A place where we can talk about Scottsdale, its history and, in particular about Scottsdale Real Estate. Welcome!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Barrett Jackson auto auction results

The tally is in . . . Arizona's famous classic auto auctions (four at last count), including the famous Barrett-Jackson at Horseworld, are down significantly. 20-30 percent off is the word.

Strangely, buyers did not abandon the auctions all together. Foot traffic was significant and numbers of autos sold was similar. Prices were down, meaning fewer bidders. But cars sold for what were only a few years ago considered solid prices. Million dollar winners were abundant, at least relatively so.

From a real estate vantage point, the auto auction numbers reflect what is happening across the entire band of America's economy - down 20-30%. These numbers are similar to real estate, so no surprises.

2009 is shaping up as a rebound year in realty, and those are hopeful words. The depth of the economic crisis is still coming into focus. Predictions of a healing by summer months are softly spoken.

The actual bottom of any market (the cost-to-build), has been exceeded. Even some new home builders are selling below those hallowed numbers. Taking a loss is a common event these days.

Fence sitting buyers, especially in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, can profit from this situation. Any rebound, middle of the year or beyond, will quickly recover any further downturn in pricing. In short, when the market comes back, just about any purchase price at today's prices will yield a handsome profit.

The fat cats made money on the last market surge. It may be time for the prudent investor to give real estate some consideration. Adjusting your posture could yield some handsome equity.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Arizona home market bottoming out

Arizona home markets are in disarray. Sellers (those who need to sell) are frustrated by the overloaded market, up to four years of inventory.

Foreclosures (REO's) dominate almost every conventional neighborhood. Luxury home communities are not immune to foreclosures - black dots are appearing virtually everywhere.

Competition is fierce as banks enter the market with empty repossessions by the hundreds. Short sales have struck confusion among buyers and Realtors alike (dealing with unprepared bankers is a nightmare).

Interest rates are at an all-time modern day LOW, now sneaking under 5%.

The table is set for both buyers and investors. But where are they?

The sidelines are crowded with potential buyers who seem to have a streak of fear overriding rational thought.

The market has bottomed out. Experts predict this will last for several months, certainly through summer, and perhaps well into winter.

We'd like to say this is the time to buy, and it is. But if buyers and investors are skittish, there are good reasons. Normally, haste makes waste but in the case of buying homes in Arizona, now is the best time, while the inventory is puffy and great homes go wanting.

Good home buys will pervade the market while buyers gather courage. So, all that is lacking is that courage for which Americans are well known.

Courage, along with rational thought, is what the Arizona home market needs . . .

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

5% Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have dipped below five percent for the first time since before 1971. Bail out money seems to be tipping the scale of supply and demand as banks struggle "what to do with all this money."

On the back side, banks are erecting full scale departments designed to vacuum up all the loose change among borrowers as well. They call these loan modifications and are designed to add assurance that delinquent borrowers will reopen the cash flow tap for lenders. "Make them a deal of some kind, but get them to make steady payments," remarked one lender.

Keeping otherwise reliable borrowers in their homes makes all kinds of sense.

Let's see, if I were a bank, where could I get money in this environment? ". . . foreclosures, short sales . . . wait! . . . there's gotta be something else . . . lemme think . . . oh, yeah, let's invent a new thing. We'll call it a bail out . . . let's see, what else . . . layoffs, yeah, layoffs."

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Fannie Mae Halts Homeowner Evictions & Foreclosures

Fannie Mae, FNMA, will suspend foreclosure sales and evictions for delinquent homeowners through January 31st, 2009

Lenders and distressed borrowers will have time to "workout" options to keep people in their homes.

The Streamlined Modification Program (SMP) was initiated in December as part of the great American Bank Bail Out. The SMP is designed to provide the homeowner with a lower monthly payment. Banks will use a combination of reducing mortgage, interest rate and term of the loan to implement the SMP. Deferred payments may be implemented too.

Arizona's famous winter season is in full swing in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Don't miss the Barrett-Jackson auto auction - it's exciting!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

4% - the Magic Number

4% is the magic number in real estate these days. Scottsdale and Phoenix area builders are offering loans bought down the that magic number.


And on the selling side, sellers are offering buyer's agents 4% commissions. That's a one-third bonus to agents who bring forth buyers!


The magic number . . .

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Friday, February 08, 2008

It's About Time . . .

Real Estate Market Showing Stabilization.


Some sense is starting to emerge from the battered walls of real estate in recent months.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun points out the “pent-up demand from four million jobs added to our economy in the past two years.”

There is a growing cadre of potential buyers with financial capability. But many are trying to market-time their purchase. As a result, the exact timing of the market recovery is hard to pin point. The strength of the recovery is also in doubt.

