What’s the Easiest Way to Invest in Real Estate?

A friend of mine recently asked my opinion about a REIT - Real Estate Investment Trust. You know, those sexy crowd-sourcing ventures where you pool you money with other mogul wannabes and buy retail shops, apartment buildings and office complexes and just watch the cash flow into you pockets. Sort of. Actually, the fund managers do all the work,collecting rents from the tenants and paying the investors dividends when they make a profit. Of course, you know what happens if there is not profit, right? Let's say you have $1000 laying around and you wanted to invest in real estate? Is the REIT the best way to go? Maybe. But before you join the … [Read more...]

No RENTS for the Weary

Are you having trouble finding a rental property in Phoenix right now? Well, you are not alone. Our rental inventory is a fraction of what it was a few years ago. Just to out things in perspective, in 2008,there were roughly 10,000 properties listed for rent in Metro Phoenix. Right now, there are less than 2200 homes or rent, listed on the MLS. And I mean in all of Metro Phoenix, meaning Phoenix and its suburbs.   That figure does not include vacation homes, but good luck there where rents are significantly higher than market rents, due to the furnished and short term nature of these leases. And keep in mind that there were a lot less people … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Country Club Living at an Affordable Price – Val Vista Lakes – 1402 N Pebble Beach, Gilbert, AZ 85234

How would you like to live in a country club community? Who wouldn't right? But maybe you can't afford the country club price tag. Well check out this home in Val Vista Lakes, one of the most popular lakefront communities in Gilbert, AZ. The clubhouse is AMAZING! A beach-front lagoon pool overlooks  a lake that meanders through the community. It's flanked by a Jr Olympic-sized pool, hot tub and gazebo. Enter the clubhouse to find racquetball courts, cardio and weight-training facilities and recently updated locker rooms, as well as a staff that keeps the action going through-out the year.   Tennis? Oh yes - there's even an … [Read more...]