July 2017


What makes Markets Rise and Fall

In today’s real estate market, where inventory is sparse, homebuyers and sellers alike do well to understand the concept of home value appreciation.

Unlike the purchase of a car, that loses value (or depreciates) when you drive it off the lot, the value of your home may increase (or appreciate) over time. Appreciation is based on several factors – some within the homebuyer’s control, other factors…not so much.

Where is as important as what

You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again: Location, Location, Location. Where you purchase your home may be the most important (controllable) factor to appreciation.

If value appreciation is important to you, be sure to give thought to where – in the country, state, city, community, and neighborhood – you buy. According to Forbes, the southern half of the U.S. is the best place to invest in housing in 2017, whether you’re looking for your family home or a rental property.

Other things to consider when purchasing as it relates to location: Is the home close to major highways? Are good schools nearby? Is it conveniently located to entertainment and shopping? Is there a nice view?

Investing in a desirable area may contribute to equity in your home down the line and could mean more money in your pocket if you decide to sell.

Acreage accumulates

Another factor to consider is how much you buy. We’re talking land, though, not the physical structure of your home.  Why? It’s pretty simple: supply vs. demand. Land is a limited commodity; we’re not getting any more of it. As the world’s population increases, so does its need for land.

If your budget doesn’t allow for both a large, fabulous home and a considerable piece of land, you may wish to consider opting for a more conservative home and keep the land.

The upside of upkeep

Finally, take care of your home. If it breaks, fix it. If it’s outdated, upgrade it. While it may not be as large a factor as the location and land itself, having a well-maintained home with attractive details and modern-day features may increase the equity of your home (and help it sell faster when you’re ready!)

External affects

Giving thought to how your home will appreciate is the smart thing to do; however, the reality is that appreciation rates vary based on factors beyond the homebuyer’s control.

The economy (global, national and local) affects the real estate market, which affects what your home is worth at any given time. Again, it’s a matter of supply vs. demand.

In a nutshell: the more people can afford to buy houses, the greater the demand becomes for houses, making home values rise

Timing is almost everything

If you’re shopping for a home right now, you know it’s a seller’s market. In some areas, a home could be under contract within days, sometimes hours. This trend has had a positive impact on home values across the U.S.

As of May 2017, Zillow reports a national home value index of $199,200 – up .5% from April 2017 and 7.4% from 2016. Translation: Sellers have a good chance of getting the most ‘bang’ for their real estate ‘buck’ in the current environment.

If you’re in the market to sell, please give me a call to see what your home is currently worth. And if you’re the conscientious consumer, pay attention to national forecast to maximize your investment.  


Courtesy of Danielle Flynn, Movement blog contributor


Choosing paint finishes to highlight your home 

A new coat of paint can be just the trick to refresh your surroundings and give your home a whole new feel.

While there are probably a million different paint colors available, when you’re decorating the inside of your home, there are really only five “finishes” or sheens to choose from. Each has its own features, centered around two main traits: durability and ease of cleaning

High gloss: This paint is super easy to clean and shiny, reflecting light and opening up small spaces. It’s good for highlighting trim, railings, and architectural features or for “special” rooms like a formal dining room. The colors look deep and rich (great for dark and jewel tones!), but gloss shows every flaw on the painted surface. Often expensive to buy, high gloss may need primer, lots of sanding and many coats to look good.

Semi-gloss: Like high gloss, semi-gloss is long-lasting and washable. It stands up well to moisture, making this finish ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and areas that frequently need to be cleaned. Satin: Satin is the most popular finish by far, good for light colors and large areas. This finish is pretty easy to clean with a damp cloth (although not actually scrubbable), so choose it for kids’ rooms, laundry rooms, and high-traffic areas. Caution: Brush or roller strokes will be visible if not put on smoothly and evenly.

Eggshell: This finish only has a bit of shine to it, meaning it covers up flaws pretty well. While somewhat stain resistant, eggshell is not very easy to clean and it can mark easily, so it’s not a good choice for areas where lots of kid activities take place; use it for bedrooms, hallways, and lower-traffic areas.

Flat or matte: This sheen has no shine at all, which means it absorbs light and hides flaws, making walls look smooth (even when they may not be), so it’s good for textured surfaces. Flat paint shows every scuff and fingerprint; cleaning the wall can actually remove or damage paint, so touch-ups are really the only way to cover marks and scuffs. Flat finishes are good for dining rooms, adult bedrooms, ceilings, and other areas that won’t get lots of fingerprints.

Exterior paint comes in mostly the same finishes as interior paint. As with the inside, lower-sheen flat and satin paints are better for walls, while semi- and high-gloss finishes are great for trim, shutters, and doors. The shinier paints should be applied in multiple thin layers for the best effect.

Be sure to check with your local paint store for more information on paints such as tinted primer, no-fade paint, stains, oils and acrylics, and other specialty paint features that can also enhance your painting project. No matter where in (or on) your home you’re ready for a new look, choosing the right paint is the best way to get started.