But all signs now point to fall months as a new period, with momentum starting to build in early 2009. Some localized areas may get a jump start on this by generating momentum as early as late spring months.

Pending Home Sales Index is the bell weather of coming months. This forward looking indicator is based on contracts signed and in escrow. Such figures from August through November show a level, then growing, upward revision and indicate a broad stabilization. Year end figures from the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) confirm this trend.

“Existing home sales are expected to hold in a narrow range before trending up,” Yun says.

Conclusion – some areas will begin to recover by late Spring months, while late Autumn will begin to embrace the entire Phoenix Metroplex. Don’t wait to get in the game. Bargains are disappearing as we write this Blog!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Profiting in a Buyers' Market

How to Buy in Today’s Realty Buyers’ Market

Savvy investors are flying under real estate radar these days. They know that NOW is the time to buy. Not only are prices low and going lower, but interest rates are following suit.

How can you get in on this? First, get a good Realtor who is willing to walk you through the steps. Get your finances in order. Talk to a lender or two. Figure out your buying options.

Then, simply tell your Realtor what you want to do and set him free. Follow him into every nook and cranny he can find. Ask lots of value-related questions. Figure out which homes best fit your needs, then go in for the kill.

Fresh information is important in profiting with today’s real estate Buyers’ Market. But if you are to take full advantage of the situation, being prepared to buy is crucial.

If you and your Realtor stay alert with FRESH INFORMATION, you can hardly make a bad decision. Don’t buy into negative news clips. The louder news agencies declare real estate is down, the more the timid will freeze in position, making good buys inevitable.

Buying now, while markets are down, works especially well if you are moving up in price. Real estate guru, John Foltz points out that when the market does turn around, you’re much better off gaining equity in a pricey home than an economy model.

And, if you are disappointed that you missed the recent market peak, look at these facts. One Scottsdale home owner wanted to move last year. The home she had to sell was $400,000 and the home she wanted to buy was $600,000, a difference of $200,000. This year, her home is worth less, $360,000 but the home she still wants to buy is now $540,000, a difference of $180,000. Look at that – she SAVED $20,000 by riding the market down in both properties. Luckily, the home she wanted was still available, so when the prices came close enough for her loan limits to kick in, she pulled the trigger. Viola! New home! Big savings (that can happen for you, too)!

Even better, when the realty market does recover her newer, higher value home will appreciate a much larger amount than her older home.

“WHEN to buy?,” seems to be the next logical question. And, here is the answer . . . when you find the home you love and you can negotiate a comfortable price, THAT is the moment to buy. Why? Consider the most important issue - you’ll be living in the home you’ve always wanted for at least a few years, riding the market recovery UP!

When selling your old home, aim toward a competitive price-per-square-foot (sq ft) so you can generate traffic. Offer cross-agent bonuses to lift foot traffic. Ask your agent to host open houses. Consider buyer perks like interest rate buy-downs. Plasma TV’s help many homes sell these days . . .

You don’t know where or when you buyer will show up. You don’t want to miss him, because your first buyer is likely to be your best. Once you secure a sale of your home, “take it out on the seller” of your new home by passing through your Buyer concessions to your Seller.

Buying at the ebb of the market is smart in any investment opportunity. In real estate, it’s better than gold, because real estate is safe. It has the longest and strongest long term appreciation of any investment field. Plus, being able to upgrade your lifestyle is a big bonus. And the added appreciation you will enjoy on the larger value will help enrich your portfolio.

Your Realtor can show you how to tie up the home you want until you sell the home you have. Again, if you drive a great deal buying, you can offer great concessions on selling. Let your seller pay part of the bill!

Fuel your quest with fresh information. Pay keen attention to the money market, loan rates. Stay in touch with your lender, ask him to keep you posted if when your loan situation changes. Insist on frequent MLS input. Good Realtors can update you almost daily.

Don’t miss the boat. Turn a deaf ear to words of pending doom. Will that happen? Of course it will, but waiting to buy in today’s market atmosphere translates to pure greed. Chances of hitting the bottom of the market and the best interest rates are very low. One pundit put it like this, “if you wait to buy Microsoft until they release Windows, it will be too late.” Now is the time to buy real estate and here are some handy tools.
Get prepared with your finances
Get an enthusiastic Realtor you can relate to
Figure out where you want to live
Get excited enough to go look at homes
Make value judgments as you go.
Prepare to make concessions, trade-offs
Decide which homes best fit your wants and needs
Don’t get in a hurry
Be decisive and consistent
Deal in good faith but be prepared to walk away
Pack your bags . . .

It’s that easy!