From my corner of the world, it seems there are many buyers out there right now looking for homes. I've received 2 calls from my listing flyer and 4 inquiries this past week primarily from my Point 2 website. I have heard things are going to get worse before they get better but I'm just not seeing it right now.
The current challenge I'm facing here in the northwest Arizona valley is finding nice homes for buyers who qualify for a max of say around $150,000. There are homes out there BUT sorting through the mass of bank-owned and short sale properties is overwhelming at times. The volume of these types of homes is amazing and some times, for the price range, it's all there is available. Most new buyers who fall within this area of qualification do not have the funds for fixer-uppers, and are looking to sellers to assist in getting them into a home.
On a recent tour of homes, it was unbelievable what I had to show a buyer. Sellers are putting their homes on the market "as is" or are just walking away from the home expecting to sell the home without doing any repairs. Quite honestly, some of these homes looked like they should be condemned. I haven't seen anything like it since I toured homes on a HUD list about 20 years ago -- appliances removed, holes in walls, carpet stripped down to the bare concrete, missing gates and fallen fences...maybe an investor's dream but not a buyer, on a limited budget's, dream home.
I have been working more and more with single women who are buying homes. It was recently stated in Realtor Magazine that this is a growing market with married individuals buying homes falling. There again, the single woman wants a home that is move-in ready and they don't want to be burdened with the cost of a fixer-upper.
On the plus side, in this price range, for those 55 and over, there are many homes in the Sun City areas, i.e., Sun City and Sun City Grand, that have been well taken care of, show beautifully, and are move in ready. Many of these homes have been remodeled and have little upkeep in the way of landscape maintenance. These areas have plenty to offer in the way of activities and location, location, location...golf courses abound and nearby Lake Pleasant offers plenty of fishing and boating.
It would be nice to see less and less of the bank-owned and short sale homes on the MLS but unfortunately, with the sub-prime mess, I think this aspect of the market will steadily become worse but, on the positive side, I have heard that with the coming new year, it is going to become easier for buyers with a little lower credit score to be able to qualify for a mortgage loan. This could have a real positive impact on the market as well as help to eliminate the number of bank-owned and short sale properties out there.