Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1. Tucson, Ariz.
Opportunities abound for those interested in buying single-family homes, condominium or co-op units, and town homes as investments, with people scooping up properties at a discount and turning them into rental properties. Their plan: Collect rental income now, then benefit from price appreciation on the property in the future, given that many housing markets appear to be at least nearing their bottoms, in terms of price. And there’s no real shortage of renters, either, since many people still don’t qualify for mortgage loans, said Steve Berkowitz, chief executive of Realtor.com. The best places for investors right now are areas where inventory has fallen although demand hasn’t risen steeply yet, and where the job market is on the upswing, he said. In Tucson, foreclosures plagued the market, but things may be looking up — and investors are taking notice. The city ranked No. 1 on Realtor.com’s list of top 10 investment markets for this year. Despite prices falling 31% during the housing bust, foreclosure inventories are now declining. Still, the median list price in Tucson was an affordable $170,000 in February, 3.03% higher than a year ago. Homes are selling 12% faster than a year ago. The area has the benefit of being a vacation destination as well as a college town, Berkowitz said. Research from the website shows that 33% of all sales that closed in Tucson in February were cash sales, suggesting a high level of investor activity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 2011 Real Estate Market Update

520-390-9077 (Office)           

                                   October 2011 Market Update    

             Despite some pessimism pertaining to the global and domestic economies, the U.S. housing sector continues to show promising signs of stability and growth. Low levels of new home construction and gaining sales volume fueled by an inventory of affordable housing since Richard Nixon was president have reduced the number of homes on the market. This means home prices may begin to appreciate again.
While there are many factors that can be barriers to buying a home, such as the tightening of mortgage lending rules by banks, consumer confidence in the job market is among one of the top obstacles to home ownership. In the 2011 Housing Pulse Survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 80% of respondents cited job security as their primary concern when deciding to buy.
For only the fourth time since the beginning of 2010, home sales in August were up both year-over-year and month-over-month, posting an 18.6% gain from last year, with first-time home buyers accounting for nearly a third of all homes purchased.  These indications of strength in the housing market may help to add to consumer confidence, which is an integral part of sustained growth. Even though there is still a long road to recovery ahead of us, there are opportunities to be had for both home buyers and sellers.           

             Interest Rates  
30- Year  Fixed   4.01%
15- Year Fixed   3.28%     
5/1 ARM            2.83%    
Historical Average 8.90%
Source Freddie Mac  Sep 29,2011

         Home ownership became even more affordable, with the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages falling to 4.01% the last week in September. This drop came as a result of the Federal Reserve extending the average maturity of its holdings as a part of the Maturity Extension Program, an effort designed to put downward pressure on interest rates and yields on treasury bonds in order to stimulate the economy. It is hoped that this action will encourage banks to loosen lending conditions, as it becomes more attractive to loan money to home buyers, rather than invest in treasury bonds.                       

             Home Sales          

     August home sales were up 18.6% year-to-year, posting a 7.7% increase in sales activity over July despite Hurricane Irene, which struck the Eastern seaboard and New England regions at the end of the month. As a result of the hurricane, the Northeast experienced the smallest increase in sales. At the same time, persisting restrictions among banks affecting home lending are having the greatest constraint on sales levels. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated, "The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy."                   

   Homes prices were down, with a 5.1% drop in August compared to a year ago. The national median price for homes in August was $168,300, with distressed properties, foreclosures, and short sales still accounting for 31% of sales. The buyer's market for residential property continues, as favorable prices, and record low interest rates offer the most affordable conditions for purchasing a home in the last 40 years.                   


      The supply of homes measured in months on the market at their current pace of sales fell 10.5% in the month of August, to an 8.5 month supply of inventory, down from a 9.5-month supply in July. With homes being more affordable than they have been in a generation and the lowest levels of new home construction since World War II, this inventory is projected to continue to fall, which will eventually result in the appreciation of home prices and a move toward a balanced market.                   

