Posts

Covid-19’s Impact on Arizona Real Estate

Hey Everyone, Elise Fay here—hope you are all doing well and taking care of one another. Concerns about the global impact Covid-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness or our families, friends and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar. That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move: marriage, children, job changes, retirement etc—are still part of our lives. As a result we are still open for business!

Let me share with you a few facts from yours truly, based upon what we are seeing, boots on the ground. Since March 15th, 2020:

-4040 homes were put under contract.
-3233 NEW listings were added to the market
-3481 homes successfully closed in Maricopa County—those are buyers and sellers who sold their homes and went thru with the sale despite the Corona Virus effect.

Personally, our team has put 19 deals under contract, 25 deals have closed. So if you think these numbers look promising but you are still scratching your head…Here is the how and why. It still goes back to Supply and Demand.

We still have a lack of sellers. Low supply of homes is the result of several factors—I will share with you a few of them.

-New Builds: we have half the number of new builds to the market than we did in the early 2000’s and this is due to labor shortages, some gov’t regulations and in most cases, not enough available land.
-During the last recovery we saw savvy investors and some of the larger institutional investors buy up a lot of homes that were in short sale or foreclosure. These investors were building up their portfolios and had plans to either sell on the upside or hold them as rentals. Well with rents on the rise, as a result of the short supply of sellers, these landlords are NOT selling and instead holding on tight to their investments. Being a landlord IS profitable right now!
-Empty nesters who weathered the downturn in the market years back, are now keeping their homes on average about 13 years—some are still a bit frozen, unable to unlock all their equity. Let’s not forget the HGTV effect that we are seeing on some of these older and dated properties.

Right now, we are seeing that demand is being dampened by the Corona outbreak and as a result we are seeing that inventory is loosening up, making more homes available and in some price ranges, lessening the competition a bit. We are seeing this in the market space where millennials may be entering for the 1st time. Interest rates are still at an all-time low, making owning a home cheaper than renting. Lending guidelines have tightened up a bit but that is another level of protection that has been put in place.

We have a crazy new normal. We are out showing homes, taking greater precautions; we wear gloves, carry hand sanitizer and retain a safe distance. We also have protocols in place to protect our sellers. In Arizona, housing is a huge economic driver for our economy—I am not here to sugar coat anything but just want to let you know that we are not seeing doom and gloom at this point.

If you have questions about what it means for your family’s homebuying or selling plans, reach out to me. I will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. 602-329-7782

Covid-19

Extra Precautions While Showing Homes During the Coronavirus

hand sanitizerThe Coronavirus is having a mixed impact on the housing market. It may be decreasing buyer traffic, yet it’s also not deterring some home buyers and sellers from taking advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in history. To help keep my buyers and sellers healthy during this unprecedented pandemic, I have adjusted and added some procedures when showing homes for sale:

-All of my open houses have been suspended. For now I will only doing private showings of homes to one person (or couple).
-At this time, while I am only doing private showings, I will ask buyers to meet me at each home instead of driving with them.
-I will do my best to arrive before each showing to open doors and windows to minimize door knob touching and allow fresh air inside. I will also sanitize door knobs, counters and other high traffic touch areas before and after each showing.
-Additionally, I will have hand sanitizer and gloves, or ask clients to place their hands in their pockets as they tour the home.
-I will also be using video chats for virtual tours and walkthroughs so my clients can social distance themselves by staying at home in quarantines/self-isolation, while still allowing them to see the homes.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you have about how the Coronavirus/Covid-19 may be affecting the Arizona real estate market. 602-329-7782

1st Quarter Real Estate Updates

As we finish the first quarter of 2020, I have some surprising facts to share:

-As we move into 2020 there are currently 12,742 active listings or homes for sale in our marketplace.

-As we entered into 2019, we had 16,428 homes ofr sale. No one predicted those numbers for 2019, as that was the lowest inventory we had seen in over 8 years, until now.

-Did you know that we sold an average of 8300 homes per month in 2019? On average 4% more homes per month were sold in 2019 with far fewer inventory than ever before!

-2019 brought us, depending on your area, 5-8% price appreciation. Averaging out to about 6.3% appreciation.

BUYERS: We have amassed a list of homes from sellers who reached out and said if we had a buyer they would sell or they just were not ready to list buy wanted to sell. IF you are a buyer, call us! WE can help you find the right home amidst all the low supply.

SELLERS: Selling your home to an owner occupant will typically yield you 3-7% more money! If you want to sell your home to an owner occupant with minimal hassle and inconvenience-call me. No obligation, no commitments or contracts. My extensive reach can find you a buyer, one who will be an owner occupant and get you top dollar!

Real Estate 2020 brings you lots of options and opportunities while still providing the highest level of customer service!

