June’s Real Estate Market Update

 

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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.

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Your A/C unit, this weekend’s HEAT WAVE, BIG warning- please read if you live in AZ and own a home!!!

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I direct this blog to all homeowners (landlords/owner occupants alike) with a HUGE warning as we will be having RECORD temps this weekend and currently 1 of our beloved clients that just closed escrow on their home is being completely screwed over right now by Choice Home Warranty and I really think it’s an important trending topic to MAKE ALL OF YOU AWARE so this doesn’t happen to you too!

Lessons learned dealing with recent AC issues for both our client and ourselves:#1 NOT ALL Home Warranty Companies are alike, #2 just like your car, your AC needs regular maintenance not just to extend the life of the unit- but to ensure you have coverage on your AC in the event it fails under these harsh AZ temps and you need to call in a claim on your home warranty. #3 You get what you pay for #4 Don’t let your dog pee on your AC unit(s).

The story of Diane and Chad in Goodyear AZ… These wonderful clients of ours bought a home from a lady who was having some personal issues and when it came to the condition/maintenance/etc… there’s definitely a lot of work my clients knew they were in for after closing. HOWEVER, because they did a Home Inspection prior to closing (with a reputable inspector) and found issues with the AC that were fixed by the Seller/warranty company during the escrow period (& the same warranty policy transferred over to them which doesn’t expire until August), they didn’t think they’d be staring at a $3k bill today and most likely will have to sue Choice Home Warranty in small claims court if they do not step up to fix their AC like they should.

About a month ago, my husband & I experienced a disappointing situation ourselves with our own AC for our 3 year old Shea home.  It prompted us to purchase a Platinum Warranty with Old Republic immediately on our own home with the Star coverage that allows us to have our units serviced for a reduced price annually.  Basically our ACs were covered completely first 2 years we owned our new home by the manufacturer via our Builder’s warranty dept, but after year 2, only parts.  Our coil went bad on one of the units- turns out our lab was peeing on it 🙁 and it cost us $2k for labor/Freon.  What we found out in dealing with this is it’s a new trend by builders, manufacturers and warranty companies to deny any coverage IF you can’t prove you serviced your AC unit during the previous 12 months?!?! Most of us don’t think about our AC unit until it’s not working properly, so yet another lesson learned- give yourself an annual reminder in early Spring to get those AC’s serviced and ready to go for the long hot upcoming Summer. AGAIN NOT just to ensure coverage, but increase efficiency and the lifetime of the unit itself.

In case you’re curious… the following is a list of what “they” consider “servicing” but notice- everyone seems to be finding a way to exclude coverage for anything expensive like coils or compressors, so take care of those expensive units! 

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Document1The scoundrels currently denying coverage for our clients are Choice Home Warranty, check out these horrible reviews- click on the image---> for link!!! Don’t USE THEM!!! And if you’re a Realtor- DON’T let your clients use them either!!!!!

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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: http://integrityallstars.com/about/review/

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

April Real Estate Market Update

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(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. 

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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!

Considering selling your home this Holiday Season?

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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 rebecca@integrityallstars.com if you’re thinking about Real Estate or know someone you care about is!

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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 Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com 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.

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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?

http://www.flexmls.com/share/DGyo/2341-E-MANOR-DR-Gilbert-AZ-85296-

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.

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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.

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

Citrus Vista Concept Plan.pdf

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Click link to City’s Park Planning website: http://www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageid=728

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:       

 http://www.flexmls.com/link.html?12hmukyn3yma,12,1

THE POWER OF HOME STAGING

 

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Homes Sell FASTER when Staged!

 

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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….

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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 rebecca@integrityallstars.com 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 Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com.

homeinfive

WHO WANTS FREE $$$ TO BUY A HOME WITH?

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!

montevista

4355 S. Monte Vista Street, Chandler, AZ 85249

Full listing details, including interior photos, click here ----> http://www.flexmls.com/share/AfJW/4355-S-MONTE-VISTA-ST-Chandler-AZ-85249

This gorgeous home is simply stunning in person, call us for an appointment to see it- 480-243-4242!

