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Mary Maxie » Arizona Real Estate

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Phoenix’s Crazy Real Estate Market

Phoenix’s Crazy Real Estate Market
If you don’t like the real estate market in Phoenix & the Valley of the Sun , just wait a minute, it’s sure to change. Here are a few observations, just in the last several weeks:

1. There are more and more listings coming on the market, but buyers are being shut out, unless they have cash in hand, & are ready to bid way higher than list price.
2. I’m getting lots of email flyers from realtors who are advertising that their listings are “pre-MLS” There is such great compeitition to buy almost anything on the market, that houses are being sold before they go on MLS, & are coming onto MLS as already under contract. One realtor tour last week touted that 6 out of 10 houses on tour were pre-MLS.
3. Since buyers don’t always have the luxury of thinking over their purchase before they make an offer, they may have the highest bid, but after thinking about it, they let it go, & it comes “Back On Market” in MLS. Investors who are bidding sight unseen, often figure out after they win the bid that they can’t rehab, and sell, and make a profit, so they let it go back on the market.
4. If the house was bid up above list price, which many are, and the buyer in first position backs out, then it comes back on the market at the bid that was highest over list price, so we see “Back On Market” at a higher price than a couple of weeks ago.
5. I am seeing more higher priced houses on the market these days. The over $300,000 houses stay on the market a bit longer, but ultimately they also go for more than listed prices.
6. Even in December 2011, you could still find houses for under $100,000 in the main areas of the valley. Now you are not seeing anything under $100,000 unless you are a long ways out.
7. There are not nearly as many bank owned/foreclosures coming onto the market as there were even a few months ago. Short sales are more common as banks try & mitigate their losses by allowing short sales instead of forcing foreclosure, even if the seller hasn’t paid mortgage payments for months.
8. Buyers expecting to get a bargain, are surprised to find escalating prices and bidding wars. Buyers who need mortgage approval & appraisals are getting shut out by investors.
9. Investors now make up around 50% of the buyers, & Foreign nationals, such as Canadians make up another 24%. There’s not much left for the ordinary person who just wants to buy one house.

If yu want up to date information on home buying in Arizona, Call or email for free info on the following:
*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home at
*Disclosure issues affecting Phoenix Home buying
*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report, Arizona Living
*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor 602-738-6597
Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Prudential Arizona Properties
Frequent updates at my blog

Why Canadians are buying Phoenix Real Estate

Phoenix real estate rises with Canadian buyers

By Dan Levy and John Gittelsohn, Bloomberg January 19, 2012

Bob Major returned to Phoenix in October in search of more bargains like the four empty houses he bought in 2010 at rock-bottom prices. The retired builder from Vancouver instead found real estate about 20 per cent higher and stiff competition.

“There’s been an extreme turn,” Major, 66, said in an interview at a Chandler, Arizona, pizzeria, sitting beside his wife, Wendy. “We put bids on 30 properties and only got two.”

The Phoenix housing market, down 55 per cent from peak values with more than two-thirds of borrowers owing more than their properties are worth, is starting to recover as demand grows and inventory shrinks. Sales rose in November for the 12th straight month on a year-over-year basis, and distressed real estate accounted for the smallest share of purchases since 2008, according to research firm DataQuick.

Values may increase 9 per cent this year in Phoenix, known as the “Valley of the Sun” for its desert climate and triple- digit summer temperatures, as homes in or near foreclosure are bought up, according to Clear Capital Inc. Bank-owned property, which made up two-thirds of sales at the May 2009 market trough, now accounts for only one-third, said Alex Villacorta, director of research at the real estate data company in Truckee, California.

‘Pain Was Greater’

Pending foreclosures in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, tumbled by almost two-thirds in two years to 18,325 this month, according to Mike Orr, publisher of the Cromford Report, a local housing information service. In December, first- time foreclosure filings in Arizona fell 41 per cent from the previous month to the lowest since 2007, data firm RealtyTrac Inc. said.

“The pain was greater here,” Orr said. “I think the reward for that is we’ll be out of the woods faster.”