Tips on Improving Your Credit Score to Prepare for Home Ownership

If you are currently renting and are considering purchasing a home you may need to check a few things before you begin your search.  One of the most important things to know before you venture into home ownership is what your credit score is.

Your credit score will tell you everything about your credit history and this is what lenders will be looking at when deciding whether to approve you for a home loan.  You may have thought you were doing everything right but your credit score will be the deciding factor.  Read more

Condominium VS Townhome

scottsdale condoCondominiums and townhomes are very popular real estate options for several types of buyers, from recent college graduates and Millennials to Baby Boomers and empty nesters. They are also smart investment opportunities in certain communities, as often they can be easily rented out on short and long term bases. But while these two types of dwelling share many similar features, they are, in fact, two different structures for purposes of real estate.

Condominiums, generally speaking, are one of many units inside a larger building, that can sometimes be several stories high. Legally speaking, you’re buying “air space” when you purchase a condominium, as you are purchasing everything within the walls of the unit you buy. You are also purchasing a fraction of the condo community itself. This fraction is based on the number of units in the complex, so if there are 25 units, you own one-twenty fifth of the community. This gives condo owners interest in the common areas of the community itself.

Townhomes, on the other hand, include the land on which the townhome sits. While condos are typically all on one level inside the space, townhomes often are built vertically, with multiple stories within the home. This is to maximize the land space, as well as maximize the interior space. Townhomes, unlike single-family homes, typically have shared walls, at least on one side of the home. Unlike in a condominium, however, there are rarely neighbors above or below the townhome residents. While condominium owners are typically not responsible for exterior maintenance or upkeep, townhome owners usually are responsible for these items, including any roof repairs or replacement.

Whether you are interested in condominiums or townhomes, there are many options in every price range throughout Glendale and the valley. I look forward to helping you explore these home ownership opportunities! 602-329-7782

Decorating Beyond Grays

modern kitchenDid you just recently buy a new house, or are you considering redecorating your current house? If you’ve got an eye on the decorating world, you know everything gray! Gray has been in the spotlight for a while now, but there’s a hot movement for colors, bold shapes and other trending decorating styles that you might find inspiring.

Geometry: Backsplash tile, wallpapers, bold rugs and even lampshades: If it’s angled, it’s in. The increasing popularity of a simple geometric form adds a modern flair and a bold edge to almost any space.

Bold sofas: Is it red? Wonderful. Is it velvet? Even better. Design trends are renouncing the plain for something that pops in the living room.

Marble, terrazzo and stone: Two are bold, the other sparse. But all are making a comeback in design trends, from lavish marble countertops to austere stone tables to funky, chunky terrazzo tiles.

Metallics: Take a few picks from copper, silver, gold or even rose gold to achieve a trending affection for mixed metal accents.

Macrame: Not just for the 70s anymore, macrame is back in action prominently as plant holders, but inside the home it also is adding a vintage touch hanging on walls and as textured fringe.

Warm color palette: Design color trends are shifting from cool tones to embrace warm browns and earthy, light accents. Yellows and browns make spaces more inviting while still retaining a minimalist sense of style.

Colorful cabinets: Move over, white. Kitchen design is all about the blue, green and other cool, moody shades for a cabinet look.

Southwest inspiration: Lucky for us, cacti are cool. The modern Southwest feel is especially trendy, so break out that ceramic pot, woven rug or rough-hewn basket.

Let me know what type of a home you are looking for.  I can help you find a home that meets your needs and decorating style! 602-329-7782

Choosing a Neighborhood for your Needs and Lifestyle

arizona neighborhoodWhen you’re buying a home, you’re probably going to spend some time considering the part of town (or the part of the state) where you want to be located. It’s normal to want to consider the location of your new home, but what exactly should you be looking for? It may be a challenge to figure out the factors you need to consider when looking for the perfect new place to live. Sure, you know you want to be close to work or near your family, but what else? What could help you find the neighborhood of your dreams? Check out our tips below to help you decide.

Home Style
Do you want a specific architectural style in your home? Or do you not really care as long as it has the amenities you’re looking for? Think about whether or not the style factors in your decision and you may narrow down your neighborhood from there.

Up-and-Coming Communities
Communities that are still developing may be more affordable when you’re looking to buy a home. As long as you’re willing to have a little patience for a few years as the neighborhood grows, you may get a great deal on a home in an area that you like.

School Districts
If you have children or are planning to have children, make sure you pick a neighborhood with high rated school.  Some neighborhoods with an average school grading may suffice, but stay away from those that don’t generally perform well in your area.

Proximity to Hobbies
Do you love hiking? Golf? Boating? Going to the dog park? Hitting up the mall every weekend? No matter what your hobbies might be, make sure you choose a location that won’t leave you sitting in traffic for hours to get to them.

