Last year buyers enjoyed a real estate buffet that served a combination of foreclosures/REO’s, short sales, or normal/traditional sales at historically low prices. The inital buyer consultation included an explanation of the in’s and out’s of each. Frustrated sellers knew they were competing with distressed sale pricing as they tried to obtain the highest price for their traditional sale that had seen years of declining value. It was common for most valley cities to have a majority of the sales to be distressed foreclosure or short sale transactions. Distressed sales as a percentage of total sales were above 80% for a couple of Phoenix valley cities! It was the exeception for a city to have less than 50% of total as distressed sales. The chart on the left shows the percentage of sales by each category for May 2011 for each valley city. As you know things change in real estate, so read on to see what has happened since last year.
Gilbert is known for many things. A safe community with a family friendly atmosphere. A great place to raise children with a high quality of life. A growing community with highly rated schools. Good freeway access to Phoenix and surrounding areas. Affordable homes including waterfront and lake communities and award winning hospitals. All in all, Gilbert is one of the most desireable towns in the Phoenix valley. For a sample of some of the things that make Gilbert such a popluar community, read on.
Phoenix Arizona Short Sales and “upside down” homes.
Short sales in Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler,Queen Creek, Scottsdale and all across the valley are taking center stage as they have become the topic of any Az real estate discussion. Many a buyer or seller that has been through a short sale transaction will undoubtedly compare it to high drama movie because of the highs and lows, a soap opera because it never ends or a nightmare due to all of the above. These discussions will continue with home prices at current levels. According to an article in the Phoenix Business Journal, First American CoreLogic Inc., estimates that 51% of the mortgaged properties in Arizona are “upside down”, also described as having negative equity, because the balance on the mortgage is more than the market value of the home. This is confirmed by the fact that in most Phoenix area towns and communities, distressed sales account for 50 – 75% of the monthly home sales. Therefore, many homeowners will need to become well informed of the various aspects of a short sale when a situation arises and they need to sell. The following are important points that must be considered:
The typical growth pattern in Phoenix Arizona is the following: the residential homes are constructed, the developers watch the population increase until the critical number to sustain grocery stores and retail establishments is reached. Then we cross our fingers and hope that road construction catches up. A longer leadtime but very important infrastructure component is the addition of hospitals to meet the healthcare demands of the growing community. The east valley has seen the addition of 4 major hospitals open their doors to the public in the last 4 years. The Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, pictured above opened in June 2006, Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa opened July 2007, Banner Gateway in Gilbert opened Sept. 2007, and Banner Ironwood in Pinal County is scheduled to open in November of 2010, even though construction was finished Fall of 2009.
Chandler and Gilbert Average Prices for Sold Homes in 2008 & 2009.
I heard a saying that accurately describes our current media. It is credited to Mark Twain, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed”. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same! This description also applies to those 5 second sound bites regarding real estate in Arizona. I feel more comfortable when I can see the data and draw my own conclusions. It is an oft used phrase but all real estate is local so what applies to the country does not necessarily apply to our corner of the state. Here’s a local look at two desirable cities in the Phoenix area, Gilbert and Chandler.
When you’re out in the east valley, and looking for a way to reward yourself, be sure and stop in at Joe’s Farm Grill for breakfast, lunch or dinner between 7 a.m – 9 p.m. Since Joe’s Farm Grill and Joe’s Real BBQ are both owned by Joe Johnston, the ribs and BBQ are done right. Check the menu. I was in a nearby community taking a video for an out of state client and finished up around luch time. My wife had been to Joe’s Farm Grill with some friends and spoke highly of their BBQ chicken pizza, as well as the sweet potato fries, so that was the endorsement (excuse) I needed to stop in and check it out for myself. Glad I did. I came away with the same conclusion as many others, including the Zagat Survey, Phoenix Magagzine, and Gilbert Times. Continue reading “Best burgers in the east valley – Joe’s Farm Grill of course!”
Award winning dog park in Gilbert
I’ve driven by it many times and knew it was a dog park, but I never realized how impressive it was until I visited Cosmo dog park with our two dogs, my 11 year old son and his friend. What I thought would be a 20 minute stay quickly turned into an enjoyable hour watching our two small dogs run un-leashed in the fenced enclosures and remind us how afraid of the water they are. The dog in the picture is not either one of them. Here’s a quick video of a water loving dog
Ice Skating in the Desert
What are your chances of finding an ice skating rink in Phoenix? Probably the same odds as the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, but they both came true. Polar Ice has facilities in Gilbert, Chandler and Peoria that offer public skating and hockey leagues. Since only a fraction of the population is from Arizona; the midwest transplants from Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc. now have a new bounce to their step.
In the November 10, 2008 issue Business Week recognized Gilbert as one of the top places in Arizona to raise children. Obviously, they have their rating system which produced Gilbert as their top pick and makes parents in other towns & cities cry foul. Knowing the valley pretty well I reflected on the different qualities of each town and instead of questioning their choice, I tried to build a list in my mind of why I would support Gilbert a top choice, even if it was not number 1.