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"And it has a nice ocean view" promised the brochure. It didn't say that the view was nice if you stood on a barstool and used high powered binoculars. This is the extreme. Thankfully, it's not an everyday occurrence, but it happens more than it should. Every once in a while I'll have a buyer who is pre-sold on the promise of a nice view. When we arrive, the discovery period begins. What happens when the listing agent over-promises and under-delivers in the listing verbiage? If the homeowner is lucky the buyer discovers other things to love. More often than (16 comments)
The Magic Percentage - 09/28/07 05:02 PM
Statistics. They can be twisted almost any which way- can't they? That's why due diligence is so important. It's always good to distill the complicated down to the simple. Which begs the question- is there some simple math that you apply as a starting point to any business venture? Almost everyone knows the 80-20 rule. That is that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. Note: You can switch the parties involved and still call it the 80-20 rule. Isn't that great? Let's talk about other percentages. Percentage for facets of your business. Here are examples: Spend x% (1 comments)
Here are The Valley of the Sun's Hottest Intersections- as chosen at an August 2007 meeting of the Urban Land Institute that drew more than 1,000 people from Arizona's real-estate industry. The experts based their decision upon the following criteria: detailed information on the intersections' developments nearby population traffic counts median incomes zoning and land use. The top three vote getters, in order, were: 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix Scottsdale and Camelback roads in Scottsdale Mill Avenue and the Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe I made a google map of the locations... here it is: Arizona's Hottest (0 comments)
Any fast-population-growth city needs to provide at least three things: sufficient natural resources a place to live a way to earn a living. Arizona's most populated metro areas exist within a desert. Yet there is a vast agricultural network of dairy farms, cotton and corn fields and water in sufficient quantities that California and Nevada come calling for extra H2O. In other words- the natural resources appear to be sufficient. Arizona's year round sunshine makes for an easy place to build homes. The nation's builders are more than happy to build in the area because there are people moving here. (0 comments)
Who is Your Source? - 09/25/07 01:32 PM
It's good to have information ahead of your competition. However, what do you do with this information? In the blogging world we tend to dispense of this information as soon as possible. After all, the market is created by many entities declaring their position in a simultaneous manner. News on the stock market has immediate effect. News in the real estate market? The reaction is much more slow. I've noticed that what I read in the paper is not just yesterday's news... often it's last month's news or editorializing on something that may not have been worthy of mentioning. Here are (2 comments)
Home Seller's Very Short Don't List - 09/24/07 12:56 AM
When it comes to home repair projects that require more that two tools I'm a real "do-it-someone-elser". This is because I've discovered that I often end up with better results- and often at a lower price than my fix-ups. Unfortunately, too many do-it-yourselfers are trying to save a buck when preparing their homes for sale.... and the results are all-too obvious. To clarify: I mostly represent home buyers. I'm not usually in the position to tell people how to sell... this is a job for listing agents. Such agents have a longer list of do's and don'ts. I do take prospective (5 comments)
Questions For The First Time Home Buyer - 09/24/07 12:17 AM
Every buyer is different. Each buyer has specific wants and needs but the first time home buyer will tend to have as many questions as requests. Here are the questions I usually seek to answer for the first time buyer: Do you want a new or existing home? When do you need to move? What places do you need to be near? (School, Work, Family, etc.) After these questions are out of the way, the financial questions need to be answered: What do you hope to spend per month? Do you know your credit score? Are you pre-approved? Do you have (3 comments)
Looking for Credit Repair Specialists - 09/23/07 11:43 PM
I'm already aware that a good mortgage lender is often the best source for helping a client repair credit. Still... the busier lenders don't always have the time necessary to fully assist those who have above average credit repair needs. Knowing that credit repair is a growth industry, I've also seen that there are some less than sterling groups out there. So... this is a call to the rainers. Do you have a credit repair group that you can recommend? Especially... do you have a group that assists those who speak Spanish. Please let me know who you use. (7 comments)
