Video Update of the Phoenix Real Estate Market – April 2009

Check out my video update of the Phoenix real estate market: This is my first "video blog" so let me know what you think...Your feedback is much appreciated! … [Read more...]

The Boiling Point of Success – Sometimes a Little Inspiration Goes a Long Way!

Do you ever feel like where life just wears you down? I did this week. Nothing particularly bad happened, but I have been cranky, tired and feeling rather sorry for myself. So it was a true gift when I happened upon a blog posting by Russell Shaw, a very successful Realtor here in the Phoenix area, where he mused about how he achieved his success. The message really hit home for me so much so, that I am writing this blog posting about my own pursuit of success. The ideas apply to whatever goals you hope to achieve. When I got divorced, I had a choice about how to support me and my family. I could have gone back into engineering - my … [Read more...]

A Light at the End of the Tunnel for East Valley Real Estate

Although home prices in Phoenix are continuing to decline, there is a ray of hope for communities in the East Valley.  Home prices in Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe are showing signs of stabilization and prices in Gilbert and Queen Creek are actually starting to edge upwards.  Compared to the downward trend in home prices experienced by the Phoenix housing market as a whole, the East Valley is looking stronger over the last few months with higher average sales prices and slower declines in value. Although home prices in Mesa and Queen Creek have historically been below the average sales price for Phoenix as a whole, the upwards trend in sales … [Read more...]

$8000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit…Why Wait?

One tool homeowners have to help with the expense of buying a home is the first time homebuyer $8000 tax credit for purchases between January 1 and December 1, 2009. This credit, equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000, is available for home buyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years and unlike the previous tax credit does not have to be repaid as long as home buyers must use the residence as a principal residence for at least three years.  Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit. This is a refundable tax … [Read more...]

The Big Bad Banks…Who’s Wearing the White Hats?

The big banks these days do not have many fans, especially among Realtors.  Do a Google search on "Short Sales Suck" and you will see what I mean.  We all have our war stories like the one about the bank that foreclosed on a house after a 5 month short sale "review" only to flood the property once thye took Title.  The bank ultimately sold the home for $107,000 less than the short sale offer.  Or the one about the $130,000 deal that took 13 months for bank approval - at least they didn't flood that one when it was over.  Yeah, there are thousands of these stories in addition to the outlandish bonuses, the bailout money wasted, and on, and on, … [Read more...]

What Does the Bottom of the Real Estate Market Look Like, Anyway?

If you look at the current real estate market statistics,  it sure looks like things are starting to turn around here in Phoenix.  Sales volume is up, equivalent to 2007 levels, and the inventory of homes on the market is down - about an 8 month supply.  Things look even rosier of you take the short sales out of the picture - those zombie listingsthat bloat the inventory levels - and you will see areas where homes are selling in a matter of days, often with multiple offers.  OK, so it's not all good news.  Prices are way down, 40% less than they were last year, with median homes prices about where they were in 2005.  But it looks like the … [Read more...]

Toxic Assets – The Ultimate Short Sale

There is a lot of talk in the news these days about toxic assets...but what in the world does that term mean? And why is everyone so worried about them? Toxic assets are a direct result of the decreasing home values applied to some bad loans.  Let's say the bank loans Joe Homeowner $100,000 to buy a $125,000 house.  The house acts as collateral for the loan.  If Joe defaults, the bank takes back the house that is worth $25,000 more than the note on the home. Even though they do not want to own real estate, at least it is worth MORE than what was owed to them.  But let's say that Joe's house starts to devalue and one day, it's only worth … [Read more...]

Making Home Affordable – Website Helps Homeowners Struggling with Mortgage Payments

Coming on the heels of the Obama Administration's recent launch of a new program to help troubled homeowners, the government has launched a new website to offer assistance to those seeking relief from mortgage payments they cannot afford.  The website Making Home Affordable offers several resources to help troubled homewowners determine if they are eligible for assistance with their mortgage.  There programs are aimed at homeowners struggling to remain current on the mortage payments on their primary residence. Since President Obama announced the Making Home Affordable program, lenders have been flooded with calls from homeowners … [Read more...]

Home Shopping with Kids – A New Perspective on Real Estate

I happen to have four boys - very energetic ones, I might add - so I always enjoy it when my clients bring their kids along when we are shopping for homes.  I probably enjoy it more than my clients do because house shopping with the kids in tow can make the experience a little more stressful, and who needs more stress when you are shopping for a new home!  Over the years, I have learned that kids add their own perspective to real estate and their input can be helpful when trying to make a decision. Here are few things I have observed: Teenagers are all about location, location, location. And this is sage advice that any real estate expert … [Read more...]

Is it a Recession or a Depression?

Have you heard the old saying: "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job...a depression is when you lose your job." Yeah, that used to be kind of funny until we all found ourselves in a position where we had to decide between the two.  Face it, we are all in one category or the other these days. This saying comes to mind as I read different blog posts and comments about the recent announcements of the Obama Stimulus Package and the Homeowner's Assistance Plan dubbed Making Home Affordable  (for information on this program, check out the official site at  Clearly, our nation is facing some unprecedented … [Read more...]