Our real estate market has been on one heck of a ride for quite some time. Big ups, big downs and a LOT of questions for buyers and sellers alike. While some people in the media still love to talk of the doom and gloom from our recent past, many people around here feel like we hit a bottom mid-late 2011. No, you haven’t missed the boat, and, no, you are not too late.
After about the first of the year, we heard the “experts” in the media begin to tell people it might be ok to purchase a home. Interest rates are ridiculously low, prices are where we haven’t seen them for a long time, so maybe the market is worth a look. Right?
There is one little problem. Not much to look AT. Our inventory levels are extremely low and in many areas and price ranges, people have been forced to “bid” on homes again. Yes, really.
I talk to a LOT of people about the state of our real estate market every day. I talk to buyers, sellers, friends, neighbors, and many good agents, title reps, and lenders from within our industry. While people give slightly different answers, it’s always good to hear what they have to say so I can share information with anyone interested.
A friend recently asked me what is selling in our market. My answer would be, “Just about everything.” My friends in the luxury market seem happy, and many people living in the “real world” are either looking to take advantage of low prices and interest rates, or wondering if prices have come up enough so that a sale and move is even possible. I looked back at the last 4-6 weeks and thought about the properties that I have personally been involved with. The diversity of the areas, property types, and reasons for the purchase or sale of these homes is pretty interesting. I say “4-6 weeks” because I was going to just mention the most recent sales, but a couple of properties from last month stood out to me as being an interesting part of the picture. I hope I don’t bore you to tears here, but these 9 properties all have different stories, yet are all part of what’s happening every day in our real estate market:
1. Single family home in the Phoenix / Ahwatukee area. Golf lot, age-restricted neighborhood where the buyer purchased the home for his mother. Final sales price on April 23rd was $118,000 but the appraisal came in approximately $20k higher. Yes, they were pretty happy about that. “Traditional sale – conventional financing”
2. Cute historic home in downtown Phoenix. This was a fun transaction where parents helped their daughter buy a home in a “cool” neighborhood near the light rail line. It was tough to find something nice in the $100k price range, but we did it. Final sales price on April 26th was $95k. They LOVE the neighborhood and couldn’t be happier with the cool location. “Bank owned property – cash sale”
3. Single family home in Tempe, minutes from campus. Our seller sold to a buyer from California. The owners found me by doing a Google search for “Tempe real estate agent.” Property sold very quickly with multiple offers submitted. Closed May 4th for $150k. “Traditional sale – cash sale”
4. Single family home in Gilbert. Great location and nice features. ie: single level, pool, 3 car garage. Another one of our listings, sold to a nice couple from Scottsdale that sold a larger home to downsize. Final sales price on May 10th was $226k. “Traditional sale – FHA financing”
5. Another Tempe home near ASU. Parents bought a home in Villagio which is a great place for the cool kids on campus. Their football playing stud-muffin son should be very happy with this 2 bedroom home that closed May 17th for $147k. “Traditional sale – cash sale”
6. Downtown Mesa duplex bought by a good friend / smart investor. Property closed May 25th for $82,500 with rents of $1,225. That’s good math. We love what’s happening in downtown Mesa, smart investors are taking a look. “Traditional sale – cash sale”
7. Scottsdale home near 92nd and Shea. Single family home with pool sold May 25th for $200k. Yep, great price for the area. Out of state buyer is glad to be in this nice neighborhood and awesome location. “Short sale – VA financing”
8. West Mesa condo. Another investment play along the light rail line. This remodeled condo in Sycamore Square sold on May 30th for $60k. They already have a tenant ready to move in. “Traditional sale – cash sale”
9. Gorgeous Chandler home near Ray and the 101. A picture perfect family purchased a picture perfect home because they have outgrown their current residence. Their home closed May 30th for $305k. “Traditional sale – conventional financing”
10. I saved number 10 for YOU. As you can see, many types of homes are selling all over town.
While the media likes to paint a very broad picture of what is happening, real estate is very much a local business. As you can see from the samples of these homes I have recently sold, there are many “traditional sales” happening every day. I consider a traditional sale a sale that is NOT a short sale or a home owned by a bank. They can still be investor owned, but no bank is in charge of setting the price or terms.
While 7 of these 9 homes were normal sales, that is not to say these results are typical of the entire market or of the area you may be looking in. Did you notice the number of cash sales? It can be hard to compete with cash if multiple offers are involved. What chances do you have?
Let’s talk about your wants and needs and see what comes up. As always, I’ll give you honest answers and accurate data. “Just Call Nick” – I’m glad to help…