Curious how we filmed the above video?? Check out the filming in action here ---->

If you or someone you know would like to see your home marketed like this one, email Rebecca@IntegrityAllStars.com

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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.

sweat equity

Sweat Equity- Earn your own Down Payment!

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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 www.PhxAzNewHomes.com for more information.

Our local Real Estate Market – The Cromford Market Index

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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

FREE APP – You can use it from your smart phone!

Mobile App photo

  • Curious what your neighbors home went on the market for but don’t want to ask?
  • Did you just pass by a really cool looking house and curious what it looks like on the inside or what they are asking for it?
  • In a neat neighborhood and wondering what’s for sale right out your car window?

Use this app to satisfy all the above curiosities!

Don’t have a smart phone (Iphone, Droid, Samsung, Blackberry, etc)?  You can use it on your computer too!

Just text AZ13 to 32323 OR go to www.integrityallstars.com/app and you can download our app to use ANYTIME for FREE!

You can even share the app with family, friends, co-workers easily once you download it by simply clicking the “Share this App” feature.  It’s really simple to use!

It’s amazing what technology can do these days and what’s even better is that it’s tied to our MLS so it’s LIVE ACTIVE data, not the outdated stuff you tend to find on Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com.

Give it a try and please Share IT if you find it useful; as we think you might!

“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.

FREE APP – You can use it from your smart phone!

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  • Curious what your neighbors home went on the market for but don’t want to ask?
  • Did you just pass by a really cool looking house and curious what it looks like on the inside or what they are asking for it?
  • Wondering what’s for sale nearby where you are? You can be driving through a neat neighborhood and curious how much the homes run?
  • Don’t have a smart phone (Iphone, Droid, Samsung, Blackberry, etc)?  You can use it on your computer too!

Just text AZ13 to 32323 OR go to www.integrityallstars.com/app and you can download our app to use ANYTIME for FREE!

You can even share the app with family, friends, co-workers easily once you download it by simply clicking the Share this App feature.

It’s amazing what technology can do these days and what’s even better is that it’s tied to our MLS so it’s LIVE ACTIVE data, not the outdated stuff you tend to find on Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com.

Give it a try and please Share IT if you find it useful, as we think you might!

LawofSupplyandDemand-1

Law of Supply and Demand

Last summer I wrote the following blog on our site: http://integrityallstars.com/our-local-home-inventory-shortage-is-starting-to-improve/

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!

MORTGAGE FORGIVENESS WAS EXTENDED!!!

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!

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How to FIX your own Credit Report yourself!

Have you ever heard anything good about those credit repair companies that charge people monthly fees to “fix” their credit?

I had a great conversation with Dawn McCraw , owner of  www.gocleancredit.com, and she educated me somewhat on what her firm does differently than the others.  Basically they don’t charge a monthly fee because they have 2 in house attorneys that fight with creditors directly on behalf of their clients to permanently fix the credit problem and they charge a flat fee depending on the items that need to be negotiated to have removed.

With that said, what the companies do that charge a monthly fee are doing nothing more than what someone can do themselves- which is dispute with the 3 bureaus erroneous information.  If you’ve had a Short Sale, its really important to do this afterwards to ensure that the banks reported accurately to the bureaus, as we’ve seen some of our past clients have to do some disputing in order to be able to buy a home again.

Regardless- knowing what’s on your report and checking on it at least once a year is VERY important since our Credit Report can impact so many aspects of our day to day lives.

CLICK HERE to get to the FTC website on the screen in my video.

You can get FREE (with no impact to your score) reports from ALL 3 BUREAUS 1 time a year & right online, by following the instructions, you can dispute ANYTHING you see that shouldn’t be on there.  They have 30 days to follow up and remove any item in dispute if they cannot validate it with the creditor.  So there is no need to pay anyone any money to do that for you when you can do it so easily yourself.

If you are still having issues or want to buy a home and know you need help- please don’t hesitate to call Rebecca directly for assistance- we are always happy to help however we can! 480-243-4242

Brand New Homes are being built again!