Arizona’s bank-owned inventory has shrunk relative to other hard-hit housing states partly because courts don’t oversee property seizures, said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac. It takes an average of 125 days to complete a bank-owned home sale in Arizona, compared with 217 days in Florida, a “judicial state” with a foreclosure glut, according to the company. The U.S. average is 193 days.

The winnowing has boosted the average Phoenix property sale to $85 US a square foot in December, up 7.6 per cent from the market bottom in August, according to Orr, who is also the real estate center director at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Prices are still down from a peak of $190 US a square foot in June 2006, he said.

Only Gainer

“I never would have believed what Phoenix has gone through, but the data speaks for itself,” said Karl Case, co- founder of an S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index that showed the metropolitan area as the only gainer among its 20 members in October. “When prices fall that much and interest rates are this low, it’s got to be the case that the markets begin to clear.”

The upturn follows more than five years of decline, the worst housing bust in a city where home construction for new Arizona residents has been the path to economic growth, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a telephone interview. Falling U.S. prices and bloated consumer debt have arrested mobility, trapping owners who can’t sell their homes, according to Orr.

Jobs Lost

Arizona lost about 324,000 jobs in three years — about one-third in construction — before employment bottomed in September 2010, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. The state added about 45,000 jobs last year. At that pace, it will take until 2015 to reach pre-bust levels, said Lee McPheters, director of Arizona State’s JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center.

Even with fewer foreclosures and prices turning, Phoenix has the sixth-highest U.S. metropolitan rate of foreclosure filings per household, according to RealtyTrac. Phoenix led the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas with two-thirds of its mortgaged homes in negative equity at the end of the third quarter, Zillow Inc. said. Across the nation, 29 per cent of all mortgaged homes were “underwater,” meaning the properties were worth less than their loan balances.

Buying Repossessed Homes

Steep discounts have lured investors such as American Residential Properties LLC, which used more than half of a $100 US million fund to buy 800 Phoenix-area homes at an average price of $120,000 US, some down from as much as $400,000 US five years ago, said Laurie Hawkes, president of the Phoenix-based company. It’s now teaming with New York-based Ranieri Partners LLC on a proposal to buy repossessions from government mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and manage the properties as rentals.

“Phoenix appears to be leading the nation in terms of major metropolitan areas that are recovering,” Hawkes said. “It’s considerably faster than many people thought.”

Bargain-hunting also attracted flocks of Canadians taking advantage of a 28 percent currency gain versus the U.S. dollar since March 2009 — and winters with an average January high of 19 degrees Celsius. Canadians edged out Californians last year as the largest group of outside buyers, with 4.2 per cent of purchases, Orr said.

“Six Arizona Months

Major, the retired Vancouver homebuilder, spent $400,000 US for four properties during his 2010 investment foray, including a three-bedroom foreclosure that he fixed up as his own winter residence. He plans to spend six months a year in Arizona.

“There were so many listings the first time, you could really take your pick,” Major said at the pizza restaurant, where teenagers in shorts ate ice cream outside. “Now you can’t bargain nearly as much. The whole attitude is different.”

A property similar to a house that Major bought for $85,000 US in 2010 sold in October for about $102,000 US, he said.

Stanton, a Democratic former city councilman who was elected mayor in November, said Phoenix needs to move from a reliance on housing cycles toward more sustainable technology and health-care jobs. His idea for a health and science development, to be built on 240 hectares northeast of downtown, was announced in his Jan. 3 inauguration speech. It has the support of the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, which would be partners in the project, Stanton said.

Phoenix Hit Hard

“Being disproportionately dependent on single-family homes is the reason why this recession hit Phoenix so hard,” said Stanton, himself the owner of an underwater house in central Phoenix that he purchased in April 2007.

The hoped-for employment shift may already be under way. Intel Corp. broke ground last year on a $5 US billion plant in Chandler, about 32 kilometers southeast of downtown Phoenix, that will require “thousands” of temporary construction and permanent jobs, said Laura Anderson, a spokeswoman for the world’s largest semiconductor maker. PayPal, an online payment service owned by EBay Inc., plans more hiring after adding 700 jobs in 2011, said Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for the unit.

