Your Weekly Pulse on Valley Real Estate

Sept. 14, 2020

Just Listed - 9661 W Fallen Leaf Lane

There's no need to wait for a new build when this practically new home could be yours! Constructed just 2 years ago in a cul-de-sac, this beautiful home boasts 3 bedrooms, a downstairs den/office and an upstairs loft.

The interior of this home features all the latest style upgrades including wood like flooring, white cabinetry, farmhouse pendant lighting, a gourmet chef's kitchen with gas stove and stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Can you imagine having movie nights with your family in this spacious loft or perhaps adding a pool table to entertain friends?

The possibilities in this oversized backyard are endless! It is simply waiting for your personal design and touch. 

To continue your home search, click here. To learn more about this home, call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com. 

Posted in My Listing Updates
Sept. 12, 2020

New Listing - 14821 W Voltaire Street

Get your running shoes, hop in the car and make your way to Marley Park! This breathtaking 3 bedroom home PLUS den/office is perfectly positioned across from a beautiful green park and is ready to welcome you home!

Your inner chef will fall in love with this dream kitchen featuring a gas range, stainless steel appliances, espresso cabinetry, granite countertops and a large island.

The split floor plan of this home allows for ultimate privacy in this spacious Master Bedroom. Enjoy private access to your pool and spa via a door inviting you outside from your Master suite.

This home is truly beautiful inside and out! I know the next owner will enjoy relaxing or entertaining around the huge extended covered patio and beautifully designed pool out back.

If this home has not stolen your heart away yet, you can continue your home search by clicking here. If you love this home and can't wait to learn more, call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com.

 

Posted in My Listing Updates
Aug. 28, 2020

A Record Breaking July 2020

Usually this time of year, the real estate market experiences what is commonly known as the "Summer Slowdown." Keeping with the extraordinary theme of 2020, this July broke many records in the real estate market.

For Buyers:

It's a hectic environment for buyers, but despite recent appreciation rates the HOI* measure for Greater Phoenix increased to 64.8 for the 2nd quarter 2020; the previous measure was 63.0. What this means is that a household making a current median family income of $72,300 per year could afford 64.8% of what sold in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The HOI measure for the United States is slightly lower at 59.6.

Previous records show the normal range for this measure is between 60-75. During the "bubble" years between 2005-2006, the HOI plummeted from 60.1 to 26.6. Usually if the HOI dips below 60, the market should start to see a drop in demand. With the most recent increase however, the Greater Phoenix area still falls within the normal range and experiencing demand 20% above normal for this time of year.

This market is drastically different from the infamous bubble and crash due to the relation between resale housing growth and population growth. In the early 2000's, housing was growing faster than the population and creating a glut. This glut went unnoticed due to excessive speculator (i.e. "false") demand fueled by loose lending practices. When loans tightened up, the glut came roaring into focus as vacant inventory soared to over double the normal levels. Since 2006, the population has grown faster than housing. Over the past 14 years this population growth fueled by job growth has finally consumed the glut of resale housing created during the bubble years and now the result is a shortage of homes for sale in today's market.

This type of market and appreciation is not sustainable over time, however it's here now and properties purchased today are expected to continue appreciating over the next 6-12 months.

For Sellers:

There was no such thing as a "Summer Slowdown" this year as July had a record number of closings go through the Arizona Regional MLS; surpassing every July as far back as 2001. July also broke records in dollar volume with $3.9 Billion sold. The best July ever recorded before was in 2005 at $2.9 Billion. The monthly appreciation rate finalized 12.5% higher than 2019 and was the 4th highest appreciation rate for July dating back to 2001.

One third of closed homes were over asking price and only 15% involved any sort of seller-paid closing cost assistance; down from a high of 27% last May. Half of all sellers who accepted contracts in the beginning of August did so after being on the market less than 7 days.

Contracts on luxury homes over $1M are up an incredible 93% over the last year at this time. Between $500K-$1M, contracts are up 64%. Between $300K-$500K, they are up 39%. Between $250K-$200K, up 15%. If you need to sell, this is the time to do it!

*The HOI index stands for "Home Opportunity Index" and is published quarterly by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. It measures the percentage of homes deemed affordable in an area based on lending guidelines, interest rates, median income levels and median price. The most recent report was released on August 8, 2020.