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Back in 2005, driving past a home under construction was commonplace here in the Valley.  During years 2008-2010, many new home subdivisions had tumbleweeds blowing through because we had vacant abandoned homes on the brink of or newly foreclosed in every subdivision around and buyers were only looking to purchase Lender Owned REO’s or Short Sales… It’s taken nearly 7 years, but all reports are showing that not only are the Builders coming back but Buyers are welcoming them with wide open arms! We noticed it in the early spring this trend starting, but today we are helping new families almost daily tour model homes trying to decide which builder is best for them.

This past year, we’ve seen multiple offer bidding wars driving up prices on Short Sales and Foreclosures due to shortages in inventory; which have been making buying Brand new a very attractive option again.  What’s also great is the impact it is having on our community with job growth as well!

The photo above is actually of my own home under construction taken just yesterday! 

It’s very appealing to purchase a new home again for so many reasons!  With prices being competitive- all new, with builder warranty, getting what you want- where you want and not having to settle with regards to layout or options since you pick your own when you build new a great option in today’s market where Sellers are demanding top pricing for their existing homes.

Click here to read the article written by Joel Huston of Integrity All Star Realty which discusses in detail the New Home market here in Phoenix for the last several years.

A lot of Builders are now coming back and making great sales- but they are not all a like… 

Most of our agents have worked in the past for local Builders and can help you and your family navigate between them with their sometimes confusing incentives, options, contracts and if you have a home to sell first, we do offer listing discounts to those who need to sell a home first before they buy their next home*** (talk to Rebecca for more details on our trade in program).

Give us a call to help you get started looking for your next Brand New home- we will be happy to help! 480-243-4242

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!

 

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It’s starting to get easier to BUY a home again!

Have you or someone you know been out shopping for a home lately and had horror stories of multiple offers and a frustrating frenzy causing some folks to give up trying to buy a home?  Good News- It’s getting better out there right now! I’m not saying the “good” ones don’t still go fast, but our supply of inventory is on the rise- which will make it easier for the Buyers out there to be a little more discerning when it comes to selecting their next home.

The chart below represents the # of months worth of homes available for purchase in the City of Chandler during years 2012 vs 2008 vs 2004.

Chandler Stats

The reason I chose those years in particular to compare to our current inventory levels is because 2004 was when the “liar loans” came into existence and blew the doors open on the demand for housing.  It was due to the fact that so many more people could all of a sudden qualify to purchase a home with little or no $ down, which drove the prices up.

2012 and 2004 started out with almost exactly the same amount of inventory for the first quarter- the difference being that in 2004 the inventory continued to drop to an all time low of less than 1 month, where in 2012, we have been on a slight increase of our inventory since mid June of this year. 

A happy place for Supply Vs. Demand for our local market is a 4-5 month inventory supply and we very well may be on the path to getting there if it continues on the rise as it’s been the last 2 months.

Compare that to 2008, right as the Foreclosure crisis started to hit us here locally and Short Sales began to make an impact (due to the Mortgage Forgiveness Act getting signed by Bush at the tail end of 2007) when at our peak, we had 18 MONTHS of inventory flooding our market that shot prices down exponentially.

This month, REO (lender owned/foreclosures) homes have dropped to a record low level just below 14% of our market, that is the first time we’ve seen that happen since January of 2008.  At the PEAK of our Local Foreclosure Crisis (just 1 year later) in February of 2009, REO homes constituted 71% of our available inventory in our marketplace (In that 1 year alone, it jumped by 57%!).

Some more interesting stats (complements of the Cromford Report) just released are:

  • Active listings are down by 34% from this time last year
  • Monthly sales are down by 18%
  • Average sales price is up 23%
  • Median price has also jumped by 33% (from $109,000 to $145,000)

The LAW of Supply and Demand at it’s finest!

Those Sellers out there that have been waiting for prices to rise before they put their home on the market may want to pay attention and hurry to get theirs out there while it’s still a Sellers market!  It may quickly become a Buyers Market again if our supply continues to rise making it easier for Buyers to get good deals- without being in those infamous bidding wars. 

If you or someone you know needs the help of a Professional Experienced Real Estate Company, please call us for help at 480-243-4242 or click get started here and we’ll be happy to help however we can!

