Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

Aug. 29, 2018

Tonia Talks REALestate-August 2018 Phoenix Update

Supply between $200K-$250K has Risen 8.1% since May and Seller Price Reductions Are Up 7% in Popular Price Range

For Buyers:

If your budget lies somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000 for a home, there's good news for you. Supply between $200,000 and $250,000 has been  rising gradually over the past 12 weeks. After dropping 15% from 2,300 listings in January to 1,944 in May, it has since risen 8.1% to 2,101 listings in August, placing it only 6.7% below last year's count instead of 18% below like it was 3-4 months ago. Listings between $250,000 and $400,000 have also risen sharply 5.3% from 4,791 to 5,044 over the past 4 weeks, placing them only 0.2% below last year's count of 5,053 listings. The increase in competition has resulted in a notable 7.3% increase in weekly seller price reductions from average of 778 week in June to 835 in July. 56% of year-to-date sales in Greater Phoenix have been between $200K-$400k so this increase in supply should come as a little bit of relief for the majority of buyers. 

For Seller:

If you have a home listed between $200,000 and $400,000, then you make up 48% of everything that's listed in the MLS. Listings under contract in this price range have averaged 7.4% higher in volume than 2017 all year, until now. Over the last two weeks, including the end of July through the first week in August, listings in escrow have dropped to 2.2% below last year's level. Buyer activity is expected to slow seasonally from the peak in April through the end of the year; however open contracts have dropped 26% since the 2018 April peak compared to a lower 20% drop in 2017 over the same time frame; all while corresponding supply has been rising. Sellers haven't seemed to notice this sharper decline as their average asking price per square foot has soared from just 3% higher than last year in March to as high as 7% higher in July. The average sales price per square foot was up 5.9% in July, compared to 4.6% in June. However, price is a lagging responder to shifts in supply and demand. We will have to wait and see if buyers accommodate sellers' price expectations given that they have more to choose from in the marketplace right now.

(Commentary and Infographic Credit: Tina Tamboer, The Cromford Report)

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Aug. 28, 2018

Coming Soon-9833 W Utopia Rd

This highly upgraded 2 bedroom 2 bath home in the highly sought after Westbrook Golf community will be hitting the market very soon! Countless upgrades make it one of the most desirable homes in this 40+ active adult community.

As you can see, the street name "Utopia" is very fitting for this picture perfect backyard space.

If your list of must-haves include move in ready in a prime location, look no further than this rare Westbrook beauty! Listed at only $269,900! 

If you would like to see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search. Call me at (602) 518-5232 or email me at to learn more!

Posted in My Listing Updates
July 30, 2018

Tonia Talks REALestate-July 2018 Phoenix Market Update

Waiting to Buy Means Less Closet Space or Higher Payment 

For Buyers:

Hearing cries for more affordable housing supply, developers have sold more new homes in the low $200's this year; selling 35% more than they did last year within the same time frame. However, the under $200,000 market remains neglected for additional supply. As of May 2018, only 6% of new homes sold were under $200,000, 37% were between $200,000 and $300,000 and 41% were between $300,000 and $500,000. This means that properties under $200,000 will continue to appreciate faster than any other price point and homes sold in this price range are only getting smaller. The annual average home size sold between $100K-$200K, new and resale combined, is currently 1,390sf compared to 1,454sf last year. That's a loss of 64sf and roughly the size of a couple of closets. Since 2014, the annual average home size sold has consistently hovered around 1,975sf. Those buyers who didn't want to sacrifice living space paid an average of $22,000 more for a 1,975sf home in the past year. 

For Sellers:

Greater Phoenix is officially in the seasonal summer slowdown and contracts in escrow are expected to continue declining overall until the end of the year. The peak of the market for contract activity usually hits at the end of April, as it did both this year and last year. So far levels have dropped 17% from the peak, which is closely following last year's drop of 18% between April and July. If the 2018 market follows last year and previous years, we can expect contracts in escrow to drop about 4% per month until the end of the year. This would be considered perfectly normal, anything more could indicate a non-seasonal drop in demand. 

(Commentary credit: Tina Tamboer, The Cromford Report)

July 2, 2018

Tonia Talks REALestate-June 2018 Phoenix Market Update

Is the Greater Phoenix area "Overvalued"? Surprisingly, mortgage payments are lower than they were 13 years ago.

For Buyers:

Interest rates have been increasing along with the inflation rate as of late, which has spawned a strong of headlines about affordability. While the rate hike has knocked some buyers out of the market without a doubt, general affordability hasn't taken a big hit yet. According to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, buyers making a median family income could still afford 65% of what sold in the Valley last quarter. A measure between 60-75% is considered normal.

