Phoenix and Scottsdale 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!

Feb. 5, 2018

Be Amazed by the Past on Phoenix Property

Traditions of the past are savored for generations at the Heard Museum on Phoenix property. Dedicated to the preservation of precious Native American culture, this establishment presents an impressive collaboration of exhibits and displays. Since the doors first opened in 1929 the museum has a history of working with tribes to protect the authenticity and care of their history.

In the permanent collection thousands of items illustrate the vivid culture of the nation’s first inhabitants. Popular sections include Hopi katsina dolls, Navajo jewelry and textiles and Zuni jewelry. Beautiful ceramics and other genuine pieces of art from the Southwestern part of the United States are well represented alongside a gathering of baskets dating from modern day all the way back to prehistoric times. Past and current exhibits strive to tell the Native American story in a first person setting. From paintings to jewelry to textiles to ceramics items showcase the simple yet majestic lifestyle lived. The Digital Library allows people to view collections online without actually traveling or living near Phoenix property.

Phoenix Real Estate Embraces Local Culture

Education is key to understanding. Special events are held regularly bringing the Phoenix real estate community together. First Fridays at the Heard Museum offers free admission, food and beverages plus a lively vibe. Many make sure to mark the first Friday of the month on the calendar and come regularly. The annual Indian Fair and Market always draws a crowd. 2018 marks the 60th year of this celebration. Two days of wonderment are filled with artist showings, cultural exhibitions, storytelling, lectures, demonstrations and crafts. Food booths offer tasty tidbits to fair goers strolling about. Another seasonal event is the annual Hoop Dance Competition. Originating back to indigenous healing ceremonies the art of the dance is a time honored treasure.

The Museum Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free guided tours are available and a great way to get additional insight. Call 602.252.8840 for more information.

 

Posted in News
Feb. 3, 2018

Check Off the Bucket List on Scottsdale Real Estate

The lure of the sea reaches far and wide even all the way to Scottsdale real estate. Luckily some of the world’s most friendly ocean animals reside at Dolphinaris Arizona. Here visitors can get to know these personable creatures while standing poolside or by actually getting into the lagoons with them.

During the Dolphin Land Experience participants remain on the ground. Trainers impart fascinating information about Bottlenose dolphins while the animals demonstrate and engage with their new friends. Guests as young as three years old can can come in close for dolphin kisses, flipper shakes and more! Others dive right in to frolic and play. Garbed up in stylish wetsuits folks in the pool ready themselves for adventure in the Dolphin Water Experience. After the merriment all are welcome sunbathe alongside and cool off in the “humans only” pool or refresh in the jacuzzi. When appetites are stirred up by all the fun hunger is satisfied in the Modern Grove Eatery. A generous menu appeals to everyone's tastes, and delightful dolphins add a wonderful scenery to eat by.

Learn All About the Ocean’s Animals Near Scottsdale Homes

With locations around the world expert staff at Dolphinaris work to the highest of standards ensuring the best possible care and habitat for the dolphins. Conservation is paramount to the success of the species in the wild and a percentage of ticket sales gives back to the cause. Future generations get to know the dolphins thanks to collaborative university programs with marine biology students. Dolphin experience day camps mark the calendar on a regular basis allowing school children from Scottsdale homes to learn all about dolphins.

Cross swimming with dolphins off the bucket list with a big black pen. Dreams come true on Scottsdale real estate with a big splash. Dolphinaris photographers stand by to get the best shots providing pictures of memories that will last a lifetime. Reservations are easy to make and can be done online or by calling 480.407-5154.

 

Posted in News
Feb. 2, 2018

The World’s Animals Call Phoenix Home

Greet the animals calling Phoenix home. Exotic animals at The Phoenix Zoo range from cute and cuddly to fierce and ferocious. State of the art exhibits house critters in habitats similar to those they would frequent in the wild. Everyone’s favorite is represented from birds to mammals to reptiles. Those wondering who to see first can get a preview of the whole park. Many like to board the Safari train and be driven about the grounds. Informative guides with the gift of gab impart interesting information about the inhabitants. Once given the lay of the land from the vehicles patrons walk back to their chosen spots. 