*Great Ranch style home AVAILABLE in South Chandler*

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Entertainers delight awaits*home has it all!*Traditional Sale w/obvious pride of ownership*Located in Countryside Estates-an amazing highly sought after gated community w/all single-story homes & tree lined streets*Spectacular floorplan w/Master bedroom split & Souring 10' ceilings make this home FEEL much larger than sqft*4th bedroom is an office*The kitchen is to die for!*Stainless Steel, Granite, Chef Range Hood,Upgraded 42” cabs, wall ovens, gas cooktop, RO*Magnificent Master Bath boasts Snail shower w/2 shower heads & bench*Backyard oasis features pebbletec pool w/waterfall & gas firepit*Private & relaxing mini gated front courtyard*Original owner who's treated this home w/TLC-H2O heater 1yr old, H2O softener brand new 6/12,TRANE a/c's serviced regularly*2X6 construction & low E windows = much lower utility bills*Simply Stunning-Must see!

Click here for full comprehensive list of upgrades and personal belongings for sale. Don’t worry- this home is still very affordable- click here for a flyer on payments

Call us at 480-243-4242 to arrange for a private viewing or click here for Virtual Tour

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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

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Are you considering a “Strategic Default”?

Strategic Defaults

 

Not sure what to do with your current home you are upside down on?

Should you rent it?  Should you Short Sale it? Is it even upside down any more since the prices have been on the rise the last 6 months?

Worried about the Mortgage Forgiveness Act expiring?

You see how low the rates are today and wish you could buy a home? Well, Maybe you can…

See this Brochure for more info regarding the “Home Again” program through our partners at Academy Mortgage, the law firm of Mack, Drucker, & Watson, and First Sonoran Property Management.

We definitely believe it’s imperative to get the proper advice and have sought long and hard to find the right professionals in their own respective fields to counsel our clients down the right road with regards to Real Estate in today’s very complicated market.

Please call us at 480-658-0265 or click here to get started  and have all of your questions answered by the right people!

Expert: Real Estate ‘shadow inventory’ a myth

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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!

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*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.

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

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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!

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“Home Again” after a Short Sale

Thanks to the Mortgage Forgiveness Act of 2007, Signed by Bush (Set to expire end of 2012)- SHORT SALES EXPLODED across the Nation as we saw home value plummet after 2006.  Long Story short, until then, the Phantom Income written off by the banks after a Foreclosure or Short Sale was considered taxable income. Today (for now), the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. (See link for more details) We do expect a rush towards the second half of this year on Short Sales if the current administration in office does not extend the Act; which could cause even more delays in the Short Sale process due the the increased volumes the banks may be dealing with.  But with that said…

Nothing gives us more satisfaction than being able to help a family out from under a home they are upside down on and can not afford any longer, into their next home.  With today’s crazy low interest rates and sales prices, now really is the time to buy.  It’s usually much more affordable than renting and the key is the right counseling up front so that sooner than later, you too can be back in the buyer market again after either a Short Sale or Foreclosure.

Some can buy a “Home Again” right away, some take 2-3 years for their credit to re-coup enough in order to do so.  We partner with Ryan Nelson of Academy Mortgage right up front at time of Short Sale application so we can game plan the right solution for you and your family right from the beginning of the Short Sale process.  This helps to ensure we get you into your own “home again” as soon as possible.

Please call our office at 480-243-4242 to get started or Click HERE

Want FREE Movie Tickets for 2? Are you a Past Client? Are you on LinkedIn?

AllStarSBRebeccaIf you answered YES to those 3 questions, please help me by recommending me online for future prospective clients to see. I always send surveys after closings to our clients because I care about their experience and it's very important to me that we do a good enough job that someone would be willing to recommend us to people they know.... but they don't always come back in the snail mail. 

On occasion, when someone is shopping around online for their next Realtor, I need to be able to share these recommendations and it would be so appreciated if you are willing to take a couple of minutes to express your experience with my services if I did a good job for you. Those that do will get a FREE pair of movie tickets to Harkins Theatres and if there isn't one near you, I can certainly find a Theatre that is! Please click the box below to give me a recommendation! You will need my Name: Rebecca Hidalgo and my email address: rebeccahidalgo@cox.net. I really appreciate it!