Phoenix had 30,000 of the state’s new positions in the 12 months through October, led by health care, transportation and warehousing jobs, McPheters said.

Health-Care Growth

The proposed campus is “very exciting” and would attract startup companies as well as international firms, said Wyatt Decker, chief executive officer of the Mayo Clinic’s Arizona branch in Phoenix, which employs 400 physicians and scientists and a total staff of 5,000. The state’s health-care sector has grown even during the real estate recession, he said.

“We’re all rowing in the same direction,” Decker said of policy makers such as Stanton and education and science executives.

Even homebuilding has revived. Single-family construction permits are expected to climb to 11,300 this year, up 66 per cent from a 2010 low, according to the average estimate of 13 Phoenix market analysts surveyed by Arizona State University.

Meanwhile, investors like Major peck away at the real estate overhang. Time spent in his new $25,000 US outdoor spa, the biggest cost of his foreclosure renovation, is a world away from frozen Canadian winters, he said.

“We like it at night before bed, when it’s warm and all the stars are out,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of rain and dullness in Vancouver from October to April. And it’s cold.”

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Arizona Real Estate News: Social Trends Changing for Housing

Arizona Real Estate News: Social Trends Changing for Housing

Wedding Registries for Home Downpayments – More engaged couples are doing a different type of wedding registry that allows them to collect cash for a down payment on a home.  About 15% of registries at Deposit a Gift are to raise down-payment funds for a home.  The FHA permits gifts from a wedding to be used as a down payment.  About 27% of first-time home buyers use gift money from relatives and friends for a down payment, according to the NAR.  Read article:


Baby Boomers Seek Smaller, Affordable Homes - Baby boomers who plan to move for retirement are looking for smaller, affordable homes that are easily accessible to medical care and near their family.  Baby boomers who make more than $100,000 a year are the most likely to say they plan to buy a new home during retirement.  However, more baby boomers say they don’t have any plans to move after they retire for financial reasons.  Read article:


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FREE Tips for First Time Home Buyers

FREE Tips for First Time Home Sellers

FREE The 10 Things Most Often Cited on Home Inspections

FREE Info on 180 day rule for foreign home buyers

FREE Info on FIRPTA Rules for foreign investors

FREE Info on what Canadian buyers of Arizona Real Estate need to know.

FREE shopping, golf, sports, Arizona Living info

FREE info on Great Canadian Picnic, & Canada Cup Golf Tournament

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Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor

Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Prudential Arizona Properties

GREEN Master of Real Estate, GRI, CRS, ABR, CSSR, SFR, CRMS, CIPS


Arizona Wine Country


Arizona Wine Country

I’ll bet you didn’t know that Arizona has 40 wineries in production and another 25 getting ready to go into production. They are almost all small boutique wineries, with limited production, but they are grouped so that you can take a one day or more wine tour and tasting, and see some fantastic desert scenery along the way.
No one really thinks of Arizona as wine country, but it makes a great holiday weekend. Ask me about maps and tours. And if you want to become a vintner, I can help you find a winery to buy and operate

Want to know more about the Phoenix Scottsdale home scene? Call or email for free info on the following:

*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home

*Disclosure issues affecting Phoenix Home buying

*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report,ArizonaLiving

*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor 602-738-6597

Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty

Frequent updates at my blog

Phoenix file: Neighborhood Environmental Report


Phoenix file: Neighborhood Environmental Report

It’s a fact that home buyers are hungry for information about their property. Stories of environmental contamination are increasingly in the news and on the minds of real estate buyers and sellers. Environmental concerns could be old landfills, chemical dumps, abandoned auto waste dumps, even chemicals from dry cleaning plants or chemical plants which have dumped contaminants which could affect groundwater. Areas that are prone to fissures and ground sinking can also be mapped.

