The most frequent question I am asked by almost everyone who knows I am a real estate broker is, "How is the market?" Followed by, "so, I hear Arizona is the worst market in the U.S." I routinely recite the statistics that show how Sedona is a vastly different location and market than Phoenix, and how there are actually homes in some areas of Phoenix that have increased in value, (Paradise Valley and Historic Downtown to name a couple.) I find my response doesn't seem to have much of an impact because it is overshadowed by media reports of gloom and doom in the real estate market. In a recent report, the local Sedona newspaper omitted the positive long term local market statistics (105.91% increase from 2001 - 2007) provided by the Sedona-Verde Valley Board of Realtors and under a grim headline, reported only the past year decrease (15.56%) in property values. I also listen to the fears of property owners and potential buyers regarding the advise of well meaning non-realtor friends, relatives or auto mechanics who are self proclaimed experts on every real estate market and buying foreclosures - and who know exactly when the market will "hit bottom" and what the interest rate will be when it does. Last Fall, the Washington Post reported the "Record Breaking Second Quarter Foreclosures" (which was actually only 0.65% of the 44 million mortgages.) They went on to admit, "by some measures, the picture was worse 5 years ago..." Another bright spot? 1/3 of the nations homeowners do not even have a mortgage. Contrary to many ominous headlines, not every property is headed for foreclosure. So how is the market, really? This is a great time to be a real estate buyer.