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Phoenix Residential Market Report ~ July 2016

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Average Days on Market_Monthly

Active vs Sold Transactions

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The current real time market profile shows there were approximately 9,041 new listings (down 893 listings from last month) on the market in July 2016 and 7,769 sold transactions. Since the beginning of the year the number of new listings has exceeded the number of sold transactions by +16.4% but the overall inventory of homes on the market is down -16.4% as compared to the number of home on the marker in July 2014. Current demand is equivalent to demand for housing experienced in July 2015 but this year the lower inventory of homes on the market home prices will allow prices to appreciate at a faster rate.

In July 2016 the average sold price took a steep dive south as well as the number of sold transactions. This could be the formation of a new trend due to upcoming presidential election or it could just be caused by the lack of buying due to buyers taking summer vacations. Last year’s summer buying season was weak where we saw prices decrease from June to September. This month buyers demand is down by 1,208 transactions but the overall average days on market is still low which is good news the month of July was just a slow month in the market. Since August 2015 (12 months ago), the average sold price has increased approximately +4.5% (down from last month), the average days on market have decreased approximately -4.0% (down from last month) and the number of sold transactions have increased approximately +9.6% (down from last month).

The volume of foreclosure purchases since August 2015 (12 months ago) has decreased approximately -22.0% and the volume of short sales decreased of approximately -32.0%. Since November 2014 the volume of foreclosure purchases went up and now the trend is back down once again. Also, since August 2013 the volume of short sale purchases have decreased -474.8% because the inventory of homes “up-side-down” have been exhausted and values have risen to a point where consumers can break-even or sell with some equity but some homeowners are still up-side-down depending if they purchased their homes between 2005 and 2007.

Since August 2015 (12 months ago), the number of homes for sale on the market have increased approximately +4.7% or 21,487 homes for sale on the market to a gradual increase of 22,504 homes. The total number of listings is low as compared to 28,776 listings in May 2014. This decrease in the number of homes for sale indicates we are currently in a seller’s market (low supply and increased demand).

Real estate prices are still relatively low (near 2008 prices), mortgage rates are still at a historical low and the macroeconomic market is improving both in terms of prices and the overall economy. Give us a call to discuss your best buying or selling strategy, TODAY!!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

6 SMART UPDATES TO MAKE TO YOUR BATHROOM

The idea of renovating your bathroom can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to knock down walls or gut the whole thing to make it feel new again. Making smart updates can get you closer to the look you want without the big budget, or the big hassle.

“You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value,” said houselogic. “Wake up! You can have both.”

Here are a few places to start.

1. A new showerhead

This is one of our favorite ways to freshen up a bathroom because a new showerhead is: A) inexpensive, even for one that provides multiple heads and functions; B) an easy way to make your shower more enjoyable if you’ve been dealing with an old showerhead that doesn’t provide massage or handheld options; and C) also a money saver since new showerheads are more energy-efficient.

2. Soaker tub

Soaker tubs are the hottest trend in bathrooms right now, and it’s getting to the point where anything else makes your bathroom look outdated. Have one of those giant Jacuzzi tubs in your bathroom? It’s probably time to yank it out, especially if your jets stopped working long ago. The bonus of a freestanding tub is it can also make your bathroom feel airier and more spacious.

Bathroom Update

3. Walk-in shower

Your dinky shower with the tired tile and the metal trim isn’t fooling anyone. You don’t have to tear the whole thing down (but, if you can, by all means!) Removing the tile and replacing it with something more current can do wonders, especially if you’re going from something dark and cave-like to a choice that’s light, bright, and reflective. A seamless glass enclosure can give the shower a more expansive and current look with minimal work.

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4. A smaller mirror

Sounds funny to be think about replacing your large mirror with something smaller, right? After all, it’s a bathroom. But if you’ve toured a model home lately or watched a bathroom be remodeled on HGTV, you’ve probably seen this swap. Taking down your full-width mirror and replacing it with something more tailored to the size of your vanity will instantly give the bathroom a lift. Have two sinks? Get two smaller mirrors. And make sure they’re framed out. A plain slab of mirror is just…plain.

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5. New lighting

Those cheap builder lights are making your bathroom look DATED! Some of them are so bad they can make an otherwise stylish bathroom look not so great. Replacing the lights is easy (and inexpensive!). Just make sure to get your mirror situation figured out first so you know what width your lighting should be. A light fixture that’s wider that the mirror is going to make everything look off.

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6. Vanity overhaul

There are several ways to make an old vanity/sink combo look more customized and more updated. Changing out the faucets, painting the cabinets, and adding hardware can work wonders. But if the cabinet door or drawers aren’t in good shape, if the sink shape is just too dated, or if you just want to rip the whole thing out and dump it on the lawn, it might be time for something new.