March 2017

Market Update

For Buyers:
Buyers continue to find themselves in a frenzy of competition for homes as March recorded the highest number of non-distressed sales through the MLS since September 2005.  While supply has dropped a significant 12.7% overall compared to this time last year, it’s dropped a whopping 22% in the Southeast Valley and 27% in Pinal County! Despite the extreme lack of supply under $300K, 30% of closings in this price range are showing some form of seller-paid concession at close.  Compare this to 27% in March of last year and it indicates that even as demand and prices are on the rise, a larger percentage of sellers are contributing financially to closing costs, home warranties and repairs in order to get top dollar for their home.For Sellers:
March 2017 recorded the highest Listing Success Rate for normal listings since July 2005 at 81.8%, which means more homes are coming off the market because they successfully sold and not because they cancelled or expired. In a balanced market, the Listing Success Rate ranges between 60-65% for this time of year.  To compare, the lowest Listing Success Rate was recorded in December 2008 at 21% and the highest was in May 2005 at 87%.Normal listings between $100K and $200K currently have the highest success rate at 90%, followed closely by the $200K-$300K range at 87% and $300K-$500K at an impressive 79%.  It’s a good time to be a seller!
Commentary written by Tina Tamboer, Senior Real Estate Analyst with The Cromford Report ©2017 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

Home Staging Basics for Clients

1.  “US Housing and Urban Development states that on Average, a staged home will sell 17% higher than a comparable home that is not staged.
2.  HomeGain “National Home Improvement” survey results found that home staging has an average return on investment of 196%.
3.  A Real Estate Staging Association report found that if you invest in home staging before listing, you will sell 87% faster.
4. The National Association of Realtors states that if you invest 1-3% of the value of your home in staging, updates, and repairs, you could make/save 8-10%.
5. The Real Estate Staging Association conducted a study of 359 homes which were staged prior to listing.On average, the staged homes received their first offer in 26 days.  Almost 20% of these homes received Multiple offers.
From first impressions to possible layouts, home staging can provide potential buyers with a visual representation of the home and can help sell it faster and for a higher price. Staging showcases a home, making it easier for buyers to envision how they could ultimately embrace the space. These tips can help your clients understand what to expect during the staging process.
Staging is an investment
A thorough and professional staging effort can be the leading reason a property sells quickly, and in many cases, for over the asking price. If a property is styled and furnished in good taste it translates into competitive offers, increased demand and a higher sale price. A staged home also will show better than its competitive properties; more often than not, the cost of staging comes back to a seller many times over in the final sale price. Ultimately, the benefits of marketing a home that has been thoroughly styled and prepared for the broader buying audience outweighs the initial expenses and yields a far greater return.
Best represent the property
One major goal is to enhance the appeal of a home while maintaining its design integrity; that is, by editing and styling each room and dressing it up so that it appeals to the broadest market audience. While some homes are staged when they’re vacant, others are staged by de-cluttering and incorporating a carefully edited selection of the seller’s furnishings with the stager’s in a coordinated way to create a look that best represents the property.
Staging also makes each room feel less personal by removing older furniture and minimizing
clutter. For example, adding new bedding and accessories as well as accent pillows and flowers can perk up rooms with color and excitement. Shelves can be styled with books and interesting objects; and artwork can be displayed throughout the house.
Make a few easy improvements
Many homes may need a few quick upgrades before staging. These improvements could consist of painting walls in lighter colors, installing new carpeting, and upgrading lighting by adding uniform-colored bulbs. The seller might also consider resurfacing kitchen counters and replacing old appliances with new, stainless ones.
Use the space wisely
Thoughtful furniture installation and placement can give a buyer an understanding of how to use a space or how to best arrange their own furnishings. Staging and styling can also help “animate” a home by adding a fresh, light feeling.
It’s always good to remember that not all staging is created equal. While some sellers prefer to show an interior as if its lifted from the pages of a style magazine, while some might approach it from a more realistic  “lived in” perspective.
Staging offers sellers the opportunity to view their home from a different perspective.
Overall, staging goes beyond furniture placement and filling a house with inventory. For many sellers, staging is about creating style that inspires a buyer’s excitement as they visualize themselves emotionally and physically “at home” in the house. By looking at a home from the viewpoint of a buyer, the strengths of the home can be highlighted, and sellers can show buyers a home’s true potential without forcing them to use their imaginations.
Source: “Design Ideas from a Home Stager: For Selling a Home or Just Freshening It Up,” (April, 8, 2015)

6 Ways to Spruce Up a Home With Staging

Studies have suggested that staged homes sell faster, and as such, more sellers may be willing to give it a try.

So what are some staging ideas for sprucing up a property? Thomas Rouse, a design producer at “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” offered the following tips in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

1. Paint: A fresh coat of paint in a neutral palette can be an inexpensive upgrade with big impact.

2. Have furniture but don’t clutter: Don’t leave rooms empty because potential buyers may struggle to visualize what all you can do with the space. Also, Rouse suggests avoiding furniture with patterns, which can be distracting.

3. TV artwork: Mount a flat-screen TV to a wall and have a slideshow playing on it with images of nature, Rouse suggests.

4. Fill the walls: Don’t leave walls bare, which can make a home feel cold, according to Rouse. Hang photography, framed artwork, and mirrors to spice up the walls.

