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Out of Town Buyers, Lenders … a Phoenix Real Estate Three-Dot Bonanza

Are you looking for a second or vacation home in the Phoenix real estate market and are you going to need financing? Make sure you’ve got at least 20 percent for the down payment and at least another three percent for closing costs (or be prepared to ask the seller for closing cost help.) Had one of my lenders spending the morning looking for a 10 percent option but none currently exist (these did exist as recently as last December.) … The above is subject to change. The same lender, Justin “King of the Blue Shirt” McHood, says the rumor […]

Underwriter Knows Best

Here’s the basic scenario: Buyers find a house. Buyer and seller agree on the price. Appraiser “suggests” a slightly lower price, and buyer and seller agree to agree with the appraiser. (Cue the ominous music) Enter the underwriter, who has determined that only he, while pushing pencils wherever his office happens to be, knows this home’s true value. “This home sold for $83,000 at a trustee’s sale six weeks ago,” he says knowingly. “Therefore, it can’t possibly be worth more than that now since no improvements have been made.” Except improvements have been made. The seller has a stack of […]

Layers Upon Layers of HOA Fees

It’s not uncommon when buying in an active adult community to run into a few extra fees – capital preservation fees, HOA transfer fees, disclosure fees are some of the most common. These fees are negotiable but more often than not fall back on the buyer to pay. But for those buying attached properties – called casitas in areas such as Westbrook Village, there’s an extra layer of fees if, as is likely, the property also is governed by a subassociation. These subassociations are the ones responsible for the smaller outdoor pool in a given area, as well as the […]

Weekend Theme Music – September 26

Sadly, Devils fans … we’re going to hear this damn song a lot today. [youtube: 400 300] Try and enjoy the weekend anyway.

Duck! It’s Phoenix Real Estate Market Stats, Part One

City by city numbers are going to have to wait until tomorrow as the actual business of real estate has kept me hopping the last two days. As for the overall numbers, there are 19,914 single family detached homes for sale in the Phoenix real estate market. The least expensive is, I hope, a typo … otherwise my family will forgo the trip to Applebee’s and write an offer instead. (Somewhere I guarantee you there’s an unsuspecting buyer who saw this online who now is looking for two twentys.) And speaking of absolute silliness … No pictures of the interior […]

Getting Closer to Active Means Active When Searching Phoenix Real Estate

Tired of searching the Phoenix real estate listings and finding homes you like only to discover they’re already under contract? I’m very, very happy to say that with the help of the good folks at Diverse Solutions we have a remedy for you, at least on this and my other websites. No longer do you have to scroll through a couple of dozen “additional details” to see if the seller already has accepted an offer with contingencies; that information has been moved to the top of the screen: Hopefully, this change will help with the confusion that often accompanies an […]

Why I Live in Phoenix and Appreciating the Little Things

When you live in one place for 32-plus years the inevitable question is why … why is it that I have forsaken opportunities to move elsewhere in the country to make Phoenix my home long after I was done with high school and college. Maybe this photograph will help explain: Look above the houses … that was the color of the sky today, which isn’t much different than the color of the sky here most days except that when the season other areas call “fall” rolls around and temperatures drop below 100 degrees, the blue is a little deeper than […]

Backup to a Bank Owned? That and $3 Will Get You a Latte

Of course, if you actually own Confederate dollars and call sell them for current U.S. currency, then maybe you have something. Otherwise, you may as well use worthless paper to pay for an offer that’s in a useless position. Bank owned listing agents, after the lender selects an offer, often tell everyone else that made an offer that theirs will be held as a backup (assuming you get any type of communication at all.) You’re not “the” backup. You’re simply “a” backup. And depending on the lender’s protocol, that may mean nothing at all. Many lenders – Freddie Mac among […]

Buying REOs on Your Own is Much Like Swimming in the Atlantic in a Chum Slathered Suit

Let’s say you decide to purchase a bank owned home and you believe it’s a waste of time to have your own agent; you can call the name on the sign, after all (though the odds of a human answering the phone are about nil) and all real estate agents are about the same. Except … The listing agent represents the seller in the transaction … the lender … not you. So when you receive a piece of dreck like this one from a lender as merciless as the fine folks at Huntington National Bank, you’re completely on your own. […]

Phoenix Real Estate Inventory Update – September 17

Overall inventory crept up while bank inventory fell further in the Arizona Regional MLS this week. There now are 19,801 single-family detached homes for sale in the Phoenix real estate market, from a 1-bedroom, 1-bath Phoenix house available for $10,000 to a 4-bedroom, 9-bath mansion on 5 gated acres for a mere $18,900,000 (reduced from the original list price of $23 million.) Bank owned inventory in Maricopa County fell to just 2,800 units; there are 5,352 short sales and 11,649 non-bank owned, non-short sale homes for sale. Closed sales over the past 30 days rose from last week’s report to […]