Let's look at the historical cost of a 1,900sf home in Greater Phoenix, for example. In March 2005, a home that size would run $281K on average. Today that same home would be $309K, $28,000 more (+10%). However, the interest rate back then was 5.9% compared to 4.5% today, meaning that the principal and interest payment has dropped nearly $100 from where it was 13 years ago for the same home. At the same time, the median family income rose from $58K to $69K according to HUD (+19%). Which is why despite recent increases in interest rates, the affordability of real estate in the Valley is still considered very good.

For Sellers:

Last April Corelogic released a report ranking the Greater Phoenix area as "overvalued." In fact, they placed 37% of our nation's top 100 metropolitan areas in that category. As of May, after 6 years higher-than-normal appreciation rates, the monthly average sales price per square foot has finally reached its place along the long-term 3% appreciation line established between 2000-2003 before the 2005 bubble and 2008 crash. Meaning that if we had fallen asleep in 2003, and the last 15 years were just a long horrible dream, we would have woken up today and not known anything had happened. Prices are where they would have been had the market followed the average long term-rate of inflation. That brings to light that current appreciation rates of 6% or more are no longer sustainable in the long term. However that doesn't mean that prices will "peak" or "crash" anytime soon. Most likely as demand slowly wanes, prices will go flat and hang out until they once again fall in line with the rate of inflation, but don't expect that to happen in 2018. Supply and demand measures today indicate another 3-6 months of positive appreciation for the majority of homes priced below $400K.

~Commentary and Infographic courtesy of Tina Tamboer, Cromford Report

May 31, 2018

May 2018 Real Estate Market Update

Curious how the Phoenix Metro Residential Real Estate market has evolved over the past 12 months? 

For Buyers:

Supply under $200K has continued to drop rapidly, but the $175K-$200K range has accelerated its decline over the past month far more dramatically than any other price range. After being consistently 30-35% below last year, the active supply level dropped a whopping 18% in a 3-week period putting the current count for this group 44% below last year. Single family homes only make up 41% of active listings under $200K, but they account for 69% of actives between $175K-$200K. As more buyers are looking to condos and townhouses for affordable housing, supply for attached homes under $200K has dropped 33% over the last year. However, condo supply between $200K-$300K has actually risen 10% while single family homes in the same price point have dropped 15%.

For Sellers:

We are officially at the peak of the market seasonally for listings in escrow. Over the next few weeks, especially as temperatures reach over 100 degrees in the Valley, expect to see gradual decline in buyer contracts that will continue through the end of the year. This is a seasonal trend that consistently happens every year and in every price point, even in the frenzy market under $200K. The one exception is the luxury market over $500K. While it's typical to see a decline at the beginning of Summer like everyone else, escrow counts tend to drop for a couple months and then go flat until the end of the year. In fact, luxury supply drops more than buyer activity does in the Summer making it a great time to list luxury property for those willing to brave the heat between June and September. 

(Commentary written by Tina Tamboer, with the Cromford Report)

May 6, 2018

New Listing - 13522 W Desert Flower Dr.

Charming 3 bedroom 2 bath home in beautiful Palm Valley! Gorgeous French doors leading to covered patio, mosaic tile backsplash in kitchen, master bedroom split floor plan. Home has brand new interior paint, new window trim and sills and a new AC installed in 2015. 

If you're searching for a magnificent, move in ready home, look no further than this beauty in the Palm Valley area of Goodyear! Listed at only $214,500!

Immediately, you are welcomed with beautiful landscaping and ample parking.

Open living area is great for entertaining.

Kitchen includes ample cabinet/counter space, matching appliances, new microwave, pantry, breakfast nook and mosaic tile backsplash.

Master suite has walk-in closet and full bath with dual sinks.

If you would like to see more of this listing Click Here. Or continue your Home Search. Call me at (602) 518-5232 or email me at to learn more!

March 21, 2018

Classy Projects That Won't Break The Bank

22 Inexpensive Projects That Will Add A Touch Of Class To Your Home

Want to give your home a classier, more expensive look that won't break the bank? Here are 22 refreshing ideas for your inspiration. 

1.) Give your kitchen cabinets a painted facelift

2.) Get a better handle on things with updated cabinet handles

3.) Give yourself more outdoor options for seating

4.) Switch out or paint your electric outlet plates

Click below to continue reading the complete list.