 

~Commentary and infographic courtesy of Tina Tamboer, The Cromford Report

Aug. 13, 2020

Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund

Are you a rental property owner who has experienced loss of income or financial hardship due to COVID-19? If so, you may be eligible to receive assistance through the Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund created August 4, 2020. This fund was created due to the advocacy efforts of the Arizona REALTORS®, in conjunction with rental industry partners, to make $128M in federal funding available. The details below outline who is eligible to apply and how to submit an application.

Eligible Applicants:

Residential property owners whose tenants have not paid rent or received rental assistance for the specific unit in which they are seeking funding. A property does not have to be at risk of foreclosure to be eligible for this funding.

Eligible Expenses Include:

  • Rental expenses incurred between April 2020 and August 2020
  • Up to five (5) months of unreceived rent payment income from a tenant between April 2020 and August 2020
  • Small and large rental property owners are eligible to receive a maximum amount of $50,000 in total funding utilizing the formula
  • Small and large rental property owners are eligible to receive funding for the lesser of each tenant's actual monthly rent amount or the monthly funding cap amount of $2,000

Individual Grant Award Information:

  • The total award per applicant per unit is capped at five (5) months of rental income, equal to $2,000/unit or the actual rent, whichever is less
  • Applicants may only request the total income lost for all units, up to their actual rental income or $2,000/unit, whichever is lesser and can only receive a maximum of $50,000

How to Apply:

  • You will need to create a eCivis account, here: How to Apply

Application Review Process:

This grant program is non-competitive, applications will be reviewed by the Economic Recovery Management Team (ERMT) for completeness and submission of all required documentation. If an applicant is missing information, a member of the ERMT will work with the applicant to upload necessary documents before distributions of the award can be made.

Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and awards will be made on a first come, first serve basis, until the entirety of the funds have been awarded. Applications were first accepted on August 4, 2020. ERMT will post regular announcements on the status of the application period to Announcements. The applicants will be notified of their award through the eCivis grants management portal.

Program Funding Information:

A total of $5,000,000 will be available for the Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund.

  • $2,500,000 is available for Small rental property owners (owning up to five (5) single-family properties, or up to twenty (20) total units in a multi-family property)
  • $2,500,000 is available for Large rental property owners (owning more than five (5) single‐family properties, or more than twenty (20) total units in a multi‐family property)

Contac Information:

Please contact a member of the Economic Recovery Management Team with any questions about this program, at ERMT@az.gov.

Aug. 5, 2020

Real Estate Home Inspections and Appraisals in the New Normal

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, real estate transactions go on. Buyers and sellers still need to move, and the industry is looking for new ways to accommodate both the needs of the transaction and, of course, the safety of everyone.

Many traditional real estate activities can be performed virtually. While no one is suggesting that a buyer will be comfortable buying a home they have only seen during a Zoom visit, they can minimize the number of homes they physically visit by pre-screening these homes ahead of time through virtual tours.

There are a few vital pieces of the transaction that require in-person visits, however. Among these are home inspections and appraisals. Both of these professionals need access to the property to properly perform their duties, and it leaves some potential home sellers and buyers wondering if it's even possible to conclude a real estate transaction right now.

While everyone should cautiously move forward according to their personal sense of comfort, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and the professionals while they are in your home. Before setting the appointments, think through the parts of your home the inspector or appraiser will need to access and think through the process.

Contact the home inspector and appraiser and work out a plan together to keep everyone safe:

  • Communicate with them about off-limit areas, and what parts of the home they can access.
  • Have a notepad in which they can communicate what parts of the home they came in contact with, and offer hand sanitizer and wipes for them to use before and after touching parts of the home.
  • Finally, leave the home during the appointments, and clean properly once you return home

Life does move on - if you ae trying to buy or sell a home during this challenging time, it might take extra effort. However, working with your real estate team, you can conclude a successful real estate transaction amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

July 28, 2020

Public vs. Private Schools

Homebuyers know that the quality of the local schools is a critical component of their home search. Nothing is more important to parents than making sure their children receive quality education. Competition for college admission has increased to a fevered pitch over the past few decades, and parents want to set their children up early with the best opportunity for their future success. More and more, homebuyers are not simply looking at the public school system when choosing a new home, but the private school options as well.