If you have questions about the area you live in, or want to live in, in the Valley of the Sun, ask Mary Maxie about a Neighborhood Environmental Report before you buy, and be sure

Want to know more about the Phoenix Scottsdale home scene? Call or email for free info on the following:

*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home

*Disclosure issues affecting Phoenix Home buying

*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report,ArizonaLiving

*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor 602-738-6597

Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty

Frequent updates at my blog

Phoenix File: New Real Estate Updates for July 22/11

Phoenix File: New Real Estate Updates for July 22/11

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can’t make me happy. 

U.S. Tackles Housing – The Obama administration is ramping up talks on how to revive the housing market, which is weighing on the economic recovery—and possibly the president’s re-election in 2012.  Last year, advisers considered several housing-policy prescriptions but rejected them in favor of letting the market sort things out.  Housing “hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” President Barack Obama said at a White House town hall last week. Mr. Obama said housing remained the “most stubborn” problem facing the country and conceded that a raft of federal mortgage-aid programs were “not enough, and so we’re going back to the drawing board.”  Read article:


Single Women a Rising Force in the Housing Market – Single women continue to make up a growing segment of home buyers and are buying homes in record numbers.  Last year, they composed 20% of all buyers, while single men accounted for 12%.  Single women are purchasing homes at various stages in their lives — some are new college grads and plan to one day get married while others may be divorced or just want to set up roots in their own place.   Read article:


Top Remodeling Projects - Remodeling Magazine’s latest Cost Versus Value Report revealed the top 10 remodeling projects in the last year.  Leading the way in cost versus value are exterior replacements, with garage doors and entry-doors at the head of the class.  According to the report, “Replacement projects have always performed better in resale value than other types of remodeling projects, partly because they are among the least expensive projects in our report, and partly because they are non-discretionary improvements that contribute to curb appeal, which is a strong subjective factor among home buyers.”  Read article:


Realtors’ confidence levels shoot up, survey reports – Phoenix-area real estate agents are regaining confidence in the local housing market, according to the results of a survey released Thursday.  The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service conducts a monthly survey of active real-estate agents to gauge their confidence in the housing market.  In July, the index shot upward nearly 7 points.  Read article:


Homebuyers Make Lifestyle Options Priority – The adage when it comes to real estate has been “location, location, location.”  A recent survey, though, shows that lifestyle options are a priority.  These include health and safety, access to cultural activities, and family-friendly neighborhoods.  Of course, location is still important, but today’s buyers are looking for a sense of belonging in a community as well as creating a desirable lifestyle with the home they buy.  Read article:



Scottsdale Scene: Arizona Trivia



Scottsdale Scene: Arizona Trivia

Things you may or may not know about Arizona:

* The Arizonatrout is found only inArizona

*The saguaro cactus blossom is the official state flower & blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during May & June. The saguaro is the largest American cactus

*Arizonaleads the nation in copper production

*The bola tie is the official state neckwear

*The Palo Verde is the official state tree. Its name means green stick & it blossoms a brilliant yellow gold

*The cactus wren is the official state bird. It grows 7-8 inches long & likes to build nests in the protection of thorny desert plants like the giant saguaro cactus

*The amount of copper on the roof of the state Capitol building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies

*Arizonaobserves Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis. The one exception is the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state, which observes the daylight savings time change.

* The Castilian and Burgundian flags ofSpain, the Mexican flag, the confederate flag and the flag of theUnited Stateshave all flown over the area that becameArizona.

*The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone & reconstructed inLake Havasu City.

* The state’s precipitation varies. AtFlagstaff the annual average is 18.31 inches.Phoenix averages 7.64 inches, &Yuma’s annual average is 3.27 inches.

* Camels were once used to move goods acrossArizona

* The six building blocks of Arizona’s economy are the 6 C’s: Copper, cattle, cotton, climate, citrus, & commerce (including tourism, transportation) A 7th C could be added– Computers, due to the wealth of hi tech industry located here.

Want to know more about buying a home in Arizona? Call or email for free info on the following:

*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home

*Difference between using Escrow and a lawyer for conveyancing

*Disclosure issues affecting Phoenix Home buying

*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report,ArizonaLiving

*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor

Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty

GREEN Master of Real Estate, GRI, CRS, ABR, CSSR, SFR, CRMS, CIPS