

How long is this market going to keep increasing?

Seems to be the magic question these days- was just asked this yesterday by one of our repeat clients who’s concerned if she doesn’t sell her house today, that she may miss the boat….

I turned to Mike Orr of the Cromford Report and Director of the Real Estate Theory & Practice for ASU for the answers as he seems to be our best and most reliable predictor and follower of our local Real Estate Market.

The following 2 graphs are from the Cromford Report- this first one the “Daily Market Snapshot” with current stats compared to last month, last quarter, last year and 2 years ago for the entire Metro Phoenix Area.

Daily Market Snapshot

This one is specific for Chandler/Gilbert and shows the ACTIVES on the market and the ratio of Short Sales vs Bank Owned (REO), Traditional Equity, and HUD home listings. As you can see, we are returning to more and more traditional listings with a small fraction of what’s available being a “distressed” sale (Short sale, REO or HUD).  With the recent increases, less people are finding themselves upside down like they had been in 2010/11.

Active listing counts

But we actually did see a small dip in prices last month, so please read on further to understand better Mike Orr’s current take on our market. It seems overall very positive but the recent HUGE gains are not expected to continue- hopefully we are in stabilization mode which is better for everyone!


July 2 - Market Summary for the Beginning of July

Market Summary for the Beginning of July

In last month's summary we suggested that sales prices were in danger of getting ahead of themselves, and this proved to be a timely comment. In fact average and median prices recorded by ARMLS for for the month of June were far below those for May. The average $/SF for monthly sales declined by 4% from $101.42 to $97.44. This may have been a surprise to some of those who watched the average $/SF rise over 15% over the previous three months, but not to those who were also watching the average $/SF for pending listings, which turned south after April 30 and has been on a downward trend since. We always say you can't predict sales prices by looking at the history of sales prices. You can predict them in the short term by looking at pending listings prices and you can predict them in the longer term by studying the balance between supply and demand. A 15% rise over three months is bound to increase supply and reduce demand, but at the moment the reduced demand still far exceeds the increased supply, so the underlying long term price direction is up. The short term direction is down and we need to see the average $/SF for listings under contract stabilize and take another move higher before the market can make significant price gains over $100 per sq. ft. The stabilization seems to be done and a slight upward trend may be taking shape, but we do not expect any more months like February through May for quite a while. A slow and steady price recovery is healthier and less stressful.

The drop in pricing between May and June was due to a number of different factors:

1. A large increase in the percentage of short sales closed in June versus May. We currently show short sales taking a 34% market share in June versus 26% in May. This is a huge change for such a short time. It also drove the listing success rate for short sales to an all time record high of 82.6%. Please refer to our daily observations for comments about how these short sales tend to be significantly over-reported by ARMLS at the end of a quarter. This effect may dissipate a little over the next couple of weeks.

2. A sharp fall in the number of Greater Phoenix high end luxury homes closing in June versus May. We saw only 2 sales of homes listed over $3m during June, very different from the 15 we saw during May. However the price range between $1 and $3m did rather well in June with 98 sales versus 96 in May. Both totals were higher than in the corresponding months in 2011 and the low to mid luxury market is showing considerable improvement.

3. A reduction is average $/SF for all categories of closed sales. Normal sales retreated from $118.64 to $116.86 per sq. ft. a decline of 1.5%. Lender owned properties declined from $75.18 to $74.50 per sq. ft. down 0.9%. But the biggest price drop by far came with short sales which fell from $77.90 to $72.91 per sq. ft. This decline of 6.4% was very sudden and coupled with the gain in market share for short sales was the largest reason for the overall price decline in the market. It seems lenders are keen enough to avoid foreclosures that they are now agreeing to short sale prices that are below what could be obtained for the home as an REO.

Average $/SF was generally strongest above $225,000 while the lowest price ranges weakened except for the extremely hot segment of $100,000 to $125,000.

Overall supply recovered very slightly during June, but when we look at specific geographies, we see some big changes in different directions. The much higher pricing at the low end has brought out more sellers in places like El Mirage, where active listings (excluding AWC) rose by 71%. Other cities with significant rises include Arizona City (up 29%), Queen Creek (up 28%), Gilbert (up 26%), Maricopa (up 25%), Tempe (up 23%), Tolleson (up 23%), Anthem (up 20%), Glendale (up 18%) Laveen (up 17%) and Mesa (up 16%). However further falls in supply occurred in Gold Canyon (down 19%), Sun City (down 16%), Cave Creek (down 8%) and Scottsdale (down 6%).

