Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 11, 2019

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

 

 

On Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill. Since 1944, this law has created opportunities for those who have served our country, ranging from vocational training to home loans.

 

Facts About VA Home Loans:

Nearly 24 million home loans have been guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.

Nearly 82% of VA home loans are made with no down payment.

The VA also provides grants to help seriously disabled Veterans purchase, modify, or construct a home to meet their needs. Last year the VA provided 2,000 grants totaling $104 million.

 

Benefits of a VA Home Loan:

1. No down payment

2. No Private Mortgage Insurance*

3. Lower credit score requirements

4. Limitation on closing costs

5. Lower average interest rates

 

Bottom Line

The best thing you can do today to celebrate Veterans Day is to share this information with those who can benefit from these opportunities. For more information, or to find out how to qualify to use a VA Home Loan Benefit, let’s get together to navigate through the process. Thank you for your service!

 

Posted in Mortgage Loans
Nov. 7, 2019

Welcome to your Weekend!

Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light

Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal Convergence is now 10 consecutive days of engaging, interactive experiences that celebrate water, art and light along Scottsdale’s historic waterfront. This free event features 10 large-scale art installations, workshops, live music, community bike rides and more.

Soleri Plaza

E. Via Soleri Drive Scottsdale, AZ

Date: November 8, 2019 to November 17, 2019

Time: Varies – see website

 

Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets

Come support your Phoenix Suns as they face the Brooklyn Nets at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Talking Stick Resort Arena

201 E Jefferson St Phoenix, AZ

Date: November 10, 2019

Time: 6:00 PM

 

Celebrate! 90 Years at the Heard Museum

Signature works from the permanent collection— Hopi katsina dolls, classic Pueblo pottery, Navajo textiles, jewelry and more—will commemorate the milestones, people, and events that have made the Heard Museum the American treasure and must-see destination it is today.

Heard Museum

2301 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ

Date: Starting November 7, 2019

 

Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts

The Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts features nearly 500 artists, artisans and gourmet food provisioners. Over 200,000 visitors are attracted to this event to do their holiday shopping, purchase art and enjoy good food and live entertainment. Many of the artists in this fair offer unique holiday themed ornaments that have become family tradition. Enjoy live music, abundant breakfast and lunch selections in shaded seating areas make this a great way to spend the day in Fountain Hills.

Avenue of the Fountains

12925 N. Saguaro Blvd. Fountain Hills, AZ

Date: November 8, 2019 to November 10, 2019

Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

 

PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup Championship

Featuring the top 36 players of the season, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship is the culmination of the  PGA Tour Champions road to the Charles Schwab Cup, a year-long competition that ends with the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.

Phoenix Country Club

2901 N 7th St Phoenix, AZ

Date: November 7, 2019 to November 10, 2019

 

NASCAR Semi-Final Race Weekend

Experience the intensity of the Playoffs – NASCAR style – at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semi-Final Playoff Race, November 10. Watch eight drivers battle for a Championship Four spot.

ISM Raceway

7602 S Avondale Blvd Avondale, AZ

Date: November 8, 2019 to November 10, 2019

Time: Check back for event times

 

Grand Avenue Festival 2019

The 11th annual Grand Avenue Festival is produced by Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP). This nontraditional walking and discovery arts festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with after hours from 8 p.m. to 10pm (check each location for late night hours beyond 10pm).

Historic Grand Avenue

Lower Grand Avenue and Vicinity Phoenix, AZ

Date: November 9, 2019

 

 

Posted in Weekend Events
Nov. 6, 2019

Millennials: Here’s Why the Process is Worth It.

Millennials have waited longer than any other generation to become homeowners, but the wait for this cohort is just about over.

According to National Mortgage News,

 “Millennials, those young adults now aged 23 to 38, are now entering their peak household formation and homebuying years.”

If you’re a Millennial, you’re already well aware that you’re among a generation of those who favor fast-paced, real-time answers – and results. When you’re ready to make a decision, it’s go-time, and you probably want the latest technology at your fingertips to make it happen.

National Mortgage News agrees, stating,

“Millennials are different than previous generations—not only in their delayed homebuying but also in how they approach interactions with financial institutions, including mortgage lenders. Taking a picture of a check on their phone and depositing it without visiting a branch is not novel, it’s the way Millennials learned to do banking. They expect real-time access to account and transaction data and are frustrated when it’s not available.”

Here’s the catch – the overall speed of the homebuying process can take some time, and it might feel like it is slowing you down. When you’re ready to buy, you can make an offer and go under contract quickly, but the rest of the process might take a little longer. The same article explains why:

“When Millennials apply for a loan, the mortgage lender must qualify the borrower and determine who owns the property, how much the property is worth, and the property’s risk profile. Traditionally, this has been one of the most time-consuming and fragmented parts of the mortgage process…There are many moving pieces, each data point being sourced from a different provider, which can ultimately lead to a lengthy or delayed process.

