Sundance, an Active Adult Community in Buckeye

The day I headed out to take the photos, we had a big dust storm come in.  So this is missing some of our beautiful blue skies.  Sundance is also the name of the all-aged Master Planned community in Buckeye too.  For more information on Sundance, check out ArizonaActiveAdult.com 

Not sure what will grow in Arizona?

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The new 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

The Phoenix valley has been assigned two zones, roughly the area east of 17 and south to the I-10 falls within the 10a zone which has an average minimum winter cold of from 30-35 degrees F, west of 17 the zone is a bit cooler with lows of from 25 to 30 and is designated as zone 9b. 

No posters of the new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map have been printed. But state, regional, and national images of the map can be downloaded and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.

The Sunset magazine has assigned the section of Arizona surrounding the Phoenix valley  a 13 designation, using a range of temperature wider than the USDA scale. We will refer to the Sunset magazine planting times and tips because we receive their information monthly while only annually do we hear from the USDA!  

All of the Arizona zones are subject to extreme temperature variations for short periods, and any home gardener must pay attention to the weatherman and protect plants that are supposed to survive any given temperature either high or low.  

So you want to buy on the Courthouse Steps?

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We just attended a class dealing with Trustee Sales in Arizona, given by a real estate attorney specializing in this portion of the law and a Realtor who is on the steps every day.

We took away a lot of information, but facts that directly apply to you as a buyer are what we will mention here. First the purchase money: you will need a certified check for $10,000.00. That will be verified as you sign up to bid. You will need to make the balance of payment for the property within one business day ! If you fail to make the payment by the end of the following business day after the auction, you lose your $10,000.00 earnest money.

This eliminates all bidders with loans, unless you are to be an investor non-owner occupant and want to deal with one of the unlicensed short term “hard money” lenders at up around 18% with 20-30% down.

The starting bid is stated and it is usually the amount of the first mortgage plus $1.00, but it can change up to the moment of the actual auction. Bids are usually increased by $100 each bid.

Next most important is that you are buying the property totally and completely “as is”. That is the physical as well as the legal condition. You do not get title insurance with the purchase, you may have to evict the current residents. You may have additional liens on the property. You may not have legal title to the property. You may not be able to inspect the property. It may be pristine or it may be destroyed.

There will be bidders representing investors or investment groups who are buying 5 to 100 homes at a time! Definitely the big league.

Incidentally the current (Jan-May 2012) sales numbers show that the winning bids are an average of 31% above the opening bid and 64% of the original loan amount. 80% of the sales are postponed from their original sale date and 60% additionally are postponed on the day of auction! Of those 40% remaining, 56% are purchased by 3rd party buyers.

Our conclusion is that everyone should visit the Courthouse Steps once, just to get a feel for the pace and intricacies of the auction. BUT that to participate as a buyer or as an agent of a buyer is a mistake and could be an expensive mistake. There are Realtors whose only activity is to bid on those steps every day. They have entire teams of professionals working for them, checking bank records, checking with not 1 but 2 title companies, doing Comparable Market Analyses on the property, estimating repairs and establishing a top bid. It is definitely one of those things that we are accepting as “out of our area of expertise” and we will be happy to connect you with confidence with a Realtor whose entire business is centered around Trustee Sales.

CantaMia – a new 55+ retirement community

dreamstime_l_5059099CantaMia is another great example of locating an Active Adult Community within or adjacent to a multigenerational community.   It offers the opportunity for the 55+ family members to enjoy their extensive exclusive Active Adult facilities as well as share the additional recreational activities with their families who live in the Estrella ranch community.   This I think is the best of both worlds.   It is also interesting to see that as families in Estrella grow and reach the empty nest stage, they are purchasing in the adjacent CantaMia!

CantaMia was designed by Engle Homes, but no construction was started. It was saved from bankruptcy by Joseph Carl Builders, who then joined with Avatar homes (AVHI on the NASDAQ) under the name of Vitalia by AV Homes.   The total number of homes when built out will reach 1700, a fairly small community by some standards.   The recreational activities however are equal to those of the much larger communities.  The 29,000 sq ft Village Center has indoor and outdoor pools, a beautifully equipped demonstration kitchen, an excellent variety of exercise and activity centers as well as a mini café and wine bar.  The workout room boasts a cushy bamboo floor and the computer room and fitness center have instructors from Estrella Community College.  The common areas use reclaimed water for irrigation in keeping with their entire energy saving theme.  There are 14 model homes to guide your home choice, with emphasis being on their Green building techniques.  Check the current prices on our website.  The builder is a member of the Environments For Living, and is a Green Certified Builder.  The homes have been tested for efficient use of utilities and are awarded very high scores. All homes include solar as an energy source.    In keeping with the Green living, the exercise, cooking and activity programs are designed to encourage healthy life choices.  CantaMia’s Sierra Estrella Mountain views and many lakes provide a tranquil and relaxing setting in which to enjoy your healthy retirement.