Residents Living in Phoenix Monkey Around

Avid adventurers delve in deep by participating in Daily Activities. Animal encounters let folks living in Phoenix get up close and personal. Climb uptop a camel and go for a ride. In the Red Barn friendly goats wait impatiently for visitors to pet and feed them. Other farm animals residing within the walls include sheep, horses and cows. Monkeys swing from branch to branch near passersby in the Monkey Village. As the only walk through squirrel monkey enclosure in the country guests meandering through enjoy this one of a kind experience. The sky’s the limit in the Giraffe Encounter. Reaching taller than the trees these gentle giants softly accept tasty tidbits from visitor's fingers. Get wet in Stingray Bay. Feel the slippery texture of these amazing aquatic creatures and take part in a feeding session.

From the African Lion to Grevy’s Zebra folks line up to see the beasts in their Phoenix homes. Welcoming one and all, the doors to the Phoenix Zoo are open year round. Hours change seasonally and are available on the website. Plan your trip ahead of time by downloading a map of the grounds. A list of frequently asked questions is also helpful to check before heading out.

 

Posted in News
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

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!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

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
March 13, 2017

How to Find the Best REALTOR® for You

Photo by Greg Roth, NAR

Photo by Greg Roth, NAR

Beyond being the winning bidder, how do you make sure you are working with the best REALTOR® for you?

2015 President Chris Polychron talked to Men’s Health Live recently, and provides tips for finding a REALTOR® just in time for the spring market. Here are some highlights:

  • Seeking advice on finding a REALTOR®? Sixty-eight percent of all REALTOR® business comes from personal referrals, so ask friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Interview several REALTORS® to find someone you are comfortable with. “If you interview them for any length of time you’re going to figure out their sincerity and how well prepared they are,” says Chris.
  • How many transactions has a REALTOR® done? “I would certainly want them to have 8-10 transactions in the area that you’re considering,” says Chris. “They’ll have the experience necessary.”
  • Ask a REALTOR® how often they will communicate throughout the home buying process. “That’s probably a key point for me,” Chris adds.
  • Do business with a REALTOR® that understands how to use technology. “Listings come on the market quickly. A good REALTOR® will have access to see listings that come on first.”
Feb. 21, 2017

Rising home prices and interest rates didn’t knock metro Phoenix off the top 10 list of most affordable big cities for homebuyers.

Scottsdale Houses

Rising home prices and interest rates didn’t knock metro Phoenix off a new top 10 list of most affordable big cities for homebuyers.

The Valley ranked No. 7, up a spot from last year, on a list from national mortgage research firm HSH.com.

A homebuyer needs to earn about $46,000 to afford a median-priced home in the Phoenix area.

That’s up about $1,785 from a year ago due to a more than 6 percent jump in Valley home prices and a 0.4 percent increase in interest rates.

The formula is based on buyers using a 20 percent down payment, which can be tough to come up with for many.

To afford a $236,000 house in the Valley with a 10 percent down payment, a buyer needs to earn $54,000 a year.

Relatively affordable home prices, particularly for the west, have spurred metro Phoenix’s growth for decades. New home communities with more affordable prices are now going up again on the Valley's fringes and drawing buyers.

Pittsburgh is the U.S.’s most affordable big housing market. There, a buyer only has to make about $32,000 to purchase a house.

Phoenix ranks right below Atlanta and above Tampa for housing affordability.

The least affordable city is San Francisco, where a buyer must earn more than $160,000 to afford a house for $837,500.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb. 13, 2017

‘Field Guide to the Small House Movement’ Points to New Housing Niche

Advantages of a Tiny HouseThe current economic climate has driven some Americans to examine how much space they really need. And when it comes to purchasing a home, many consumers are finding they can do with less than an average-sized home of 2,600 square feet, a lot less in some cases.