 What has historically been accepted as the process norm does not align with the expectations of the most prominent generation in the home buying market today. Millennials have come to expect rapid, digital workflows in their daily purchase decisions, and in their mind, the home buying process shouldn’t be any different.”

So, where do you go from here?

 If you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, that will help speed things up. But the steps it takes and the time to finalize a loan with most traditional lenders may feel like an eternity to you and your generational peers. Don’t worry, though – it’s well worth the wait when you finally get the keys to your new castle!

The financial benefits of homeownership, like increasing your net worth by building equity, and the non-financial benefits, like being able to customize and improve your space, will ultimately set you on the course to happiness, success, overall satisfaction, and much, much more.

Bottom Line

If you’re feeling like it’s go-time, let’s get together and get the process moving to determine if homeownership is your next best step.

 

Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

 

Posted in Housing Market
Nov. 4, 2019

The Difference an Hour Will Make This Fall

Every Hour in the U.S. Housing Market:

  • 614 Homes Are Sold
  • 95 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.38

 

Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

 

Posted in Housing Market
Oct. 30, 2019

Thinking of Selling Your Home? The Waiting Is The Hardest Part.

Tom Petty famously penned the words, “the waiting is the hardest part” in his early 80’s hit song The Waiting, and his thought process can surprisingly also be applied to individuals considering selling their homes today. Traditional thinking would suggest it may be best to wait until the spring to sell when there is a flood of buyers in the market, but right now may in fact be an even better time to list your home.

We can see the overall economy is good: wages are rising, there are near record-low unemployment rates, and mortgage interest rates are still very low too. Over the past 10+ years the housing market has stabilized, so what (if anything) is the biggest challenge in the housing market today?

The answer is simple: it’s inventory.

According to the Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors,

“Total housing inventory at the end of September sat at 1.83 million, approximately equal to the amount of existing-homes available for sale in August, but a 2.7% decrease from 1.88 million one year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.0 months in August and down from the 4.4-month figure recorded in September 2018.”

What does this mean?

While homes are coming to the market, they aren’t coming fast enough! Right now, across the country there is less than 6 months of overall inventory of homes for sale, putting us in a seller’s market. The challenge is that there are not enough homes for sale to increase the supply needed for the number of people who want to buy, especially in the starter and middle-level markets.

To be in a balanced market (meaning we have enough inventory for the number of buyers in the market), we need to have 6 months of inventory available. Today we are nowhere near that number, and as a matter of fact, the last time we reached that height was August 2012 (as shown in the graph below):

 

When we look at the inventory challenge today, we can see that now is a great time to sell your house. Truthfully, waiting may end up being the hardest part in the long run. This landscape is a great place for sellers who own homes in the starter and middle-level markets to take the opportunity to sell in a sellers’ market, before inventory catches up with demand. Serious buyers are actively in the market and ready to make a move at this time of year. When inventory is limited at the lower end, like it is today, selling before more homes are listed could mean a significant seller’s advantage to those who are ready to move up. The upper level of the market has much more inventory available to move into, so it’s a win across the board.

 

Bottom Line

If you’re considering selling your home, don’t wait – now is the time to make your move! Take advantage of the high housing demand and the low inventory of homes for sale at the lower end of the market and use your purchasing power while mortgage rates are low to go after the move-up home of your dreams. Let’s get together to decide if now is the right time for you

 

 

Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

Jan. 16, 2019

Thinking of selling in the spring? Now is the time to get started!

Thinking of Selling your Home in the Spring? Now is the time to get Started!

 

The Arizona housing market differs from other area markets due to our weather patterns, and the lack of frost bite, snow shoveling, and winter coats!  The best season to sell your home begins in the spring and lasts through the early summer.  Since the weather is at its best here in the spring, there are more potential buyers visiting to get out of the cold and to enjoy some of our best activities like the Phoenix Open, spring training games, car shows, etc, and then they just fall in love!  The decide they must purchase a home here in our sunny and beautiful state.  This is why sellers choose to capitalize on the many buyers who will be out looking with intention and sometimes a short window of time! In the case of supply and demand, usually the more inventory means lower prices, but this isn’t the case in real estate.  When it comes to selling your home, the prices are highest when there are more homes for sale.  It is also the time when you are more likely to get a better valuation for your home. Appraisers calculate your home value by utilizing comparable properties to yours.  Since there are more homes listed and sold for higher prices during the spring, your home will typically have a more favorable valuation than in the fall or winter.  According to the statistics in the Arizona Regional MLS, the best time to sell a home in our valley is typically between March and July.  