5. Flower displays: Have fresh-cut flowers in simple glass vases displayed on the dining room table and in other places in the home to bring more life to a space, Rouse says.

6. Gender-neutral bedrooms: Keep bedroom colors neutral and have simple bedding — preferably in white — to make a room feel fresh, Rouse says.

Source: “Set the Stage for a Faster Home Sale,” The Wall Street Journal (May 26, 2012)

Rents continue to Rise

Phoenix rents increased by little more than half a percent in the past month, but rent prices have gone up more than 5 percent in the past year, according to Apartment List’s April 2017 Phoenix Rent Report.

In Phoenix, one-bedroom apartments have a median rent of $870, and two-bedrooms go for closer to $1,300, according to the report.

“Phoenix renters are relatively satisfied with the city overall,” says Andrew Woo, Director of Data Science at Apartment List. “Most renters gave average or above average scores across the board.”

Scottsdale rent continues to run the highest in Arizona — median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,300 and $2,400 for two bedrooms.

Rents in Scottsdale have gone down 2.2 percent in the past year.

Glendale, however, shows the fastest-growing rents, with prices up 6 percent from a year ago and the highest year-over-year rent growth in the state. One bedroom there goes for a median of $910 in rent, while two-bedroom apartments run at $870.

January 2017 Predicts Metro Phoenix to be #1

The top housing market in the U.S. in 2017 will be metro Phoenix, according to a new m forecast.  The Valley’s steady growth in sales and price iincreases, tighter new home market and short supply of foreclosures make it one of the healthiest in the country. Plus a wise housing analyst who tracks home sales and trends every day said last year that 2017 would be the big year for the Phoenix-area housing market. a national real estate website, is predicting Valley home prices to climb 5.9 percent, and sales to jump by 7.2 percent next year. That’s not the biggest projected price increase on its list of top 10 markets in 2017, but it’s the biggest sales increase. It makes sense since one of the Valley’s top selling points for buyers is more affordable home prices, particularly in the West.

There’s also good news for Phoenix’s southern neighbor Tucson. The real estate group ranks it as the ninth best housing market in 2017 with an expected 6.1 percent jump in prices and 5.5 percent gain in sales.

The rankings for Arizona housing markets comes with a bit of tempering. Interest rates are on the rise, and that always works against home sales. reports that its forecast for sales in 2017 is lower for all areas as a result of higher rates. Nationally, it is predicting home sales will tick up 1.9 percent. That compares to a 3 percent forecasted increase for 2016.  That local housing expert mentioned earlier, Tom Ruff of The Information Market, gave his gut check on the report.  After metro Phoenix’s boom and bust, it’s even more important to focus on the facts and ignore the hype. When was telling us metro Phoenix was leading the U.S. for home price increases in 2006, that wasn’t something to cheer. The area’s 50 percent price run up then was sparked by a speculator-led buying spree and bad loans that turned into foreclosures and the crash. Ruff said the forecast isn’t much different from last year, though metro Phoenix didn’t top that one. And he said interest rates are rising because of anticipated wage and job growth. is forecasting interest rates will climb to 4.5 percent next year. Many believe rates climbed from 3.5 percent to 4 percent during the past month was the result of election jitters. — Courtesy of AZCentral


Peoria has 2nd hottest housing sales in metro Phoenix

Peoria has 2nd hottest housing sales in metro Phoenix

A region in north Peoria has the second hottest housing market in the Valley, just behind and ahead of the Phoenix-metro area’s two most well-known luxury communities.

Home buyers in the 85383 ZIP code in north Peoria recorded a combined $766 million in total sales last year, according to Street Scout Home Values, an annual analysis of metro Phoenix’s housing market done with the Information Market.

In comparison, buyers in north Scottsdale spent $983 million in total sales value, while buyers in Paradise Valley spent $693 million.

Three other factors stand out in the north Peoria housing boom:

  • Home sales increased by 22.1 percent in 2015 compared with sales in 2014.
  • The median home price was $317,000, less than half of the median price in north Scottsdale at $675,000 and less than a third of the median price in Paradise Valley at nearly $1.28 million.
  • The median price in north Peoria rose 2.4 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Although north Peoria led, home sales in three other West Valley ZIP codes cracked the Valley’s hottest 20 ZIP codes in total sales value.

  • Buyers in the 85338 ZIP code in the Estrella area of Goodyear, where the median home price was $214,000, recorded a combined $359 million in sales value. That ranked 13th highest across metropolitan Phoenix.
  • Buyers in 85308 in north Glendale, where the median price was $241,000, notched a total of $339 million in sales. That ranked 16th.
  • Buyers in 85395 in the PebbleCreek area of Goodyear, where the median price was $307,000, reached a combined $311 million in sales. That was 20th.

In north Peoria, a driving force to the booming home market is high-end attractions, such as master-planned communities, mountain views and gated neighborhoods, at a variety of price points, said Mark Hammons, vice president and general manager of Vistancia, a master-planned development in the region.

“It just goes to show you that Peoria — the north part of the city — is on the map,” Hammons said. “It’s a great place to live. Peoria provides a great quality of life.”
— Courtesy of The Republic – Paul Giblin