How Does Price Range Affect Inventory in the Phoenix Housing Market?

As of this morning, there is 4.1 months inventory of homes on the market in the Phoenix Metro area. A balanced market, where the Buyer and Seller have equal advantage, occurs at about 6 months inventory, so we are currently operating under a Seller's advantage. But the price range you are shopping in plays a big role in the actual inventory of homes available to you.           For those home buyers shopping below $100,000, you have about 1.6 months of inventory to choose from - a strong Seller's market. But the news is actually worse when you take out the junk house that no one wants to buy. My guess is that you probably have less than … [Read more...]

Is It Time To Buy A Short Sale?

With the inventory of foreclosures on the decline in Phoenix, buyers are sre starting to get frustrated. With less than one month's inventory of foreclosures, also known as REO's, some Buyers are looking for alternatives to the bidding wars they are often facing when trying one of these homes.   Although 2/3 of the homes sold in Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs are REO's, only about 15% of the inventory of available homes are REO's. But short sale listings are abundant - 11 months of inventory! But many buyers - and real estate agents - avoided short sales and for good reason. Last year, only 1 in 4 short sale listings actually went … [Read more...]

Why Can’t I Buy A Bank-Owned Property in Phoenix?

The Phoenix Metro area has made just about every Top Ten Foreclosure List out there...yes, the media is quick to point out how tough things are in the Valley of the Sun when it comes to real estate. The way the news media makes it sound, there are rows of "FORECLOSURE" signs lining every street in town.      But there's the media and then there's reality. And that is what is frustrating buyers. I have talked to several folks in recent weeks who can't understand why they can't saunter out on a Sunday afternoon, check out a couple of bank-owned homes, write up an offer for 10% below the asking price, and pick up the keys in a couple of … [Read more...]

Five FAQs About Phoenix Summers

Phoenix is well known for its beautiful weather. Here in the Valley of the Sun, we enjoy beautiful, sunny days all year long.  Sure summer in Phoenix is hot, but how bad is it REALLY?  Check out my video for five FAQs to take the fear out of surviving summer in the Valley of the Sun.   Here are some fun facts about our hot summer temperatures, courtesy for the National Weather Service:  The highest temperatures ever recorded in Phoenix were: 122°F on June 26, 1990; 121°F on July 28, 1995; 120°F on June 25, 1990; 118°F on  July 16, 1925,  June 24, 1929, July 11, 1958, July 4, 1989, June 27, 1990, June 28, 1990, July 27, 1995, and July 21, … [Read more...]

Interest Rates Soar? Come on!

Recent increases in mortgage interest rates have some people in a panic. Check out this article in the LA Times . Some of the readers comments are clearly indicating that many believe we are all doomed as mortgage interest rates rise above 5%.   I say, let's do a little reality check before we start talking gloom and doom.   With interest rates in the upper 5 percent range, we are still below rates last year that fell in the low to mid 6 percent range. These rates were touted as historical lows. The recent increase above 5% takes us out of the artifically deflated rates which reached as low as 4.5%. Recall that extraordinary measures … [Read more...]

Good News About the First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit…With a Catch

Good News! The Feds have decided that it is OK to borrow the money you will receive from you $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit so you can apply that money towards the purchase of your home.  There are special, short term loans available so you can borrow the money - for a small fee, of course - and apply the money toward the down payment or closing costs when you buy your home.    Isn't that great! But before you get really excited about the return of 100% financing, there is a catch.    The minimum down payment required for an FHA loan is currently 3.5% of the purchase price.  If you are buying a $150,000 home, that means you need … [Read more...]

Will HAMP Changes to Short Sales Help or Hinder Future Transactions?

Recent changes in the Making Home Affordable program address problems with short sales and offer a streamlined approach that will help distressed homeowners who cannot qualify for a loan modification avoid foreclosure. Check out the details here.           I personally share the opinion of many Realtors that short sales suck (if you don't believe me, check out this link.  In theory, short sales offer a less painful alternative to foreclsoure, but often end up as a frustrating delay to the inevitable Trustee Sale.   In short, the proposed changes, titled "Foreclosure Alternatives", will help to prevent costly foreclosures by providing … [Read more...]

Appraisal Changes May Affect Your Next Real Estate Deal

One of my favorite lenders, Brian Yampolsky of Orion Mortgage, posted a very informative video about some big changes in the way real estate appraisals are being managed. Appraisals are always required if you are financing your real estate purchase, so these changes will affect the majority of real estate transactions in the future. Real estate appraisors have been under close scrutiny since the glut of mortgage fraud so deeply affected the real estate industry in the last few years. Apprasors have become very conservative in the estimates of value, so it is very rare to see appraisals coming in much above the selling price.  These … [Read more...]

Phoenix Area Short Sales are on the Rise…and Bogging Down

With inventories of bank-owned properties shrinking, some buyers are taking a new look at short sales. A recent conversation with a representative at a bank regarding the slowing pace of short sales provided some insight into the process and why it is taking so long for some banks to get these deals approved. … [Read more...]

When Should You Get A Home Inspection? Always!

A professional home inspector should be one of the first people you call when your offer to purchase a home has been accepted. A home inspector will go over your home with a fine tooth comb and provide a detailed report on the condition of the home. He will check the condition of your roof, your AC unit, your electrical and plumbing systems. Your inspector will check for structural problems, and code violations. Some inspectors even do thermal imaging scans to check for hot spots or leaks that may indicate major problems with the home. In our Arizona contract, you are entitled to a 10-day period to conduct any inspections you deem … [Read more...]