CantaMia, an Arizona Active Adult Community

I recently visited CantaMia and discovered this jewel in the Estrella Mtns

Market Update – May

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If you read the real estate news in your newspaper, any day now you will be reading that the real estate market has turned!   UP for a change. 

The right numbers are positive and the right numbers are negative….what I mean is the Sales prices are up.

 Really good news is that the percent of sales to list price is  98.3%.    The “make a low ball offer” period is over.  The lender owned homes are selling with multiple offers, almost to the point of bidding wars.   The number of “conventional seller owned” homes are up.

The right negative numbers are for inventory. The number of lender owned and distressed properties is way down.   Our inventory is very low, actually 47% lower than it was first quarter last year! With a total number close to 13,000.  April’s closings were 8400 The month supply is rated at about 1.5 months !    There are 20,500 sales shown as pending and Active with Contingencies. 

The Active Adult 55+ market presently has 2131 homes for sale with 898 sold in April, another 920 pending  and a current supply of 2.3 months.

These numbers are being repeated in select cities across the country, not just the Phoenix Valley of the Sun. 

To make things even better in the real estate world, the interest rates for the conventional 30 year mortgage  are hovering around the 4% level.

 

The Phoenix area 55+ Community Housing Report

Happy Senior Couple Outside Cooking on A Summer Barbecue

Real estate sales in Phoenix and the 55+ Active Adult Community sales see-saw into

a  seller’s market at last.

A lot is being said by the Realtors and is about to be said by the media regarding the surge in home sales and lack of inventory in Phoenix, creating a seller’s market and an increase in home prices.  

The 55+ Active Adult market is not far behind.   Because of the more conservative  nature of the buyers the availability of distressed properties is lower.   The recent numbers are showing that today’s 55+ market has 2 ½ months supply of homes vs. just less than 2 months for the all over valley market.

Total Active listings of 55+ Active Adult homes on the market = 2,648
Total Listings closed in March of Active Adult homes =  1,056
Leaving a 2 ½ month supply of homes for sale.

Right now on the 10th of April there are 917 homes in the Active Adult Communities scheduled to close in April, so we may presume we will close again in the 1,000+ range.

The distressed property numbers show 75 active listings that are bank owned and 71 that are short sales.   That is 5.4% of the total number of active listings, as compared to  Phoenix home listings which show distressed properties as 17% of the total active listings. This is in alignment with the more conservative investing nature of the 55+ buyers.

Phoenix Real Estate Market Report – What’s happening now!

The Phoenix housing market is changing once again.  Last month there were 8,867 homes that sold in our MLS.  There are just shy of 14,000 properties on the market a this very moment.  Divide the sold’s into the current listings and you can see we have less than a 2 month supply of homes available.  A normal market is considered 5-7 months supply.

If you have trouble viewing this video, please click here…. Phoenix Real Estate Market Report 

They say it is not a Real Estate Tax

Adult students working together in a libraryI wanted to get this notice we  received from the National Association of Realtors out to all our blog friends.   This is the information and examples about the new 3.8% tax and how it affects real estate sales.  This tax is a part of the Obama Healthcare Bill.  It will be interesting to see if and what the Supreme Court upholds.   They say it is not a Real Estate Tax, because it does not remove the $250k and $500k deductions on the profit from the sale of your home, but applies to the profits after those deductions are taken and applies only to individuals over a certain income. It will apply to certain other incomes and capital gains.   I suggest you discuss it with your accountant or tax advisor.    The National Association, the Arizona Association  and the local Realtors are opposed to this tax, but our disapproval went unheeded.

Arizona Regional MLS 2011 Stats

Best friendsIt is a pleasure to be able to share some positive real estate statistics as we begin 2012. Although our main interest area, Active Adults, is not featured in the statistics gathering, it is closely related.  The indications are that selling your home in 2012 will be faster and ever so slightly more profitable.  That is encouraging as many of our clients have delayed their retirement move to Arizona based on the lagging prices and sales all over the country.  We should be seeing sold signs planted with the spring flowers!

Click here to read the Arizona Regional MLS report