Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

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. 

Dec. 27, 2016

Hope You Had A Joyous and Happy Holiday Season! 2017 Here We Come!

The holidays are almost over with New Year’s just around the corner. I hope that you had a wonderful time and surrounded yourself with those you love. The holiday season can be a stressful time but always remember that being around family and friends is the best gift at all. Make sure you enjoy it as much as you can!

Thank a VeteranWith the season of giving surrounding us, let’s not forget about our active and retired military that have fought bravely to keep us safe.

On December 17th, groups got together in support of Wreaths Across America, to lay wreaths at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. It was a beautiful tribute to all our Veteran Heroes.

There are some inspiring photos here on the Arizona Veterans Connection Facebook Page and Channel 12 News even came out to do a story! This was the 11th year for Wreaths Across America.

While this event may be over, you can always donate to honor a veteran for next year here. There are many ways to show your support to our veterans, whether you volunteer or donate, every little bit helps. Always remember to give thanks to those who have serve and keep our country safe!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Dec. 16, 2016

Say Goodbye to those Low Mortgage Interest Rates!

The Federal Reserve finally raised interest rates this past week, something that we have been anticipating for a few years. Many of you are wondering how does this affect me when buying a home? Well, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding how the Fed interest rate affects homebuyers. First off, the Feds DO NOT set interest rates. The way it really works: The Federal Reserve sets the short-term rate policy, which governs what banks charge one another for short-term loans. Short-term rates are different from long-term rates, but they typically move in similar ways in times of change. Mortgage interest rates are tied to the 10-year Treasury note and tend to go and up down, sometimes daily based on the performance of the stock market. The Fed Interest rate was raised a quarter percentage point this past week. Since the election, mortgage interest rates have gone up twice that amount. That is due to the stock market highly performing, thus interest rates climb.  So basically as a buyer, you should be more concerned with the stock market and  how that affects interest rates and not concerned  so much about a Fed interest rate increase. The Feds raising their rates is actually a sign of more confidence in the economy and is a lagging indicator of what is really happening in the economy on a daily basis.
Because the Fed interest rate is a result of the economy and stock market performance, we are expecting the Feds to raise their rate up to three more times in 2017. Because of this confidence and optimism, it is highly expected that mortgage interest rates will continue to climb and that will affect a new homebuyer's new mortgage payment and how much they will be able to qualify for in a new home. They are making projections that mortgage interest rates could be up to 5% by the end of 2017. A few months ago they were in the mid to high 3%'s. For example, on a $250,000 mortgage loan at 4% is $1,193 per month and at 5% it jumps to $1,342. That is a difference of $149 per month or $1,788 per year. So should you wait to buy?
In real estate we never recommend you "time" the market. However, this is one time you may want to heed the forecast and IF you are thinking of purchasing next year...then the earlier the better. If interest rates climb the way they are projected then buying sooner versus later will save you money AND allow you to qualify for a higher loan amount. A higher loan amount may allow you a larger home or in an area you desire more.
If you want to start your home search now while rates are at their lowest, click here to start your customized home search!
Source: “Fed’s Rate Hike Confirms It: Time Is Running Out on Low Mortgage Rates,”® (Dec. 15, 2016)
Dec. 2, 2016

Phoenix will be the #1 housing market in 2017

Phoenix has always been a unique city. It’s large in size but keeps a community, family feel in each of its neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics allowing the city to become home those with an array of lifestyles. Whether it’s a condo in a high rise, townhome, or single family home, Phoenix has the house to fit your lifestyle. Now, Phoenix is getting some Phoenix #1 Market 2017real recognition nationwide with its continuous, steady growth in the housing market.

The top housing market in the US for 2017 will be Phoenix. daily trends and analyst are predicting a positive forecast for the upcoming year. The valley's steady growth in sales and price increases is showing to be one of the healthiest in the country. is predicting valley home prices to climb 5.9% and sales to jump 7.2%. With a low supply of new home builds and foreclosures Phoenix will be a strong market.

Interest rates are expected to rise, with that increase it could knock out some first time home buyers out of the market. But, with anticipated wage and job growth increasing it could off set the increase in rates.

If you're ready to sell your home, click here for a FREE and INSTANT home valuation! And if you're ready to find your new home with that updated kitchen, start your home search here!