Sales volume strengthened by 5% over May with 9,051 sales reported through ARMLS, but it was down 13% compared with June 2011 due to the ongoing tight supply.

Maricopa County foreclosures were subdued in June, with 3,902 Notices of Trustee Sale - down 14% from May and down 13% from June 2011. Completed Trustee Deeds numbered 1,838, down 14% from May and down 55% from June 2011. Among the residential parcels that received Trustee Deeds, only 824 reverted to the beneficiary. This is fewer than in August 2007 and indicates REO inventory will continue to decline. Total REO inventory of residential properties in Maricopa County is now 5,907, down 72% from its peak in October 2010. The number of residential properties that have active foreclosure notices is 16,450, down 6% from last month and down 65% from the peak of December 2009.

Despite the sudden reversal in price movement in the last couple of weeks, the market has not really changed dramatically. However the greater supply at the more affordable end of the market will tend to create higher volume of lower priced homes. This is good for frustrated buyers but will mean the averages and medians may not resume their upward trend for a while. This should not be seen as a problem. A 15% price rise for March, April and May would normally be more than enough price movement for a whole year.

If you or someone you know needs help with either purchasing or selling a home, please let us know- we are happy to help! Just call 480-243-4242

Expert: Real Estate ‘shadow inventory’ a myth


Click the photo to be taken directly to the article.  We’ve referred to Mike Orr many times over the years as his Cromford report has better quality of data that is used in comparison with most others and his predictions much more reliable.

Check out the cover of yesterday’s the AZ Republic!


*Click on the photo above to read the full article*

Kudos to our very own Chris Martin of Integrity All Star Realty!  He just helped the buyer of the home featured on the front page of the news yesterday close escrow on this great home.  He also is helping them sell their old home in Scottsdale. 

Today’s market has been rapidly changing the last 6 months- we are very excited here to see the turn around here in Phoenix.  Many families are rushing in to buy homes today trying to take advantage of the low prices and rates… rates have remained great but due to high demand and low supply, prices have been on the rise… Great news for Sellers finally- But buyers do need some patience and help from experienced and professional Realtors, like Chris Martin and our other agents here at Integrity All Star Realty.

Please call 480-243-4242 for help with your Real Estate needs today or Click here to get started.

short sale

Bank of America Short Sale *UPDATE*

Click here to watch Last years video update on Bank of America, some things have been changing over there and all good from our experiences working with them this past year.

Recently, Bank of America has been making big news- see the article just posted today Link to Article regarding incentive money.

On May 15, click the following link to read an email we received from Bank of America regarding the incentive money.

So long story short, if you are one of many who are still in a home that is worth less than you owe and you make your payments to Bank of America, now very well may be the time to apply for a Short Sale with them.

Here’s the paperwork we need in order to help you get started with selling your home BANK OF AMERICA PAPERWORK.

Please call 480-696-5800 or click here if you would prefer to speak with someone first to answer whatever questions you may have about the “Process”. We are here to help you or someone you know get through it as easily and quickly as possible.  We’ve helped countless numbers of families with Bank of America and don’t plan to stop anytime soon!


Mortgage Forgiveness Act set to expire end of 2012

We think it should get extended for the second time, but we can’t say for sure.

Here’s the link to the IRS website is case you aren’t exactly sure what it is.

Are you in a home now that is upside down in value?  Have you been “on the fence” about short selling or foreclosing and don’t know which would be best &/or when?

In 2007, it was one of the last things Bush signed and it blew open the doors for Short Sales because before then people had to pay taxes on the “Phantom Income” they received from their creditors (IRS Form 1099 C).

Until the end of this year, it’s still in effect.

We do expect it will be extended again, but probably not until the last hour like in 2010 when President Obama had extended it for another 2 years.

We do expect it will cause delays in the last half of this year for short sales in general because of the “rush” of people who will want to short sell their home they are upside down in before it’s they think it’s too late.

We do think it’s a good idea to talk to someone now just in case it doesn’t get extended. But again, we do feel strongly that it should.

Please call at 480-696-5800 OR Click here and get started online if you think you are ready to explore your short sale options.

