Bidding War? Bring It, Baby!

https://youtu.be/lfrwDv1DgqY This weekend, I submitted offers in two "bidding wars". OK. They were more like bidding skirmishes, as a bidding war these days usually garners 3-5 offers compared to the 25-40 offers we were seeing a few years ago. Multiple offer situations tend to scare buyers. But guess, what? My clients offers were accepted in both cases. Multiple offers are unavoidable when there are fewer listings than buyers, so here are my tips on how to be victorious should a bidding war be in your future. CHOOSE A STRONG TEAM: First and, absolutely, without a doubt, necessary is choosing the right Realtor. This is no time for … [Read more...]

How to Keep Your House on the Market FOREVER!

Selling your house? Let's be honest...there are a lot of things that are way more fun than listing your house for sale...going through a heart-wrenching break-up, surviving those mega-fun years with your teenager, sitting through one more season of The Bachelor (Season 20, are you serious?).  It might seem logical that if you list your house for sale, you would want it sold as quickly as possible, but sometimes logic does not prevail.  Take, for example,  a little Scottsdale cutie that's been on the market for 2696 days as of today. As in, it was originally listed back on 2008 and just went under contract yesterday. Scratch that, they … [Read more...]

Yikes! Where are All the Affordable Houses?

Home prices are going up in Phoenix. Great news if you are a seller...not so great if you are a buyer. Particularly a buyer who does not currently own a home. The bar for entry level homes is going up - homes are becoming less affordable. You are jumping onto a moving merry-go-round, my friend. Check out this visual from my good friends are the Cromford Report: Yup...the inventory below $150K is quickly becoming non-existent, and the inventory of affordable homes between $150K-200K is starting to fade away as well. Anything below $250K is going to be gobbled up quickly by strong buyer demand - and guess what? We are on the brink of … [Read more...]

Phoenix Real Estate Market – 2015 in Review

And now, for the traditional look-back at the year that was. How did the Phoenix real estate market fare in 2015? Not too shabby! In a nutshell, 2015 favored sellers over buyers in most areas, as has been the trend since 2011. The good news for buyers, however, is that sellers can no longer dial it in. There were far more price reductions, more nail-biting, and overall, less partying by sellers and a little more satisfaction in the buying experience.  Gone are the days of slowly driving your car by a house, adding $20K to the listing price of some dump that meets 25% of your must-have criteria, and hoping this, your 27th offer, would … [Read more...]

Happiness – The Secret According to a 75-Year Long Study

Everybody wants happiness in their life, right? Most folks start off with the notion that money is the key to happiness. If you work hard enough and achieve "success", you will be happy. But is that really the secret to happiness? Since 1937, a dedicated group of Harvard researchers has conducted an exhaustive study of 724 men. The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the few studies of its kind that has endured more than one generation.  The men included 268 sophomores at Harvard College and 456 teen-aged boys from some of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. The study followed the group as they  journeyed through life in many … [Read more...]

3 Words for 2016 – My Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

I am a big fan of the New Year concept. A fresh start. The New Year's Resolutions. I realized long ago that I was not the kind of person who benefited from setting New Year's Resolutions.  Sure, I would go forth with the best intentions to weigh less, earn more, exercise regularly, organize my office, etc, etc, etc, but at the end of the year, I would generally hate myself for weighing more, earning less, and deciding it might be easier to go out and buy a new stapler because I will never find the old one in this Einsteinian mess I call a desk... The truth is, I am in good company. Not just in the messy desk department, but in this whole … [Read more...]

Is This a Good Neighborhood? – The Answer at Last!

I get asked all the time: Is this a GOOD Neighborhood. My answer - How the Heck Should I Know?  I don't blame you for asking the question. I mean, who wants to live in a "bad" neighborhood, right?! But, I really don't know because my idea of a "good" neighborhood is probably not the same as yours. Everyone has a different comfort zone and a different perspective on what makes a neighborhood feel like home. The reality is that I can't really answer that question for you. It depends on what you are looking for. For some people, a gated community with big fancy houses is good.  For others, that gated community might seem pretentious and cold … [Read more...]

San Tan Valley, Arizona – What You Need to Know

San Tan Valley is an unincorporated area suburban to Phoenix. It lies Southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County. Now, it's not that incorporation hasn't been attempted, but this is the Wild West and some folks like it just that way it is. As of 2015, all attempts to incorporate the town have failed. Eventually, it's bound to happen. In the meantime, San Tan Valley has experienced amazing growth. It was booming back in the early 2000's when the area offered homes at super affordable prices. What's a little extra gas money when you can have a great new home, right? But then, our little "crash" happened in 2007 and development in the area ground … [Read more...]

Queen Creek, Arizona – What You Need to Know

  The Town of Queen Creek is a suburb of Phoenix, located primarily within Maricopa County. The Town Limits  extend into Pinal County on the eastern and southern borders. To the east and south of the Queen Creek Town Limits, in Pinal County, is a large (est. 87,000 population in 2015) unincorporated community commonly called San Tan Valley. Queen Creek has a country feel, a strong nod to the equestrian lifestyle.  A quaint downtown area features brick store fronts, narrow sidewalks and a historic atmosphere. Recent development along Ocotillo and Ellsworth have produced large shopping malls that gain more ground, and more … [Read more...]

Interest Rates Rise for the First Time Since 2006

Told ya... As expected, the Federal Reserve announced that short-term interest rates would rise by 25 basis points (0.25%), the first time the interest rate has increased since 2006. For seven years,  the Fed held short-term rates near zero to apply the paddles to the cardiac crisis that hit the US economy back in 2006, and nurse it back to health. Although the US economy isn't exactly ready for an iconic post-recovery marathon, it is at least at the 10K stage where economic experts agree that a little return to normalcy will do us all some good. Now, the interest rate we are talking about is NOT the mortgage interest rate. The Feds … [Read more...]