Arizona's Valley of the Sun School Enrollment Changes - 09/23/07 11:27 PM
Most of my out of state clients ask me about the schools. Typically they'll ask "where are the best schools?" This is one of those "eye of the beholder" questions because 'best' usually requires a follow-up. It depends on what you're looking for. Every school has strengths and weaknesses. I'll send them to my website where clients may run in depth comparison of schools. Many valley schools are dealing with the issue of student enrollment. Traditionally Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Scottsdale have been the destination of choice for those who are looking for east valley schools with good student programs. (0 comments)
Queen Creek Addresses Traffic - Meeting the Growth - 09/23/07 10:57 PM
As one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Queen Creek Arizona is addressing their traffic needs through a series of initiatives. Residents can keep track of these projects through the website: http://www.ellsworthlooproad.com/ While the Ellsworth project is ahead of schedule, delays with the railroad underpass could affect traffic for a few months further as explained in this article from the East Valley Tribune which declares "The Ellsworth Loop Road, the largest improvement district in the state, began last October and will route traffic around the heart of downtown Queen Creek on a six-lane road flanked with commercial development." Traffic (0 comments)
For those who are interested in Maricopa County Arizona's southeast valley, here's some recent data to consider, as demonstrated in this article from the Arizona Republic's, Sept. 11, 2007 edition: Chandler, Mesa and the city of Maricopa had more single-family permits taken out for the first half of this year than they did during the same period in 2006. Prices for new homes have dropped into the $130,000s in Maricopa, which will likely entice more buyers. And although Gilbert's permit numbers are down, housing construction remains brisk. This was written (1 comments)
Negative news suppresses prices. Supply goes up as demand goes down. "Buy/Low - Sell/High" is one of the greatest business plans ever formulated.
But here is the question: Can prices go lower? In the residential market many speculators will tell you yes.
In the commercial market the picture is more muddled.
"A record $257.0 billion was invested in commercial real estate in the first seven months of 2007, up from $146.7 billion in same period in (0 comments)
Does anyone know? - 09/18/07 08:15 PM
I know many of you write "Thank You" cards to all your clients. You may even send some to prospective clients. But now a question for those who have graduated from charm school... What's Mr. Bernanke's Address? I'd like to send him this:
... It's because I'm a great admirer of his most recent work.
Large Investors Quietly Building Land Inventories - 09/17/07 09:01 PM
While the media continues to successfully scare many buyers away... or, at a minimum, encourage fence sitting. Large investors are building land portfolios in markets that are glutted with inventory. While some sellers are cash strapped, opportunists are scooping in to buy land at a discount. Their intent is to sit on the land until the market corrects itself.
And so begins the new land grab Agents involved in such deals are keeping a tight lip on this phenomena, acting as strawmen to purchase properties which have a great upside in the not-so distant future. CNN's article "The New Land (3 comments)
Greenspan-Video-Rama - 09/17/07 08:39 PM
Though longer the Fed Chairman- when Alan Greenspan speaks, people still listen. More importantly, markets move. He's been all over the media lately. Here are a few media links: Greenspan on NPR talking about his memoir and his take on the current market. On 60 Minutes Forecasting the economic future video Defending his post fed right to comment video On investing in the current market video On the art of "Fedspeak" video (1 comments)
As we are very much in the midst of a buyer's market, new home builders are finding several strategies to compete. Normally they use an assortment of options and upgrades that can be serve as incentives to entice the buyer. When faced with such a large assortment of incentives and options, buyers are often confused- because most buyers have one question, "What will this house cost?" So... let's forget the different incentives. Let's talk bottom line. (0 comments)
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The Housing Giants - Sortable List of Builders - 09/12/07 07:03 PM
As a buyer's rep whose clients very often desire new builds over existing homes- I'm often asked who the biggest builders are. This is an ever changing list as no one builder "owns" the top seller designation. One builder may sell the most units while another builder garners more revenue. Which builder is biggest? Depends on how you define big.