BRAND NEW HOMES are making a Come Back!

Rebecca Hidalgo shares our latest tool with you to shop all New Home Builders at the same time online, view floorplans and incentives- SHOP HERE NOW if you are interested in checking out homes with Builder Warranties, NO BIDDING WARS, no waiting on Banks to find out if your offer was accepted, and what’s best is everything is brand new and most of the time can be customized to your taste.  Our inventory in the Phoenix Metro Area is at a record low (just checked today, now only 15734 homes Active on the market, this time last year, 44000 were available to pick from?!?) and with record low rates, now is the time to buy!IMG_0056

Rebecca just helped Jimmy and Helen of Gilbert get the keys to their brand new house  at Ashton Woods in Gilbert.  After helping them with 2 Short Sales in the past, this was such a happy day for them to get the keys to their brand new home.  Tomorrow, Rebecca gets the pleasure of helping another family get the keys to their brand new Pulte home in Mesa.  For the buyer out there that has been beaten up in bidding wars and lost, the local builders are a wonderful alternative.

The Brand New Homes not only have Builder Warranties in place but are also built today with much more energy efficiency than we’ve seen in years past as well.  Shea homes and many others are building their homes GREEN and offering Solar Panels, we’ve seen advertising recently on homes that are so energy efficient they are promoting next to nothing utility bills?!

This is definitely a great alternative to shopping for a home.  Foreclosures and Short Sales may seem like a bargain, but after repairs and updating is done to those homes and taking into consideration the cost of utilities for a used home over a new home, they may not be the best bargain in town ANYMORE

Please feel free to ask for help from Rebecca and her team to figure out which is the best option for you. 480-243-4242


Metro Phoenix Area #2 “TURN AROUND CITY”

Year-over-year Median List Price Appreciation: 15.38%
Year-over-year Median Age of Inventory: -27.47%
Year-over-year Inventory: -48.10%
Unemployment Rate (November): 7.7%
Search/Listing Ratio Rank: 7

Photo: Panoramic Images | Getty Images- CLICK PHOTO FOR LINK TO COMPLETE STORY

The other area on this list that’s not in Florida is the Phoenix-Mesa area in Arizona. It used to reside at the number four spot, but jumped ahead two notches between the third and fourth quarters of 2011. This area experienced more than its fair share of foreclosures, and one in every 317 homes still goes into foreclosure. However, the foreclosed homes on the market are being sold at bargain prices, which has caused a 27.47 percent decrease in the median age of inventory.

The city’s unemployment rate in November was 7.7 percent, better than the national average, which can only help boost the local economy. Real estate broker Christy Walker has an optimistic forecast. "The Phoenix market has experienced a positive change in the past year and is poised to continue rebounding throughout 2012," she says. "Employment is up, foreclosures have dropped significantly, investor sales are substantial and our inventory is hovering around a three-month supply with increasing demand."

If you ask any Buyer shopping for homes today, they will tell you it’s a dog eat dog world beating the pavements trying to find a “good” home at a “good” deal.  We are seeing multiple offer bidding wars; offers being placed on homes “site unseen” to try to beat the masses.

There is a Supply shortage out there with only 16,592 homes showing active in our local ARMLS as of this morning, when a year ago the number was more than double that!?!  We love our Investors who are coming from Canada, Hawaii, Australia and other parts of the world buying up everything they can at our rock bottom price HOWEVER it’s been very challenging for the local families trying to break back into the market again after a Short Sale or Foreclosure as a result since most investors are offering cash and quick closes.

OUR ADVICE?: Work with a knowledgeable Real Estate Company with experience and HAVE PATIENCE!  Start searching for homes HERE and please let us know if you or someone you know needs help navigating through our ever changing Real Estate Market!


Was one of your New Year Resolutions to…. ???

Seems the whole world at the end of any given year going into the next makes New Years’ Resolutions and Goals of things they’d like to do in the following year.

For me, to be a better Mom and Wife and take better care of my health… pretty boring stuff- somewhat the norm- I do also want to buy a home again myself as my own waiting period of 3 years after a Short Sale or Foreclosure is coming around already and I figured I probably wasn’t the only one.  Since 2007, with the help from my team, we’ve helped over 300 families either Short Sale their home OR buy a home and we’d love to do the very same for you or someone you know that may need our help. If you are one of our past clients, the timing may be right for you this year to buy again too?