View my profile on LinkedIn

Thank you!

Rebecca Signature

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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!

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.

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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.

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Foreclose today; buy tomorrow?

We are starting our list for folks who can take advantage of this new program, already have our first client who qualified for this program- he just did his 2nd short sale with us 1 year ago.  His new mortgage payment will be $400 less a month than what he’s paying for rent.  If you or someone you know lost their home to either Foreclosure or did a Short Sale and it’s been less than 3 years (FHA minimum waiting period if someone had “lates” on their mortgage); they should really consider doing this program while it’s still around… Time and Funds are limited.

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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.

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HUD HOME IN GILBERT- GREAT DEAL!

*HUD Home* Featuring 4 bedrooms + Loft/ 2.5 Bath, Separate Living, Family, & Formal Dining Rooms with Master Bedroom Downstairs, 2'' Blinds, Vaulted Ceilings, 24'' Travertine & Laminate Wood Flooring, Accent Paint, Eat-In Kitchen with Bay Window, Island/Breakfast Bar, Granite Counters, Raised Panel Oak Cabinets, Stainless Steel Smooth-Top Range & Built-In Microwave, Additional Cabinets in Inside Laundry Room, Real Wood Burning Fireplace in Family Room, Separate Exit to Patio & Vaulted Ceilings in Owners' Suite, Covered Patio with Grassy Yard & Pool, Garage Shelving & Service Door

Full Details

http://www.integrityhomebuyingguide.com/listing/mlsid/8/propertyid/4634431/syndicated/1/cgltguid/9C7E8FA8-F494-4E90-8368-063BA2AA5D2F/?ts=crg

Like an appointment to see this before it’s gone?  Call 480-243-4242!

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Great South Chandler Home For SALE!

PRICE APPROVED BY LENDER ON 1st- BRING YOUR OFFER AND GET IT CLOSED! Old Stone Ranch Lake community by Shea Homes.4 bedrooms++loft and 3 bathrooms,medium maple cabinets, stainless appliances, gorgeous granite countertops, upgraded flooring, 3 car tandem garage, gas fire place, outside BBQ island,too many options not to take a look at.. Builders base prices higher and doesn't include all of the upgrades or Front/Back Landscaping this home has- It's a bargain!

Full Details

http://www.integrityhomebuyingguide.com/listing/mlsid/8/propertyid/4515827/syndicated/1/cgltguid/4DEB3FA9-35F7-4B76-9FB3-4B7C7E0F549B/?ts=crg

Listing Courtesy of Rebecca Hidalgo, Integrity All Star Realty, LLC

BUYER BEWARE- Local Real Estate Inventory Levels ARE VERY LOW!

If you have been out shopping for a home recently; you may have experienced multiple offer bidding wars occurring which is becoming commonplace for the “good” homes out there. You got to have patience and be prepared to jump when a home you like comes available because odds are that you are not the only one that will be interested in it.

The below chart is very interesting because it shows the Inventory Levels in the last 10 years for here in the Valley; compliments of The Cromford Report. I’ve had the pleasure of working in Real Estate now nearly 20 years, since 1993. When I started my career, I mainly focused on selling HUD homes which are definitely becoming quite prevalent in our marketplace again. Real Estate traditionally will bring someone a 5-6% gain in value year over year here in the Valley because of the steady flow of Supply and Demand- that was until 2004 when we saw our market go “crazy” and values increase exponentially.

Days Inventory

To put this into perspective- our “happy place” for supply and demand typically is about 4-5 months worth of inventory.

Today we have just 27,618 Active properties in our marketplace and 104 days worth of inventory

Last Quarter; May 2011- we had 33,094 Active properties and 132 days inventory

Last Year; August 2010- we had 43,417 Active properties and 172 days inventory

 

Clearly the trend is downward with our Active properties available to pick from; but the word has not gotten out to the general public yet- therefore we have not seen a jump in prices as of yet.

Our average price per square foot today is just $82.46 and our prices have been relatively stagnant since September 2010. The question is how long will that last? Inevitably, the law of Supply and Demand will have to kick in sooner or later and the prices will definitely start to rise at some point in our near future.