Making the important decision about where to send your children to school requires some thought; here are a few of the benefits of each that can help you make the right choice.

Benefits of Public Schools

  • Higher Qualified Teachers - On average, public school teachers have higher educational qualifications than those of private schools, many having Master's degrees.
  • Strong Focus on Core Subjects - Public schools focus on the basics with an emphasis on mastery.
  • Wider Extracurricular Activities - Public schools tend to have a larger population and can offer a vast array of sports teams, theater, arts, and music programs.
  • Diversity - Public schools have students from all economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Benefits of Private Schools

  • Smaller Classrooms - On average, private schools have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio than public schools.
  • Strong Parent Involvement - Private schools not only encourage but rely on parent involvement
  • Less Red Tape - Private schools are not required to follow the strict state guidelines, which allows them to make quick decisions and adjustments based on each child's needs

Both public and private schools can offer students a solid education and school experience. Every community is different, and understanding the pros and cons of the local choices is becoming more and more important to parents.

Posted in Current Events
July 16, 2020

Real Estate Market is in a FRENZY!

Despite this current pandemic, many homes are going under contract in 8 days or less when priced under $400K. 

For Buyers: 

Greater Phoenix, with a population of approximately 4.8 million people has just 1.4 million single family homes, condos and townhomes in total inventory. Only 8,759 of these units were available for sale as of July 8th through the Arizona Regional MLS. If that number doesn't make your jaw drop, then this might: only 1,023 are single family homes under $300K and that number is diminishing every day.

Last month saw a surge of buyer activity, but it was not met with an equivalent surge of new listings. When compared to last year, new listings were down 7.8% while contracts in escrow soared 24% higher. For buyers under $300K however, new listings were down 22% in June compared to last year and are down 38% so far in July. This is causing an extreme amount of buyer competition in this price range.

When buyers extend their search over $300K, then new home construction starts supplementing inventory and providing some much needed alternatives. The top 3 cities for single family home permits are Phoenix, Mesa and Buckeye with notable spikes in building permits issues in Surprise, Maricopa and Queen Creek. The majority of new homes are selling between $300K - $500K, however buyers looking for brand new single family homes under that price point still have some options. The best place to start a search if looking under $300K is in Pinal County or Buckeye with average size homes being 1,800 - 2,000 square feet.

Conversely, new listings over $500K saw a spike last month, up 20% compared to last year. In June, 1,596 new listings came on the market and 2,046 were accepted in the $500K and above price range.

For Sellers: 

Brace yourselves! Half of the sellers accepting contracts under $400K in the first week of June were on the market for 8 days or less prior to contract acceptance. Sellers accepting contracts between $400K - $600K were on the market an average of 14 days while contracts between $600K - $1M were on the market an average of 41 days. Long story short is, IT IS A GREAT TIME TO BE A SELLER!

While 28% of all sales i July so far have closed over asking price, that percentage peaks at 41% for those between $200K - $300K. Top cities for closings over asking price are Tolleson, Avondale, Glendale, Gilbert, and Youngtown. Gilbert is the only city in that list with a median sale price over $300K. 

Seller-assisted closing costs remain popular and were involved in 23% of all sales in the first week of July. That percentage increases to 33% on transactions closed between $150K - $300K. Top areas where 50% - 60% of sales involved seller accepted closing cost assistance were Youngtown, West Phoenix, Aguila, Glendale, and Tolleson. 

This supports the theory that sellers receiving offers over asking price in the West Valley and other affordable areas are still open to accepting closing cost assistance if a contract meets their most important needs.

~Commentary and Infographic courtesy of Cromford & Associates LLC

July 15, 2020

How to Set Up Your First Home Office

Working from home is not a new concept, but recent events have created a mass shift in the American workforce and more people than ever before are working from home. While simply placing a laptop on the kitchen table is one way to work from home, having a designated home office offers a better environment for productivity and is easier to set up than you might think. 