IF SHORT SALE is something you’ve been putting off- PLEASE DO NOT put off any longer- as it stands now, The MORTGAGE FOREGIVENESS ACT OF 2007 signed by Bush is set to expire at the end of this year.  Short sales can take 3-6 months on average.  If this does not get extended soon, I predict that we are going to have a rush of Short Sales towards the second half of this year which may cause additional “traffic jams” with the lenders. Some folks trying to do a Short Sale in 2012 may miss the boat entirely for the forgiveness of the “Phantom Income” that the banks issue via 1099s at the end of each year from their losses on distressed loans. DON’T let this happen to you or someone you know! Click Here to get started with the Short Sale Process

On the flip side, it’s never been a better time to buy- RATES are @ 4% and sales prices lower than I’ve seen in most of my nearly 20 year career in Real Estate.  Click Here to see the in depth Power Point Presentation from Mike Orr of the Cromford Report with very interesting statistics on our current market and what it’s done the last couple of years.

Either way- we are here to serve! Please feel free to call us anytime at 480-243-4242 for help achieving your Real Estate Goals!

Metro Phoenix Current Real Estate Sales Statistics & Update by Cromford

Click Graph Below for full Comprehensive Article regarding current market trends and stats- all very promising news that our local market is in recovery. Call us today at 480-243-4242 for your Real Estate needs!


Own a home in Arizona?

City Rankings by Cromford

Which city is most expensive?  Least?  Where does your city rank this year compared to last year?

<----- See chart provided by The Cromford Report for these interesting statistics.

There’s also a big difference in price per sqft changes depending on the price range.  To read the latest market update from Cromford, click here.  Seems the prices under $150k are on the uptick and we’ve noticed a lot of competition by investors for those homes, which have caused a moderate price increase just recently.

Typically we see a major slow down in activity during the holiday months, it will be interesting to see what these numbers look like in the spring time but it does seem the bottom has passed us here in Arizona.  No one is predicting huge gains but in recent months, we have not seen any drops which is a great indicator we are finally on the road to recovery.  Thus why we are seeing so much investor activity in our market these days.

If you have any questions or are interested in receiving help with either purchasing or selling a home, please feel free to give us a call at 480-243-4242.


Looking for a “Custom” Estate Home that has an RV Garage?

We found it!  The Estates @ Annecy is one of Khovnanian’s newest and most exciting neighborhood yet!

Rebecca toured this fabulous community with Romie Tealdo and she shared with us what makes this place special.

One of the most unique things we found about this gated community is it’s offering of air conditioned 1000 sqft RV garages that are detached from the main home.  It’s not in the outskirts of town either, centrally located in North Mesa just a few minutes from the 202 Freeway.  All of the homesites are oversized to accommodate this amenity; however there is so much more here that meets the eye. Click here for more Community Information.

Benefits to building new rather than fighting over the Foreclosure homes in today’s market are:

    • Brand New Homes have energy efficient features not normally found in Foreclosures
    • Build it the way YOU want it; no gutting or remodeling required
    • Home Warranties and no mysteries about what the previous owner may have done to the home
    • Peace of Mind; Easy process- no bidding wars to get into or lose out on

With homes starting in the mid-300’s and today’s rates being so low; one could have a “Custom home” for a production price, meaning it’s within reach to have the home of your dreams.  Don’t settle for less! Click here for the current prices & floorplans.

Most people in this market, may have homes to sell and we are happy to consult with you to find out how to make the switch, just give us a call at 480-243-4242 for a FREE Market Analysis of your current home.  We can help make this move a reality for you and your family.


FHA loans, refinances and updates; Rates BELOW 4%???

Tara Bianco talks with Rebecca about refinancing options.  If someone can either PURCHASE a home or qualify to refinance- they should- today’s rates are the lowest ever in history!

Part of her team at Amerifirst Financial is Jeff Underwood who speaks here about Upside Down Mortgages with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac that can refinance at today’s low rates as well.

If you want to stay in your home and need help affording it, before you try for a loan modification- you should see if you can refinance today first.  Loan modifications are bandaids to the real problem of being upside down, so please consider a Short Sale before you decide to ding your credit with a loan modification attempt, which most seem to fail.