Wouldn't it be great if you could go to a website and click on column headings that would automatically sort such things? Fortunately there is a link... it's from housingzone.com and here it is, the sortable stats page. Here you'll (0 comments)
Useful Government Websites for Quantitative Data - 09/11/07 02:55 PM
Searching for data? Whereas the search engines may get you where you need to go, very often they provide enough information to send you on a wild goose chase. Here's a collection of links from the folks at Lifehacker that should get closer to pointing you in the right direction: USA.gov is the governments official site. It includes links to: grant information online services (drivers' license renewal, shop government auctions, contact elected officials, etc.) government news, and more. Other Government portals include: FedWorld Students.gov Health.gov New York City Maps Portal GPO Access, part of the U.S. government printing office, include these (2 comments)
Naming your website - 09/11/07 02:28 PM
I have a collection of website names- each one purchased usually on a whim. Most of the sites point back to my original site but at some point I may choose to differentiate the individual sites so that they more closely match the content. Which begs the question: How do you find a web name? One great source is www.bustaname.com ... they allow you to type in word combinations until you find one that is available. Then you're able to purchase the name. The site isn't perfect; sometimes you'll discover the false hope as the available name is already taken. But... (2 comments)
Cost To Rent In Phoenix Metro Area In A Slowdown - 09/11/07 01:16 PM
The East Valley Tribune, which serves readers in the greater Phoenix Arizona market, reports that after two years of escalating apartment rents, relief is in sight for Valley renters, as rentals of single-family homes and failed condo conversions flood the market.
From the second quarter 2002 to the same period in 2004, rents edged up 0.15 percent, said Pete TeKampe, a broker with Marcus & Millichap. During the same period from 2005 through 2007, rents jumped 10.8 percent. This year, growth is expected to slow to 2.5 to 3 percent, he said. The reason is that more supply is coming (0 comments)
What is NewHomes.com ? - 09/10/07 08:31 PM
I'm an agent with New Homes Realty. Were a nationwide assemblage of real estate agents who represent buyers who are looking for new homes. We also help people find land and homes from the existing market. We don't do listings- we only help buyers. This helps us keep a narrow focus on the market.
We make it our duty to identify all the new home builders in our area. Our database is constantly being updates. People are able to search it for elevations and floor plans. We also accompany people to the model homes so that they may be able (0 comments)
Is it proper to pat oneself on the back? I've reached a milestone. I'm now in Arizona's top 100 list of realtors listed in the active rain community- which currently boasts nearly 2,000 agent profiles. I want to thank all those who've made positive comments. I've received some very kind feedback from those who've found my posts informative. Better still- I want to thank those who've posted entries that have made me a better real estate agent. Now... to the next goal... the top 50! Chuck Willman - newhomesaz.com - 480.292.0600 (3 comments)
Mortgage Implosion- Here's the Link - 09/10/07 03:10 PM
In the past month I've had willing buyers who were suddenly less able to buy. Their credit scores were once in the acceptable category but times had changed. In one case the same loan went to underwriting three times in one week. In two cases the lenders shut their doors. The industry shake-up is in full force as many mortgage lenders have tightened requirements, limited their loans to only the most credit worthy or... worse case- shut their doors entirely.
At current count there are over 150 institutions in the latter category. You can read the latest at http://ml-implode.com/ which (2 comments)
Why the renewed interest? It appears that interest rates, after a chain of rising and capping, are poised for a drop. It's anyone's guess what the Fed will do in the coming days but the market is already responding to speculation that rates will fall. Lenders have begun to lower rates in anticipation. New Home builders are sitting on inventory. In some cases (1 comments)
Ahwatukee Arizona- The Buying Window Has Opened - 09/04/07 09:24 PM
Just south of Phoenix and west of Tempe Arizona one will discover the enclave known as Ahwatukee. Nestled amid the "South Mountain" region of the Valley of the Sun, Ahwatukee has become a destination for those who like the look and feel of Paradise Valley and the proximity to the Valley of the Sun's hot spots. Prices in Ahwatukee have steadily risen in recent years. However, with the current housing market in a lull, and the spate of foreclosures Ahwatukee has become more affordable. Although there are few new home listings (vacant land is all but gone) many of the existing (0 comments)
How often have you generated or received a batch of homes listings but wish you had a way to see them on a map? Google Maps has created mapplets that let you overlay a data set onto their maps feature. This is a great way to see where the properties stack up on a map. Just go to maps.google.com and click on the mymaps tab to create a map of your listings. For more information on Arizona properties go to www.newhomesaz.com Chuck Willman - 480.292.0600 (2 comments)