The Small Home market is the subject of a new resource unveiled this summer through the NAR Library titled “Field Guide to the Small House Movement.” This field guide provides information on the various aspects of living in a smaller home as well as trends that are taking place around this market niche.

One of those trends includes Micro-homes, which have between 100-400 square feet in living space. Living in a home of this size will require certain lifestyle choices, according to an article titled “5 Fascinating Facts about the Small House Movement.” And for some homebuyers, many of these lifestyle changes are for the better, including the following:

  • Seventy-eight percent of Small House residents own their home. Since about 26% of an average household’s budget is spent on housing this means owners will either have a lot more money in savings or maybe just enjoy working a little less.
  • Buildings contribute to an estimated 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions, so with a Small House the home’s carbon footprint is drastically reduced.
  • The average cost of building a Small House is $23,000 compared to $272,000 for a conventional home. As a bonus some choose to build their small homes themselves, saving even more money.
  • Twenty-eight percent of U.S. dwellings house only one person. If the average home is 2,600 square feet then that’s a lot of space for one person! Just like all the cars with one person in them that can’t use the carpool lane during rush hour, one person living in a big house all alone just doesn’t make sense – especially when one thinks of the future of energy use and environmental sustainability in the U.S.
  • Beyond saving money and helping save the planet, there is one more priceless thing owners will save with a Small House: TIME. Nearly everyone you ask will say they’re too busy and modern life for many seems like it is constantly accelerating. A Small House means less time spent cleaning, less time on maintenance and less time having to earn money to pay for the house.

Markets for Smaller Homes:

REALTORS® will find that many of these benefits of small home ownership resonate very well with several demographic audiences, including Baby Boomers and Millennials. These two population segments alone represent 155 million consumers, which is nearly half of the total population in the U.S.

Aging baby boomers find smaller homes appealing because they require less maintenance and are lower in price, which may allow them to downsize to a home in a more geographically desirable area. Millennials too are considering purchasing smaller homes because of lower pricing that fits their current income levels. In addition, some smaller homes also offer more green features such as reduced energy usage that is appealing to Millennials as well.

One thing to learn from the Small Home trend is that there is in fact something for anyone in today’s marketplace, at nearly any budget.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb. 13, 2017

New Phishing Scam: Don’t Get Hooked

phishing

By NAR 2016 President Tom Salomone

One member of the National Association of REALTORS® recently told how a client was scammed by a “phishing scheme.” That’s when hackers lure unsuspecting consumers into giving up their hard-earned money.

In this case, criminals hacked the other agent’s account and sent a request to wire funds. The scammer even diverted the client’s responses from the broker’s inbox! The client wired upwards of $20,000 overseas right into the criminal’s hands.

This incident drove home to the REALTOR® that you should always tell your client you will never send an email asking them to wire funds. It also illustrates the wisdom of using the brokerage firms’ firewall by going through the company’s domain.

Phishing scams can be hard to recognize because criminals build their phony sites to look like real sites. About two years ago, Google did a study that showed phishing scams continue to work about 45 percent of the time.

According to experts, phishing attacks worldwide are happening more often than ever and hackers continue to go where the money is. When hackers pose as agents or title companies, their target is someone’s down payment on a house. If the buyer takes the bait, their bank account can be wiped out within minutes!

To avoid being scammed by phishing schemes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these tips:

  • Never e-mail your financial information. E-mail is not considered secure.
  • Check the security of the website. For any financial information you provide over the web, check that the site is secure. The URL should begin with https.
  • Be careful what you click on. Don’t click a link in an e-mail to an organization’s site. Instead, look up the real URL, and type it in yourself.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading any files from e-mails.
  • Make sure your operating system, browser, and security software are up-to-date.

Buying a new home should be an exciting and happy event. To keep it that way, REALTORS® should remind their clients to be extra cautious about the dangers of sending financial information over email, downloading attachments or responding to email requests to wire money. When it comes to phishing scams, greater awareness of the threat is the best protection!

