The Big Pre-Qualification Question

For some, calling a lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage is an anxiety-riddled, hand-wringing, whiskey-swigging dilemma. Should I or shouldn't I? It's a big deal...or is it? The fact is, it is pretty much pointless to go house-shopping without checking in with a lender first. It's like going shopping without your wallet, only worse. If you forget your wallet, you can ask the cashier to hold onto the awesome bargain you found while you run back home and retrieve the forgotten financials. But if you don't talk to a lender first, you might be shopping at Nordstom's when you really should be shopping at Target (or vice versa). And either … [Read more...]

First Quarter 2016 – Review of the Phoenix Real Estate Market

It's about that time when I like to tantalize all of you with some market statistics! How is the Phoenix real estate market so far in 2016? Well let's take a look... Supply is gradually increasing as it usually does this time of year, but demand has been a little sluggish in the price ranges below about $250-300K in most areas, and a lot sluggish in the upper price ranges. Sellers still call the shots below $250K in most geographic areas, but buyers and in hog heaven in those upper ranges. Hope you bought your lottery tickets because this is the year to buy that mansion. Interest rates have decreased slightly since the Fed lowered the … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Homes For Sale in Phoenix-What’s Hot, What’s Not?

Let's take a look at the current inventory of homes for sale in Phoenix...What's hot and what's not? There are currently more than 17,600 homes for sale in Maricopa County. When you look at the mix of price ranges on a map, you can see a heat map forming representing affordability across the Valley. For homes in price of $200K or less, your best bet is the West side. If you want to live in the East Valley - Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert or Chandler, you are going to need to spend a few more bucks - most homes are $200K and above.  If you want to drop some serious dollars on your new house, northeast Phoenix and Scottsdale are the places to … [Read more...]

Rent or Buy Your Home…Which is Better?

Rent or buy? Gosh, isn't that the $64 Million Dollar question? And as many things go in real estate, the answer depends on your circumstances. Let's start with the current state of rentals here in Phoenix. In the ARMLS rental database the overall average lease rate for active listings is $1,820 per month and the average sq. ft. is 1,932. For apartments, the average rent is $1,568 with an average sq. ft. of 1,102 giving us an average rent of $1.42 per sq. ft. A year ago the rate was $1.22 per sq. ft., so the rise in asking price is 16.6% in just 12 months. The number of active apartment rental listings has declined 10% from 643 to … [Read more...]

Affordable Homes in Phoenix — $200K or Less, Going Fast

A cold hard look at the inventory of affordable homes in Metro Phoenix, priced in the sub-$200K range - the sweet spot for first time and re-entry buyers, is sobering. Folks, there is no sugar coating this factoid. These homes are going fast. There are only about 3300 single family homes in Metro Phoenix - 2,300 in Maricopa County and 1,000 in Pinal County that fall into this price range. That includes homes in the outskirt towns like Wickenburg and Gila Bend, small home, old homes and homes that won't qualify for FHA financing. That might seem like a lot, but in the last year, about 34,000 homes were sold in this price range. Here are … [Read more...]

Rising Mortgage Rates And The Rumors They Inspire

Last month, over 271,000 jobs were added in the U.S. - the highest amount so far this year.  The unemployment rate dipped to 5 percent, and wages rose at the fastest pace since 2009. In a report released last week  by the Feds, all signs point to a healthy U.S. job market, almost fully healed from the deep wounds of the Great Recession. This is really great news! But, because there is always a "but", the healthier economy is raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin withdrawing its support for the recovery by the end of the year. In a nutshell, interest rates are very likely to rise over the next year. Not in a  … [Read more...]

How To Buy A House (In A Nutshell)

How to Buy A House...in a Nutshell! A simple Step-By-Step process for buying a house...it's not so hard...OK it's really harder than it looks but that's why they invented real estate agents! But seriously, there are 5 basic stages to buying a home here in Arizona: Get yourself a purchase contract Open escrow Do your due diligence Order up an appraisal (your lender to do this!) Closing time (where you write a BIG check!) Check out the video for details. And as always, if you have questions, you know where to find me! Kristin LaVanway 480-282-7464 kristin@hereinphoenix.com … [Read more...]