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If you are going to replace your vanity, take a look at floating versions—a hot look today that that’s also great for a smaller space because it keeps the eye moving.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Home Staging Ideas for the Kitchen to Make Buyers Bite

If you’re selling your house, staging—the mysterious practice by which you prep and prettify your home before its debut—can make a huge difference in catching the attention of buyers and ultimately reeling in an offer. And the room you’ll really want to focus on here is the kitchen: After all, it’s the crown jewel that buyers ooh and ahh over—except when the counters are packed with stacks of mail, near-empty boxes of Froot Loops, and a hulking Cuisinart you rarely use.

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To make sure this critical area is perfectly poised to woo buyers, try these home staging ideas for your kitchen and get some offers cooking.

Clear Off Counters

Put it away—put it all away. We’re looking at you, coffee maker, blender, knife block, standing mixer, and toaster oven. “And don’t forget the top of the refrigerator,” says Amy Bell, a home staging expert at Red Chair Home Interiors in Cary, NC. Home staging in this room is all about making your kitchen look bigger, cleaner, and more streamlined. “Homeowners are so accustomed to their own clutter that it almost becomes invisible to them,” she warns.

And while you’re in purge mode, remove every bit of paper and those souvenir magnets from the refrigerator and cabinets. The only thing you should keep on the counter is a pop of color, such as a pretty bowl of bright green apples or lemons, says Katie McCann, an organizing coach at Maeve’s Method.

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Scour for hours

Well, no one’s actually logging the time spent, but cleanliness is critical here. “Not only must you clean the counter tops, but the grout, faucet, and grimy drain rim, too,”.

Try CLR (calcium, lime, and rust remover) on the faucet to make sure water flows through it smoothly. Clean cabinet fronts to remove dust and grime, and scrub greasy spatters on the stove and backsplash with a vinegar-water solution.

“And if you have a stovetop with burns or food rings, remove them with a soft soap product and a razor blade—it’ll look almost like new,”.

Light it right

Let as much natural light into the space as you can, by either opening heavy drapes or replacing them with sheer panels. Have a kitchen that looks out to a patio or deck through glass doors? These must sparkle in order to illuminate the space. “And if you don’t have under-cabinet lights—get them,” recommends Halpin. You can purchase battery-powered puck-shaped lights for very little money and stick them under the cabinets (it adds that extra glow that every cook covets).

Jack Menashe, a designer and home stager at Menashe Design in New York City, likes minimal window treatments (like just a valance along the top) when showcasing a kitchen as natural light makes the space feel bigger. “A patterned valance invites the buyer to see the window and allows me a chance to add color,” he says.

Organize the insides

Potential buyers are going to open the fridge and pantry, so don’t neglect these spots when you’re staging the kitchen. “People who are looking for a new home will imagine how their pots, pans, and food items might fit into your cabinets,” explains McCann.

“Sometimes I stack cookbooks and display clear storage containers because these elements speak to the kitchen’s function, and clear containers take up less space visually,” says Menashe.

Set the scene

Some experts recommend setting the table with colorful plates and napkins to give the kitchen a homey feel.

“I may present a picture of daily life by having a unique planter on the countertop with blooming flowers alongside a carafe of orange juice for color and a rolled-up newspaper,” says Menashe. Or, place a simple runner down the middle of the table for a bit of coverage and texture.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

New Tech All Homes Will Have By 2020

New technologies are constantly emerging, rendering others obsolete every day. Many of these technologies eventually enter into our homes after being used in businesses or other capacities throughout the world first. Once they show themselves to be useful, people incorporate them into their everyday lives. Here are some technologies that every home will have by 2020.

Light-Transmissive Flooring

LED light emitting flooring can provide safety, informational, and decorational benefits. It can help guide people around the house, leading to exits and safety routes in case of an emergency. It can also enhance the atmosphere of the house, due to the fact that various colors can be used in the floors.

Light transmissive carpet is designed to directly engage with people’s vision and natural tendency to seek light. LED carpeting is conducive with the natural habit of being guided by the floor while moving. This new convenience can keep people from having to find a source of light during the night in order to navigate through their house.

Smart Home Theater

As smartphones are now the norm, smart devices throughout the homes are now expected. In a smart home, all electronic devices and gadgets are able to connect with each other and to the home network to work in unison.

Home theaters will play a large role in a smart home’s function, as they will be able to replace sound systems in TVs and gaming consoles, offering a more surround-sound experience. Lessening the number of electronics people need to invest in and having everything done with only a few gadgets is a very attractive concept to people.

Gesture Control

This is the closest that technology seems to be headed in the arena of superpowers. PointSwitch technology, which is already used in businesses, allows the user to control their surroundings with just the point of a finger. You can turn on and off electronics, lamps, alarms, and anything else without having to actually get up and press a button. This works by creating a transparent and touch-friendly space around the user, but at a distance. This will make anything as easy as a point of the finger.