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb. 13, 2017

Drones – the Appraiser’s Next Great Tool

The following is a guest post by Greg B. Mays.

After years of consideration, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally published rules on how to integrate drones safely into the National Airspace System (NAS). There is now an easy to understand system and set of rules which anyone flying a drone must follow. This booming and exciting new technology is making its debut in many different fields of commerce and real estate is no exception. An interesting question arises from all of this. Should real estate appraisers consider using this technology when appraising real estate? The simple answer is, absolutely.

100_7549

(aerial drone)

It’s been a long time since a new technology, other than software and gadgets that can measure and take notes in the field, has been available to us and I find it very exciting.

Our office has utilized aerial photographs in an appraisal on more than several occasions. Here are some examples: pictures of a new roof system installed on an older improvement; large acreage tracts that the client wanted in order to know more about forestation and topography; proximity to surrounding properties or features such as rivers, lakes, commercial buildings, and power lines – just to name a few. This bird’s eye view can provide the client with a much better idea of the neighborhood surrounding a property and physical characteristics of the property itself. To coin a phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

DJI_0028.2

(birds-eye view of a property taken by aerial drone)

While the ability to fly a drone for commercial use cannot be learned overnight, no longer are commercial drone operators required to hold a pilot’s license that is expensive and time consuming to obtain. Any interested appraiser should look at the FAA’s website. I can’t stress enough doing this the right way. It is important to not think of a drone as a flying camera but as an aircraft requiring knowledge and certifications to fly.

Until we have cars that are driving themselves while you write your report this is as good as it gets.

 Greg B. Mays is the owner and operator of Flying Fish Aerial Photography, LLC. He has been a licensed drone operator since 2015 and a REALTOR® Appraiser for over 25 years.

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Posted in Uncategorized
Feb. 13, 2017

How to Attract and Close Green Homebuyers

Spring is here. Are you ready to get a jump on the market and build your business with Green opportunities? According to recent McGraw Hill research, the Green Homes Market is expected to increase five-fold by 2016. REALTORS® are reporting that energy-efficient homes are selling faster and for higher prices as homebuyers factor in long-term utility savings.

This points to an opportunity for you to boost your business with these smart “green marketing” strategies:

Green is the New Granite Countertop

According to one homebuilder, homebuyers are actively seeking out energy-efficient features in their next home. Make sure you highlight specific green features and highlight them prominently on sales sheets and classified listings.

Understand Green Credits and Tax Savings

The federal government is aggressively incentivizing purchases of energy-efficient homes. Be ready to walk your homebuyers and sellers through the potential tax savings and credits.

Investigate Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) as a Financing Option

When appropriate, suggest an Energy Efficient Mortgage to homebuyers financing a green-friendly home. To get started, you’ll need to score the home using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Getting a certified HERS rating typically costs between $300 and $800 and is paid by the seller, lender, or real estate agent. An EEM mortgage often helps a buyer afford a home normally out of their price range. An EEM is a great way to get a homebuyer into there preferred home while benefiting the environment as well.

Green Qualifying

Many homebuyers may not surface their energy-efficient requirements. Make sure you add Green Qualifying questions to your qualifying process. Ask specific questions such as “Are you looking for energy-efficient heating and cooling features in your new home?” Asking these questions from the onset will help you narrow down your home visits to the right green homes.

Jumpstart Slow – Selling Listings

Slow-selling homes could benefit from a Green makeover. Take time to educate your home sellers on the benefits of making key energy-efficient upgrades to roofing, insulation, and heating and cooling systems. Smart targeted investments could revitalize the listing and attract green-conscious homebuyers.

Stand Out From the Competition with a GREEN Designation.

The National Association of Realtors created the GREEN Designation to help REALTORS® find, understand, and market homes and commercial properties with Green Features. Adding the GREEN designation to your title alerts homebuyers and sellers that you have specific expertise in marketing energy-efficient homes properties.

How Green is Your Market? Have you seen more green home sales in your market? What are some of the key points you stress when showing a green home?

Posted in Uncategorized