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...]

Historic Fraser Fields – Downtown Mesa, Arizona

Fraser Fields is one of Mesa's historic neighborhoods, with ranch style homes on large irrigated lots near Downtown Mesa. Homes in the Fraser Fields Local Historic District  were built in the late 40's and 50's and appealed to the affluent middle class, looking for a change from "the city" in what was known at the time as Mesa's most exclusive community. Yes, that's what it was like in the 50's.   There is no single builder in the neighborhood - homes were built to order for the original residents, which included doctors, lawyers and businessmen with names that are easily recognized in Mesa. Fraser Fields was originally a plot of land … [Read more...]

Are We Headed For Another Real Estate Bubble?

Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled PBS program in the drab, grey fields of irrational paranoia, fear and anarchy, but I have an important message for you: IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD. WE ARE NOT IN A HOUSING CRISIS. We are not about to be in one either! I know what you're thinking, "Oh, but Kristin, you're a REAL ESTATE agent. Of course you would tell us we're not in a housing crisis... You just want my $%#^@ MONEY!" No. I want you to be happy. And happiness comes from being educated by the facts. With knowledge comes power and confidence - not this fear bullcrap. Let's get rid of this fear thing. It never does anyone any good … [Read more...]

About that Zestimate, Spencer….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9EoBa_ez3Q Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow, sold his house in Seattle in February for a cool $1,050,000. You might be wondering why I am telling you about this. Who cares if Spencer sold his house..whatever. Well, what makes this story interesting is that Rascoff's website, Zillow, zestimated that the house is actually worth $1,608,670, off by a measly 53% of the actual market value. Ooops! And while it's super fun for real estate agents to bash the "evil" Zillow monster, the realty is that computer-generated valuations are far from the best way to determine what your house is worth. … [Read more...]

Grid Bikes! What Are Those Green Bikes On Main St?

Grid bikes! They have arrived on Main St. You will see 250 of these bright green two-wheelers in racks along Main St, ready for pedalists to explore Downtown Mesa, head to work, check out a Spring Training game or go wherever their hearts desire (that's within biking distance!) The most common usage is for folks who take the light rail to destinations that are just a little far to walk once you reach the light rail stop. Having a bike to take you that last mile or two can greatly increase the benefits of our light rail here in Metro Phoenix. There are several racks of Grid Bikes along Main Street - near each light rail stop, adjacent to … [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...]

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...]

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...]