New Tech

Smart Windows

We will soon be able to bid farewell to the high costs of heating and cooling our homes. With smart windows, it’s possible to turn the glass from translucent to opague by simply turning a switch or touching a button. Aside from aesthetic purposes, this will also eliminate the need for curtains or window shades. The convenience of smart windows will likely spread throughout homes, saving people money and time as the sunlight changes throughout the day.

Fingerprint Unlocking

If you are like many people, you often lose your keys. Keys will likely become a thing of the past as the fingerprint will now be the new way to unlock homes and cars. While keys can be copied or stolen, fingerprints cannot, so it adds an extra level of security. The registered fingerprints will be easily manageable, letting people adjust who has access to their house at any time.

Communication with Appliances

Perhaps you have been out of town for a while and want to check on the house. You will soon be able to send messages to your house to check on the temperature, activity, and anything going on around it. You may also be able to converse with your appliances, such as your refrigerator, while in the grocery store if you have forgotten your list. Pre-heating ovens can also be done when communicating with appliances, making time less of an issue in the evenings.

By the time 2020 rolls around, many new technologies that are emerging today will be old news. The final goal for new technologies is always convenience for the consumer and aiding in making life a bit more easy.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Eight Of The Biggest Home Buyer Turnoffs

Sellers in hot real-estate markets — where there’s not enough for-sale inventory for the number of people who want to buy — may not feel compelled to spend money to stage their whole house. And they may not need to, given the reduced competition.

But they still should do the minimum: Keep the house free of common issues that send prospective buyers running for the doors.

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“Bidding wars happen for perfectly-located homes that show like museums,” he said. “When your house is on the market, you have to be living on egg shells—you have a month or two of being tidy.”

The payoff of an always-neat home: You’re more likely to get a higher price.

Decluttering, depersonalizing and painting rooms in neutral colors are always smart moves when prepping a house for sale. But if you do nothing else, steer clear of the following buyer turnoffs before allowing a prospective buyer to walk through your home.

Pets and Their Things
Nobody wants to see a dirty kitty litter box or a dog bone on the sofa. And as best you can, get rid of lingering pet smells. (Cat urine on the carpet, is one of the hardest smells to remove. Even worse, sometimes it can seep into the hardwood floors below.)

“The most offensive odor is animals, and you can plug in, light up and spray all you want,” but it won’t completely cover up the smell, said real-estate agent Heather Lamp, based in Fort Mill, S.C. She recently wrote a blog post about issues that most annoy buyers when walking through homes.

Pets should be out of the house during showings. If possible, it’s easier to have a friend or relative watch your dog or cat during the entire time your home is on the market, Lamp said.

Bright Walls
You don’t have to paint the whole house, but rooms with bright or unique colors or wallpaper should be covered with something more neutral.

Toys and Baby Supplies
Other parents will understand how difficult it is to keep a home tidy with kids in the house. But not all potential buyers will be parents. Make sure all toys have a home in a toy chest or closet.

If you have a newborn, dirty diapers need to be taken out and breast pumps should be out of sight. Dirty bottles and breast milk shouldn’t be left out; buyers may get the impression that the home isn’t sanitary, DeSimone said. In fact, store the clean bottles, too, and don’t leave them on a drying rack near the sink. Give yourself a good 20 minutes to pack up baby items before a showing, he said.

Cooking Smells
The second most offensive smell, in Lamp’s book: Cooking smells.

Strong spices, bacon, onions—they all tend to linger long after the meal is over, she said. To diffuse them, leave a window slightly cracked while cooking. After you’re done with the meal, boil some cinnamon in water to freshen up the house. Plug-ins and sprays can make the problem even worse for people who are sensitive to smells—or allergic to the fresheners, she said.

One buyer Lamp was working with didn’t get two feet in the door before she turned around, due to the smell of strong spices. Another time, the buyer left after smelling incense burning.

Cigarette Smoke
For many, the smell of cigarette smoke throughout a home is a deal breaker, and a reason to hasten a walk through. “If you’re a smoker, seriously, get the whole house painted,” he said.

Dirty Dishes, Cluttered Counters
No buyer will want to see last night’s spaghetti stuck to plates in the sink. That’s a given. But clutter on the counters, from the coffee maker to the toaster oven, also will be a distraction, making counter space look smaller and your kitchen, in general, looking messy.

DeSimone’s advice: Create a special drawer or cabinet for things that you use on a regular basis, but need to be stashed away. That will help you quickly find a place for them each day.