Neighborhood Safety
Drive around the neighborhood you’re considering in the afternoon or early evening. Do you see people outside working on their lawns or playing with their kids? If so, this is probably a safe neighborhood. Drive through the neighborhood at night. See if there are any streetlights in the area or if it’s just dark everywhere. Do you see people out walking their dog or taking a nighttime bike ride, or is everything closed up and quiet? This can be a good indicator of the type of neighborhood you’re looking at, too.

I’m a local area expert in Glendale, Peoria and surrounding areas.  I can help you find a home that is right for you.  Click here to learn about neighborhoods and view homes for sale or call me at 602-329-7782!

Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf

artificial turfSince Arizona is primarily composed of desert land, with very little rainfall, you may have considered installing artificial grass instead of real grass in your front or backyard. One of the biggest reasons to install artificial turf is the lack of maintenance. Gone will be the mornings of mowing, weeding and trimming your grass. Instead, you’ll only need to occasionally rake off some leaves and debris. Additionally, with artificial grass, you won’t have to pay for fertilizer, watering or seeding, so the ongoing maintenance costs of real grass will be nixed.  Another upside to artificial turf is its appearance.  Your lawns will always be green, verdant, and lush-looking.  The average life expectancy of artificial turf, depending on the product itself, is 15-25 years, so it likely will be something you won’t have to worry about with the entire time you live in your home.  Finally, there are many more options of artificial grass nowadays, with many more realistic artificial turf choices out there, instead of the plastic-looking turf of the past.

Some of the cons of artificial turf to consider are first, the cost.  Artificial grass averages around $7/square foot, so the initial expense can be considerable. This cost, of course, should be balanced against the maintenance and landscaping costs of real grass on an annual basis. Also, in Arizona at least, the temperature of artificial grass as opposed to real grass can be a real concern.  The surface temperature of artificial grass can exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes this surface a very real danger. Watering down the surface on hotter days can cool it down, but this may negate the fact that you’re trying to reduce water usage.

I’d be happy to discuss these pros and cons with you, especially with regard to listing or buying a home. 602-329-7762

Best of Zillow

I’m so excited to share that I have achieved the Best of Zillow status! It’s the highest mark of distinction they award. The Best of Zillow badge is awarded to realtors who are among the top 10% of all Zillow Premier Agents. These ratings come directly from customer, so I want to say “thank you” to all my customers who have rated me 5-Stars!

Best of Zillow

Popular Architectural Styles in Arizona

Arizona is home to many building architectural styles which are influenced by the various cultures that populated Arizona many years ago.  Phoenix has some noteworthy popular building styles: from Native Indian inspired adobes, Mediterranean style to modern mid-centtury homes that are currently growing in popularity.

Following is an overview of some popular building styles you’ll find throughout the valley:

Spanish Colonial
Spanish Colonial Style or Santa Fe Style is very common is Arizona and typically has smaller windows, flat roofs, orange, reds and blue themed tiles and Saltillo tiles.  Many homes have arched doorways and natural wood beams throughout. People often choose wrought iron chandeliers and southwestern styled furnishings, rugs and decorations. The Santa Fe Style is a traditional Southwestern style owing to the warm climate of the region.

Mediterranean Style
Another popular architectural styles is the Mediterranean style homes. A Mediterranean style home is characterized by large, arched windows and ornate columns outdoors and realistic, warm color schemes and sand-textured walls.

Ranch Style
Long, L-shaped one-story buildings with inspiration from the Old West are the hallmarks of Ranch-style homes. A lot of the furniture in these homes are made of leather with the floors totally covered with carpet. While the fireplace may be made from piled bricks, it is easy to move from one end of the house to another due to the openness of the design.

Pueblo Revival Style
This style owes its roots to the homes of the Pueblo Indians during the 8th century. They grew in popularity in the early 20th century. The homes which are also called “Adobe-style” are characterized by the sloping roofs and earthy materials or adobe, which are used in building them.

Tudor Revival Style
Another popular architectural style is the Tudor Revival style. However, there are not so many in the urban regions of the area. These homes are a reference to the English royal architectural style of the Tudor families in the middle-ages. These homes are characterized by their high-pitched roofs and large chimneys.

Contemporary Style
Contemporary homes are increasing in popularity and you’ll find many newly constructed and remodeled homes throughout the valley.  Contemporary homes are characterized by open spaces, vaulted ceilings, large windows, untextured walls and minimalistic styled kitchen and bathrooms. Homes of this style are often built to be environmentally friendly, while also using some of the latest home technology to provide comfort. Common materials used in contemporary homes are flat panel wood, glass, steel and compliments mid-century styled furnishings and neutral colors.

What is your dream home?  Let me know!  Let’s find the type of home that meets your needs and lifestyle.