  Distressed Properties and What They Mean to You           

           Since affordable pricing tops the list of motivation and criteria for buying, it is no surprise that many first-time home buyers purchase distressed properties, which can be up to 30% below market value. Cost-conscious buyers are the most interested in distressed properties, but it is important for them to take into consideration the additional costs and expenses related to damage or neglect that occurred during the foreclosure process. On average, distressed property prices for first-time home buyers are $185,971 with a median of $153,000.
Another consideration for buyers is the transaction time. Short sales and foreclosures typically take considerably longer to close because buyers deal with institutions rather than individual sellers. Yet buyers who are patient can benefit by paying less.
As a seller, it is important to understand the current real estate market, and a real estate agent is there to guide sellers every step of the way. Agents can help sellers understand what the level of distressed sales and competition look like in their area. This way, they will be able to price their home right and will more than likely be able to attract attention from potential home buyers.      

Have questions for an agent:
520-390-9077 (Office)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rent Vs. Buying insight

Can You Afford To Rent??

The “Should I rent or buy” dilemna is usually in the forefront of a home buyers mind.  And there is nothing like having the facts in black and white that will help you make that decision, especially if the decision is strictly a monetary one.

One of the best Rent vs. Buy Calculators is hosted on the Trulia Website.  Seeing as how about 5 million folks visit Trulia each month, this calculator probably gets used quite a bit.
I recommend that you play around with it and see the reality of renting vs. owning.  Here is the calculator.  Have at it!

Preview Homes on site below:

Or call a - Keller Williams Realtor @520-390-9077

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tips on Preparing your home for Winter

Here are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter:

1) Furnace Inspection

  • Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
  • Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
  • Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
  • If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
  • Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

2) Get the Fireplace Ready

  • Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
  • If the chimney hasn't been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
  • Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.

3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

  • Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
  • Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
  • Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
  • If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
  • Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.

4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

  • If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
  • Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
  • Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
  • Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
  • Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment

  • Drain gas from lawnmowers.
  • Service or tune-up snow blowers. (not in Tucson or Phx)
  • Replace worn rakes and snow shovels. (not in Tucson or Phx)
  • Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
  • Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.

6) Check Foundations

  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  • Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
  • Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
  • Secure crawlspace entrances.

7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
  • Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

  • Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • Drain all garden hoses.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
  • Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces

  • Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
  • Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
  • Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
  • Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
  • Don't automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard.
  • Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

  • Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
  • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
  • Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.

View homes->         http://www.southernazkellerhomes.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

7 Key Reasons Why NOW is the Prime Time to Buy a Home

7 Key Reasons Why NOW is the Prime Time to Buy a Home:

1. Home affordability is at an all-time high.
The median mortgage payment on the median priced home as a percentage of the median household income is lower than it's been in a generation.
2. Mortgage rates have reached rock bottom.
As interest rates start to inch back upwards, monthly payments and total loan costs will spike upwards.
3. Buy Now; Buy Low!
After declining nearly three years, home prices are stabilizing.
4. Sellers are motivated.
This means that buyers have the upper hand! From banks looking to dispose of foreclosed properties to homeowners who are fiercely competing among an excess of housing inventory, buyers have untold choices and negotiating power.
5. Financing is readily available for qualified buyers!
Banks are getting back in the game and ready to lend to well-qualified buyers.
6. Owning vs. renting is increasingly favorable.
Since 2009, the average principal and interest payment has fallen below the average rental rates, and the gap is now wider than it's been in the past 22 years.
7. Homeownership is at the core of the American Dream!
Owning a home is critical to financial stability and wealth building. It's a forced savings account, a place to live and a fabulous tax deduction.
 View homes->         http://www.southernazkellerhomes.com

Keller Williams Southern Arizona
1849 N. Kolb Rd. Suite 101
Tucson, AZ 85715