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Friday Afternoon Theme Music – February 27

With Cactus League spring training in full swing, how could we possibly go any other direction with this one? Personally, I’m heading out in a few to catch the Texas Rangers playing the Chicago Cubs. For those who recall I do a little bit of work as a free-lance sportswriter, this is one of those gigs. Not bad work if you can get it. Get your SPF30, grab a lawn seat somewhere and enjoy the games … [youtube: 400 300]

Looking for Retirement Real Estate in Phoenix? Digest the Case Shiller Index With a Healthy Dose of Salt

For those who missed the news earlier in the week, the Phoenix real estate market has the dubious distinction of leading the nation with a 34 percent decline in home prices during the fourth quarter of 2008 according to the Case-Shiller index. It’s news that is absolutely relevant and largely irrelevant all at the same time, depending on what exactly you happen to be searching for. For instance, check out the median price chart for Scottsdale courtesy of Altos Research: Granted, Scottsdale is but one city inside the larger Phoenix real estate market (and also one of the more expensive […]

Phoenix Real Estate Inventory Update – February 24

My apologies for not providing an inventory update but, as at least my mother has been able to surmise, it’s been a very busy week. I want to share with you two numbers … 2.07 and 3.61. The first is the absorption rate for bank owned homes in the city of El Mirage, which more or less is the West Valley’s ground zero for REO properties. Of the 103 sales in El Mirage over the past 30 days, all but nine of them were of bank owned homes. It’s the bulk of what’s for sale – just over half of […]

When Agents Don’t Know What Every Seller Should

I’m going to blatantly steal and idea from Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live for a special edition of a segment they/I call “Really?” Really? You’re a licensed, theoretically professional real estate agent and you don’t answer the phone when your listing specifically says to call you to arrange  a showing on a home? And wait, this is your home? With its own home office and you still can’t answer the phone? Really? And when someone decides to pull a Farragut and damn the torpedoes, even though you let the agent and his clients in, you opt to huddle in […]

Canada Versus the United States

My good friend “Sheila” sent me this one a couple of weeks back; didn’t have a chance to do anything with it then but now that it’s late and I haven’t posted and I’m out of good ideas thanks to the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack echoing in my head, I thought I’d share with you. From Newsweek … The Canadian Solution. One tidbit I found interesting: So what accounts for the genius of the Canadians? Common sense. Over the past 15 years, as the United States and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries, the Canadians refused to follow suit, seeing […]

Quick Notes on Phoenix Bank Owned Homes

Another day, another several hours spent touring the Phoenix real estate market’s bank owned homes. I do this for a living and see these homes all the time and continue to be either amazed, amused or disgusted … I only can imagine what those unrepresented buyers who are trying to do this alone must be thinking. In any event, at the end of another 12-hour day, here are some random thoughts: 1) It’s really neat that some agents have started asking for agent IDs when giving out the lockbox codes for the REO properties they have listed as an extra […]

A New Approach for Phoenix Single Property Real Estate Websites

For the past couple of years, all of my listings have received a single property page with photos and other information. This always has been one page of this website and it seemed to fit the bill as far as the search engines and visitors to this site was concerned. But I wasn’t really thrilled with the result. I’d decided a while back to change the approach and only needed the right listing to put together a separate website dedicated to just one home. It’s not necessarily a novel idea but it’s a different direction for the dog and me. […]

A Tale of Two Phoenix Short Sales

This afternoon and evening I wrote a pair of offers on short sales here in the Phoenix real estate market. A short sale, for those not in the know, is a sale where the seller owes more to the lender than the current value of the home. For instance, if the seller owes $300,000 but the current market value only is $220,000, the only way to sell would be via short sale, with the lender agreeing to write off the difference between the full mortgage and the current market value. One offer was written on an “approved” short sale – […]

Friday Afternoon Theme Music – February 20

Took a little while but the shooter on this one figured out how to work the zoom feature. Just be a little patient. After a week like this, patience is a good thing. So are guitars and tiki bars, now that I think of it … All of my buyers have decided to come to the Valley simultaneously, which isn’t a bad thing, just a tiring one. It could be worse … I could be trying to sell seats to a workshop because I can’t sell real estate all that well. That’ll be the day … [youtube: 400 300]

Can Obama’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan Help Phoenix Real Estate?

Once my mother calmed down about President Obama’s change of route on Tuesday, she asked what more or less is the pressing question regarding the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan … is this going to help? As I’ve said over the last couple of days, the parameters of the plan make it unlikely that it will have any sweeping impact on the Phoenix real estate market. In some of the harder hit areas homeowners are far more under water than what this plan is ready to handle. The end result is a limited pool of homeowners who can benefit, refinance […]