Arizona's Top 25 "Quick Close" New Homes- September Edition - 09/04/07 08:38 PM
New Home Builders have many homes on the market that are in some stage of readiness. These homes will close quicker than a pure new build because the construction process has already begun. These homes tend to come with added builder incentives. I have ranked them by cost per square foot. For information about these new homes or others, please visit www.newhomesaz.com Chuck Willman - 480.292.0600
Growth Project for Chandler, Arizona Airport - 09/04/07 04:34 PM
The Rockefeller development near the Chandler airport will be huge. The Arizona Republic reports that the Rockefeller Group is seeking to rezone 80-acres at the northwest corner of Queen Creek and Gilbert Roads for a large commercial and industrial complex, their first venture into Arizona. Plans filed with the city last week show a cluster of offices, stores, industrial warehouses and restaurants totaling nearly 1 million square feet. Chandler is excited to have new employment in the city. "This project will bring the type of high-paying jobs that are critical to our future," said Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn. Dunn calls the (0 comments)
Arizona- the Greater Phoenix Area Real Estate Market Overview - 09/04/07 02:57 PM
With the nationwide real estate market in flux I'm often asked how Phoenix is doing. Home prices have come down; existing homes remain on the market longer and large builders are weathering an earnings decline storm... resulting in their offering of significant incentives.
Still, there are areas of the country that appear to be outperforming. One of these areas is Maricopa County... which is the fastest growing county in the country. It includes these incorporated cities and towns: Avondale, Buckeye, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, El Mirage, Fountain Hills, Gila Bend, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, (0 comments)
Builder's Lender vs Outside Lender - 09/03/07 06:31 PM
Across the nation new home builders are offering incentives... especially of the buyer uses the builder's lender. In many cases the builder's lender is owned or affiliated with the builder. There was a time when General Motors was losing money on cars- yet they were still profitable. That's because they owned GMAC financing. In other words, the loan was the real money maker. If a lender knows that they're going to make money off of your loan over the next 30 years; or generate additional revenue by selling your new home loan, they may be more inclined to lower the price (0 comments)
Here are some of the circumstances under which a builder may offer such a premium: Builder is approaching close-out. The builder may be ready to deploy the selling agents at a newer community. By offering higher incentives the builder is hoping to close the community sooner and put a quicker end to the associated expenses of running a community. Builder is experiencing slow sales. Higher commissions do bring in more agents. Buying agents need to ask themselves, "am I showing this home because it offers the (0 comments)
Is the Buyer's Agent a Salesman? - 09/03/07 02:38 PM
When showing homes I'll often have a buyer asking me what my incentive is to sell them a house. I'll spend a little time discussing "fiduciary" explaining that my interests are in helping them find the best house for them. Also, when I'm acting as a buyer's agent, I don't consider myself a "salesman" in the tradional terms ... not that I have anything wrong with that term. Here are a few ways I differentiate Seller's Agents and Buyer's Agents: Seller's agents are responsible for providing informations that buyers will need to make an informed home purchase. They will often employ marketing and advertising terms and (2 comments)
New Homes- The New "Fix and Flip" - 09/03/07 01:48 PM
Like many realtors, I noticed an ever-increasing investor interest in purchasing distressed property- fixing it up... and then selling it for a tidy profit. Such activity was white hot up until 2005 where it hit a downturn. In the Phoenix market homes were in such demand that property values were increasing on a daily basis. Then came the downturn. Although homes have not depreciated at the precipitous rate of other areas of the country, investor interest in fix 'n' flip activity has greatly diminished. Some of the more savvy investors have found opportunity in purchasing new homes. Here are items potential (6 comments)
New Home Sales in Arizona - 09/03/07 01:30 PM
Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in America. It includes Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and other smaller cities... collectively the region is called the Valley of the Sun. The neigboring county to the south is Pinal County- the second fastest growing county in the nation. With population growth has come demand for housing. For this reason new home builders have flocked to the area. They offer a competitively priced home... usually far less expensive than a home built in the last few years. Here are some of the advantages of purchasing a new home in the Phoenix (4 comments)
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