Messy Bathrooms
Women, in particular, clutter bathrooms with makeup, perfumes and other grooming items, Lamp said. Store everything under the counter. And make sure the hair is out of the tub and the toothpaste smears are wiped out of the sink, Lamp said.

“I don’t know how people live like this,” or “I thought I was a mess, and now I feel like I have obsessive compulsive disorder,” are a couple of comments Lamp has heard clients utter when walking through messy bathrooms. Sometimes, through body language with their significant others, such as a nod or a raise of the eyebrows, she can sense their disapproval.

Dirty Toilets
Keep a clean (and flushed!) toilet and always keep the lid down. Enough said.

The flip side of all of the above: If you’re a buyer and can overlook some of these seller faux pas in a home, you might get a better deal. So while some buyers will be disgusted enough to cross a problematic home off their list, others will see the opportunity of a diamond in the rough.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Should You CoSign On Your Kid’s Mortgage? The Crucial Questions To Ask Yourself

If your child is looking to buy a house and can’t qualify on their own, you may have thought about consigning on a loan. “It can be a brutal world out there, and you want to help someone you care about. That’s a perfectly reasonable argument,” said US News.

But have you examined the potential consequences of this action? Your good intentions could end up costing you, so you might want to ask yourself a few key questions before you sit down at the closing table.

What’s the plan?

It’s a good idea to examine the goals here – both yours and the recipient of your kindness. Is this house a long-term investment that will be on your credit for a long time? A short-term thing that’s only intended to help establish credit for your child? A moneymaking venture that could pay off for both of you after you flip the house? Knowing the plan can help you make the best decision.

Is your child responsible?

What have you observed about your son or daughter’s financial responsibility. Do they have a lot of outstanding credit they’re not managing well? Do they regularly borrow money without paying it back? Do they buy a lot of unnecessary items instead of being more prudent with their money and establishing some solid savings? These could all be red flags.

What is your financial commitment?

If your child needs a cosigner, does that also mean they need help with the down payment? If your money is going to be tied up in this home purchase, you’ll want to establish ground rules from the beginning. Is it a gift or a loan? If it’s a loan, what are the terms? What if he or she defaults? If your name is on the mortgage, the responsibility to pay may fall to you.

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How important is your credit to you?

Your credit is going to take a bit of a hit with the addition of a new mortgage.

“The loan appears on your credit report, and the monthly loan payment factors into your debt-to-income ratio – regardless of whether the primary applicant makes the payment each month. Because you’re liable for this balance in the event of default, being a cosigner can decrease your ability to get new credit,” said Money Crashers. “But this isn’t the only consequence of a higher debt-to-income ratio. Cosigning a loan can also lower your credit score because the amounts you owe makes up 30% of your FICO score. Thus, the more debt you have, the lower your credit score. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be no higher than 36%, as your credit score will drop as your debt approaches or exceeds this percentage.” But the real danger is, again, in the possibility of your child defaulting on the loan.

“The bank wants to have someone on the hook in case a loan is not repaid; if you cosign a loan, you’re that person who is on the hook,” said GO Banking Rates. “So if your child doesn’t make his loan payments, you will be expected to do so – or risk suffering the impact of a defaulted loan on your credit score.”

Will two mortgages be a hardship?

Cosigning for a loved one could prevent you from doing the things you want to do, like buying a new house for yourself, refinancing, or even buying a car. “One potential downside for parents is that the mortgage will show up on their credit as an outstanding loan obligation, which could complicate refinancing or buying another home in the future,” said US News.

There may also be additional impacts to your finances you hadn’t considered. “You should consult a financial advisor first to make sure you can comfortably afford to help without jeopardizing your financial security,” they said. “You may also want to consult your tax preparer about potential tax implications, and, depending on the circumstances, ask a lawyer how to structure the legal paperwork in case your child divorces a spouse or defaults on the loan. Nobody plans on things going awry with real estate transactions, but it can happen, so it’s best to be prepared.”

How’s your relationship?

“Another important risk to consider with a cosigned loan is the effect it could have on your relationship with your child,” said GO Banking Rates. “Animosity can result from late payments or, even worse, defaulting on the loan.”

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What’s your goal?

If you’re simply looking to lend a hand, well, first of all, that’s super nice of you. Homeownership is still the American dream, and helping someone else’s come true is awesome. But, is putting your credit at risk really the best plan?

There may be much better ways to help, like:

Gift a down payment – just make sure you know the tax implications.

Put the house in your name and rent it to your child – if you have the financial wherewithal and the goal is simply to provide a safe place to live, this might be a better solution. You can always pass the home along at the later date by providing seller financing.

If you choose to go ahead with cosigning, take precautions. There are steps you can take to help protect yourself, like using the tools provided by the lender to set up alert when payments are due, overdue, and when they’re posted, and setting up direct debit so payments are automatically made at the same time every month.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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