  • The first step is to find the right location for your home office. Although it's great if you have a spare room to use, not everyone has this luxury. A corner of a master bedroom or living room, a loft area, or even a section of a well-insulated garage can work just as well.
  • Once you find the right space, create a list of the materials you'll need to be productive. A formal desk is best, but if you don't own one, then any table will work. Use bookshelves or storage cubes to keep paper, pens, and other useful items within easy reach.
  • Pay attention to the lighting - both natural light and lighting fixtures. Cool light, such as sunlight, is best for productivity. Make sure you have a desk lamp or floor lamp if the room doesn't have proper natural lighting. 
  • Once you have the essentials set up, it's time to add some personal touches. Add a plant or decorate a wall with pictures you enjoy, to bring the space to life. Consider the storage elements as well, such as pen holders or file folders.

A home office doesn't need to be fancy to be an effective and enjoyable space. The most important consideration is to ensure you can work in peace; it should also offer a pleasant place to be productive that is separate from your living space so you can unplug at the end of the workday.

July 10, 2020

Just Listed - 15217 S 182nd Lane

There is no need to wait for new construction when you can make this magnificent property with over $72K in designer upgrades your next HOME! Located in the breathtaking Estrella Mountain Ranch community, this home has countless features you must see in person to fully appreciate. 

This gorgeous kitchen featuring a gas range, stainless steel appliances, granite island, large dining area and ENORMOUS walk-in pantry awaits its next chef and entertainer. 

Each day you'll have the opportunity to relax in this sleek master retreat offering a soaker tub, glass encased shower and a walk-in closet.

The breathtaking views of this property cannot be contained within its walls. This low maintenance backyard on an oversized lot with a putting green and custom travertine and stone finishes around the pool and deck may truly leave you speechless when you see it in person! Just look at that sunset!

Estrella Mountain Ranch is a resort style, one of a kind community that is an oasis in the desert! If you'd like to continue your home search, click here. Call or text 602-518-5232 or email tonia.vickery@gmail.com to learn more about this listing!

Posted in My Listing Updates
July 1, 2020

Market Update - July 2020

Summer has officially arrived and I hope each of you are staying cool, safe and healthy! Despite the gloom and doom you may hear on the radio or television, the Arizona real estate market is doing exceptionally well! Below is brief summary of how buyers and sellers are fairing in today's real estate market. Long story short...WE NEED HOUSES TO SELL and TONS of people are buying their DREAM HOME!

For Buyers:

Greater Phoenix can officially be called a frenzy market once more as more properties are under contract than what's available. In the past month, the number of contracts accepted each week has jumped by 20% which brings the total recovery since April 5th to 68% and 2.5% higher than it was in late February;  pre stock market crash and COVID-19 restrictions.

As expected, the most frenzied areas are those with average sales prices between $200K - $400K which includes almost all of Southeast Valley and West Valley, North and South Phoenix. Of the 2,061 properties for sale between $200K -$300K, 4,333 are already under contract! In the $300K - $400K price range, there are 2,006 available for sale and 3,017 under contract which is 24% higher than this time last year.

All price ranges have rebounded in contract activity but May saw the largest comeback between $500K - $1M where the number of accepted contracts soared from 167% from a low of 148 contracts the first week of April to 395 the first week of June. That is 58% higher than last year's count in the same week of 250 contracts. Contracts over $1M are actually up 85% compared to this week last year.

Unfortunately for buyers, inventory is back to a pre-pandemic low. Two words come to mind...slim pickings. Inventory actually peaked in mid-April but inventory has consistently dropped week after week adding just 145 more listings since the pandemic began.

On a bright note, low interest rates and affordability still make it a good time to buy. However, ,if affordability drops below the normal range for those making a median family income, then the market will begin to cool. Fortunately, we are not there yet.

For Sellers: 

It comes as no surprise that there is an increasing percentage of closings over asking price. In fact, 23% of closings in June have recorded over asking price! It's also not uncommon for sellers to receive multiple offers, escalation clauses and appraisal waivers in today's market. Can you believe there have been 70 competing offers or more on homes under $300K?

If you have even the slightest desire to sell your home, NOW IS THE TIME! You should take full advantage of the market while it is HOT, HOT, HOT! Buyer activity may peak soon and enter its normal seasonal decline until December. If you have any questions about listing your home, I would love to help! Please ask about my FREE STAGING PROGRAM proven to help homes sell fast and for TOP DOLLAR!

 

~ Commentary and Infographic courtesy of The Cromford Report