When I reflect on my own career- today’s pricing is very comparable with the nineties and rates under 7% were considered very good back then. Today we are happy when rates are below 5%, which means monthly our homes cost us less today than they probably ever have ever in recent history.

In 2004, I had the first Holiday Season where my business did not slow down at all. The Days of Inventory in November 2004 were just 46. The “peak” of our market was April of 2005 when the supply was at 31 days of inventory VS the worse we have seen being in April 2008 (just 3 yrs later) at 425 days of inventory available. Our advice to folks watching the market and trying to decide when it’s safe to get back in it- is TODAY is the day but you MUST have patience and be prepared for the bidding wars and multiple offers.

It can be frustrating, but it’s worth it because the prices & rates are still so low. If you or someone you know is considering making a purchase and needs help from an experienced and trust worthy Realtor- please let us know. Contact us here to get started OR call us at 480-243-4242 & we will gladly send you a customized list of homes to check out!

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How do you get $17,500 for going “Green”???

Larry Ricci of Going Green Solar joined Rebecca today to share with her the news about this exciting program that incentivizes Buyers of homes to install Solar Panels in their homes along with a few other energy efficient items; build it into their purchase loans, and they get up to $17,500 back in tax credits and rebates. Please call Larry directly at 602-301-0022 for specific questions & you can click here for a Brochure on the program highlights.

If you think you lost out on the First Time Home Buyer Credit- for the right person and home- this may just be PERFECT! We’ll be happy here at Integrity All Stars to help you get going with this if you are interested in learning more and finding the right house that will qualify- give us a call here at 480-243-4242 OR click here to get started.

New Listings this week- already have lots of interest- Contact us before they are gone!

COURTYARD HOME IN CENTRAL GILBERT

Great LOCATION and Neighborhood amenities; RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO GREENBELT AND POOL- why deal with a yard to maintain when you have the best of both worlds? This is a perfect sized home for a family or roommates with very good sized secondary bedrooms and huge loft upstairs. Very well taken care of, not your average short sale- will go quick- very nicely decorated. In ceiling surround sound speakers will stay. Two toned paint and accent walls throughout. Windows also energy efficient for better cost savings on utilities.

Full Details

http://www.integrityhomebuyingguide.com/listing/mlsid/8/propertyid/4626878/syndicated/1/cgltguid/B2DCD6AC-8597-4D5F-A8E3-3DD7FAF88B31/?ts=crg

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CUSTOM LUXURY BASEMENT HOME WITH RV PARKING IN MESA NORTHGROVE

5 bed, 3.5 bath Mesa home for sale. Asking $350,000. CALL 480-243-4242 TO SET A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT TO SEE INSIDE!

Full Details

http://www.integrityhomebuyingguide.com/listing/mlsid/8/propertyid/4626182/syndicated/1/cgltguid/A17B1C7A-5054-410D-BA06-B1A4B79D083E/?ts=crg

kITCHEN POOL

Listing Courtesy of Rebecca Hidalgo, Integrity All Star Realty, LLC

“supply/demand imbalance is becoming extreme” says Mike Orr of the Cromford Report

 

Every Month we like to post the latest article by Mike Orr to educate our clients on the most recent stats in our local Real Estate Marketplace.  Very few have not been affected and with prices comparable now to those of nearly 20 years ago, we are seeing very little inventory out there for buyers to pick from.  

CLICK HERE to read Mike’s entire article; but here’s a summary quote that is very telling.

 

Inventory-page-001“It seems to me that although the supply/demand imbalance is becoming extreme, demand from investors alone is unlikely to sustain a significant upward price movement. We may have to wait until the general public realizes the degree to which the reality and perception of the supply picture have diverged, so that fear of missing out on a bargain overcomes the fear of prices dropping yet further.” 

Our thoughts is that once word is out to those “fence sitters” that there are few “good” houses out there right now, those prices will start to climb as more competition hits our local market place.  Don’t miss the “bottom” if you are thinking about buying!  And for those of you wanting to (Short) sell, homes are going fast- before the holidays roll around and it slows down- give us a call to discuss your options 480-243-4242 or CLICK HERE to get started.