Continue Reading Here



Jan. 18, 2018

"Loan Churning"

Attention VA Homeowners...Don't become a Victim to "Loan Churning"

Early this year, Congress was told how VA loan backers are becoming concerned about "loan churning". Loan Churning is where a lender solicits an existing borrower to refinance their current loan for a better rate with the same or different lender. This is becoming a predatory practice targeting homeowners who have a VA home loan. You often see these solicitations in the mail, many that look to be from a government entity, offering well below market interest rates to entice you to refinance your loan. First of all, most of the rates being advertised are for an Adjustable Rate Mortgage and secondly, you don't get transparency on how much refinancing your home truly costs you. 

The average costs to refinance a VA fixed-rate refinance is $6,000. On average, a veteran will need 5.5 years to recoup loan costs, Mortgage News Daily reports. Furthermore, refinancing from a fixed rate product into an adjustable one can result in refinance fees up to $12,000 and could require 7 years to break even (assuming the interest rate doesn't adjust upward). Adjustable rate mortgages interest rate will most likely climb as the stock market climbs and economy grows, so it makes little sense to refinance your current VA loan that may be at 4% to 5% into one of these loans because you're likely to end up paying more than your fixed rate mortgage as interest climb. Many of these homeowners will be tempted to refinance again into a fixed rate when they notice their adjustable interest rate creep up and the cycle continues, eating up equity and money in re-finance costs.

There are two types of re-finance loans VA homeowners can obtain. The first is a cash-out refinance as described above and the second is the stream-line refinance that does not allow any cash-outs but allows the homeowner to reduce their interest rate without an appraisal, etc. There are fees associated with both programs. Most lenders describe these programs to you "at no cost", however there is always a costs when re-financing. Otherwise, would they work for free? The lenders tack on these cost to your loan balance. To figure out if you should refinance or not we recommend you do some simple math to determine how long you would have to pay on the loan to break even before you can claim you "saved" money. Here is the math:

First calculate how much your balance is going up due to the new added closing costs; i.e., old balance $195,000, new balance is $201, 000=$6,000 added to loan balance. 

Second calculate the difference in loan payment between old and new; i.e., old payment $1,100 and new payment $1,000=$100 per month in savings on payment

Third divide your total closing costs by your monthly savings to arrive at number of months it will take to recoup your re-finance expense; i.e.; $6,000/$100=60 months (60 months/12(months per year)= 5 years.

As a veteran myself, I hate seeing fellow Veterans being specifically targeted for predatory or misleading scams so that others can pocket their hard earned equity and money. These loan solicitations are non-transparent and misleading and if you do want to refinance then use a local reputable lender. These mailers offer nothing, and I mean NOTHING that your local lender cannot do, so if you are a good candidate for refinance and determine it makes sense to do so, then use someone you can trust and not someone who use misleading tactics to get you to call. Not only do those units charge higher than normal interest rates, they will not be honest with you on if re-financing makes sense for you or not.

Feel free to reach out anytime for recommendations to VA lenders in the community. We are here to help you protect your investment and equity so never hesitate to inquire if you have questions or concerns.

Posted in Mortgages/Loans
June 8, 2017

Renting vs. Buying

Have you ever thought, "I wonder if now is a good time to rent?". No, I am sorry it is not! It never is a good time to rent! Rents have steadily increased throughout the years, and does not seem to be slowing down. Did you also know that buying a house can cost you LESS than renting?

There are many options I can help you navigate! Let me help you go over your options! Please contact me today!

May 23, 2017

Is Your Credit Keeping You From Buying a House?

The three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are revisiting their systems of how they report Tax Liens and Judgments. According to the Wall Street Journal, starting July 1st 2017, the three credit reporting agencies will be removing tax liens as well as civil judgments from the reports only if they are missing important and detailed information on consumers. Such information can include a Social Security Number, an address, a name, and a date of birth. Also records will be removed if the reporting agency of the debt or a "debt collector" do not update the record every 90 days.

So what does this mean for you? Your credit score can improve from 20 to 40 points, according to credit industry experts. Scores will vary, based on the individual consumers along with their other information on their reports. Having inaccurate information on your reports could hurt your score, so having these "blemishes" removed from your reports could potentially help you improve your score. There are many ways to help improve your score, speak to a professional. As stated in Arizona Mortgage Talk, "With credit, the punishment does not always fit the crime,".

There are many ways you can help raise your credit score, one having someone help you or guide you. There are tools that can help you build your credit to where you are able to have the freedom to buy a house, or do what you want to do. We offer a credit simulator to help you step by step to get you where you need to be. It is FREE with NO obligation. Please contact me to help you with the process.