 

If you’ve made the decision to sell in the spring, this is the perfect time to begin readying your home for listing.  We consulted with Ahwatukee resident and owner of Agave Staging, Sandy Salazar. She is a partner on our team who offers complimentary staging consultations and analysis for our sellers when they choose to list with us. Here are some of her best tips to be sure your house is show ready before it goes to market:

 

Ø Be prepared- You’re going to make a big mess before it all comes back together.  It’s a fact that you’re moving.  Now is the time to decide what will be going with you and what it is time to part with.

Ø Begin with the end in mind- When you are ready to list your home, you will want it to be sparkling clean, light and bright, open, and spacious, but also homey and inviting.

Ø Start with closets, garage, and storage areas-  These are the spaces you are most likely to store items that you haven’t seen in a while. This should be the time to throw away, donate, sell, or keep.  Separate into piles and get rid of the throw away and give away items.  Plan your next garage sale or post your items of value on a website like craigslist or Ahwatukee 411 Buy and Sell. Start boxing up some of the items you intend to keep. This will make your move easier when the time comes.

Ø Begin attending to minor repairs and improvements – If not they will come back to haunt you! Home inspectors will find those pesky repairs that you’ve been putting off, so it is much better to take care of them up front so they are a non-issue. 

Ø Freshen and update your style-  Buyers want updates, so if you’ve been thinking of doing some minor updating, now is the time.  Things like updating light fixtures, worn out door hardware, faucets that won’t clean up, worn out appliances and more should be done before you ever list your home. Sometimes a fresh coat of neutral paint on those heavy faux or overly bright walls will go a long way in terms of helping buyers to picture themselves in the home. It also can make a big difference to begin purchasing things for your new home and using these to give your space a fresh appeal. New towels, bedding, rugs and pillows are all items that you will keep, but it will make a big impression on a buyer.

Ø Don’t forget the outside- Curb appeal is the first impression that will set the tone for how a buyer perceives your home.  Attend to out of control landscape and give it a chance to grow back and fill in. Trees should be thinned out, dead leaves and branches removed, and add fresh plants and flowers.  Look for wood rot and areas that need painted and get it done ahead of time.

 

Consider consulting with our team as soon as possible to create a road map to help you prioritize what needs to be done to ready your home for the market.  With a proven track record of selling homes in Ahwatukee since 1995,  we will help guide you to the right choices, and make this cumbersome process more manageable.  With our staging for excellent show presence, professional photographer to capture high resolution images, and our top producing Ahwatukee team, you will be in good hands.  In the end, a higher sales price and a quicker sale are what you can expect to achieve.  Our team here at Leading Luxury Experts would love to have an opportunity to make the process as smooth and lucrative as possible for you.  Contact us for a listing appointment today!

 

Nov. 9, 2018

Selling Your “Home for the Holidays”

Selling your "Home for the Holidays"

There are some long standing myths surrounding home sales and the holiday season.  While the holidays aren’t the most convenient time to “Deck the Halls” with a buyer in mind, there are many advantages to putting your house on the market now as opposed to waiting until the ever-popular spring selling season!

 

·      Purposeful Buyers

While a majority of people are cozying up next to a warm fire enjoying the season, buyers who are out looking are usually serious and possibly working against a deadline. Oftentimes there’s an expiring lease, a relocation, or a contract on their current home. 

 

·      Competition Dries Up

For the same reasons that you are wanting to wait until spring, so is everyone else. The market will be flooded with new listings and yours will be one in a sea of many.  Wouldn’t you rather be a big fish in a small pond?  With decreased listings and serious buyers your listing has a chance to be noticed. 

·      Time Off

Even though there are holiday gatherings galore, shopping to be done, and cooking and cleaning for those holiday guests, most people have less demanding schedules around the holidays or more time off during a normal work week.  This is especially the case for those relocation buyers.  January is often a time when employees begin new jobs and only have a short time to find their home before the new year.

·      Bringing out the Best in your Home

While some sellers worry that they can’t decorate for the holidays, this isn’t the case.  I don’t’ know about you, but my house usually looks amazing during the holiday season, and I wish it was acceptable to rock the holiday décor all year long! While a “less is more” philosophy is important to follow, and anything religious should be avoided, a tasteful, cozy, inviting home decked out for the holidays can make a buyer feel an emotional connection to your home and pay your asking price.  

·      The Internet Has No Holidays

Today’s buyers are doing the bulk of their home searches online, and most are notified constantly about listings that match their search parameters.  This means that the most critical aspect of listing your home (no matter when you decide to do it) is to work with an experienced real estate agent. 

 It is crucial that your online listing shows your home in its best light. An experienced agent will help you with your staging, provide professional photography, and include twilight shots of the exterior all lit up. These are the key ingredients to attract those serious buyers and get showings for your home.

While selling your home during the holidays isn’t for everyone, or for every situation, many find that having their home sold before the market heats up in the spring is the best way to move into the new year!

From all of us here at Leading Luxury Exerts ~we hope you have a wonderful Holiday season!

 

 

 

 

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates