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The Housing Market in 2019, and what it Means for Arizonians

by Karen Picarello

If you are thinking about buying a house in the near future, the markets may scare you. Quick perusals of the internet reveal homes being swept up by cash buyers and interest rates rising. Millennials are reported to be opting for rentals instead of mortgages. 2019 is not supposed to be the best year for the housing market, but these trends are location-specific. Arizona seems to be going against these trends.

Trulia has named Phoenix as a top housing market to watch this year. This is based on job growth, house vacancies, affordability of starter homes, inbound Trulia searches compared to outbound, and population under the age of 35. What this means is that Arizonians, at least in the Phoenix area, stand a chance at affording a home without cash on hand.

It also means there is a healthy selling and purchasing balance. There is not an enormity of homes on the market where the supply is outweighing demand, but there are enough homes on the market to give potential home buyers options. This means that it is a healthy market for both buyers and sellers. There is also not a scarcity of houses, which means that people won’t always be outbid by cash buyers.

The housing market is definitely volatile, and expert predictions yield conflicting views that amount to confusion for home buyers and sellers. In some reports, the housing market may crash, and in others, it is going to boom. How can anyone make sense of the conflicting info?

Well, one thing is certain. Millennials have largely opted for rentals instead of taking on large debt. They have seen their parents and the rest of the nation take on debt unsuccessfully, and they aren’t about to travel down the same road. However, millennials are getting older. This tends to lead to more stability and the want for long-term investment options such as real estate. It also tends to lead to higher wages that can sustain a house payment.

When millennials start to buy more homes, prices will rise because demand will increase. It’s simple economics. If you are looking to buy a home, now may be the time (barring any major changes in interest rates) whether you are a millennial or any other generation.  The housing market ebbs and flows, and timing is everything. More buyers on the market is a good thing for sellers, but more houses on the market is a good thing for buyers.

Take your pick, but timing is everything when it comes to gauging the housing market in 2019.

Home Staging Basics

by Karen Picarello

If you are selling your home and want to attract the highest number of buyers, you need to work on your staging. Staging is how you present your home. It involves making the home look presentable in a way that appeals to most people. This is not the time for eccentricities. You are appealing to the masses. Here are a few tips:

5 Home Staging Basics:

1. No Clutter

If your house is cluttered, it will look uncomfortable and cramped. Even a pair of shoes left beside the couch will give the subliminal message that there isn’t enough storage space in the home. More importantly, clutter looks like things haven’t been maintained. A house that hasn’t been maintained may be hiding many repairs under all the clutter.

2. Neutral Walls

Accent walls are a popular fad, but in the case of the home that is for sale, they should be neutral. That doesn’t mean you cannot have an accent wall, but it must be in a neutral shade that will match any décor.

3. Plants

Typically, people viewing a home do so when the owner is not present. This can make it seem empty and dull. Houseplants add life to the setting. They also add color. Especially in a home painted in neutral colors, plants add a nice contrast, and they symbolize cleanliness.

4. Open the Blinds

Let there be light! Open the blinds and turn on lights to make sure there aren’t any dark corners in the home. Buyers want to see themselves living in the home, not sulking in darkness. Light brings positive notions, and positive notions sell.

5. Repair

Repair anything that is visually in disrepair. That means cracks in the walls or chips in the paint. To the potential buyer, this will just look like more work. Homes that are move-in ready are a stress-free option for home buyers who are already dealing with the stresses of mortgage companies and the big move.

Even if your home is a fixer-upper, staging is important. If it is vacant, it may not be necessary to insert plant life or other things that seem unnatural to the setting. The light and clutter rules still apply. If there is construction, make sure it is tidy. If there are blinds, make sure they are open.

Staging is important no matter what type of home you are selling, and no matter what condition. If you want to get top dollar, or even a few offers, staging will ensure success and a successful sale.

Adding a fence adds selling power but no increased value

by Karen Picarello

A fence is a big expense, especially if your property is big. That is why you don’t see solid fences in open fields or ranches with miles of land (wire fences are much less expensive). However, a fence adds many benefits to a home.

Benefits of fences:

  • Security: A fence is a crime deterrent because it is a boundary. People cannot aimlessly wander into your yard. It is a barrier between them and your front door. It also keeps in things that need to be safe, such as children and pets.
  • Privacy: Having a privacy fence in the backyard is not just to keep the kids in. It’s also so you can sunbathe! Although both of those things are true, the more likely reason to have a privacy fence is so you can have backyard bbqs without the neighbors watching. They make it easy to have a cup of coffee on the back porch without having to take off your robe and put on real clothes.
  • Attractiveness: A huge benefit of fencing is that it can be aesthetically pleasing. But beware of the fence that isn’t because a few have turned out to be eyesores. The fence should match the era of the home, and putting a picket fence around a modern home is as odd as a large, solid, brick fence around a very small home. It should fit.
  • Cleanliness: You may not have thought about how fencing keeps your yard clean, but it really does! Say a windstorm knocks down the garbage cans on garbage day. Guess where the garbage isn’t going to blow? It also stops people form walking through your yard or letting their dogs leave stinky little presents.
  • Selling Power: Lastly, you’ll sell your fenced home a little quicker than an non-fenced one. For all of the reasons above, people like fences, and they’ll like your home a little more if it already has a fence. Buyers are often spending more money when they purchase a home, so the expense of putting up a fence can make or break a deal.

With all of these benefits, it’s hard not to add a fence to a yard, but people selling need to be warned. It will not increase the value of your home, or if so, not by much. You won't likely recoup the cost of the fence. So if you are thinking of moving in the near future, put the brakes on the fence plans and let the next homeowners do it. But if you are going to be there for a while, put up a fence! You will enjoy the benefits, and it will help your house sell in the long run.

Why Arizona is a Great Place for Buying and Selling a Home

by Karen Picarello

A recent post on the news site, OZY, tells us that people are choosing Arizona over their neighboring state, California. This is good for the Arizona housing market, one that has continued to grow among increasing demand.

There are many reasons for the trend to Arizona from California:

  • Lower Cost of Living: A cost of living analysis by Best Places states that it is 72 percent more expensive to live in California than Arizona. It is hard to believe that there would be such a difference in such a short span of land, but California is well-known for extreme property prices in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and extending into the Silicon Valley.
  • Retiring Californian Baby Boomers: It is demographics that make the trend to moving into Arizona a growing one. Baby boomers are getting to retirement age, and they want to live the golden years in financial comfort. That means selling California real estate with a large price tag and being able to afford luxurious lives in Arizona. Likewise, those middle-aged individuals with families and small homes in California can easily expand and upgrade their living situation with a short move.
  • Immigrants: Those who have immigrated to the U.S. through the Californian border are also struggling in California. As they have already made the trek to America, moving one state over is an easy decision when it means a sustainable livelihood.
  • Taxes/Regulation: There are lesser taxes and regulations in Arizona, which means there is more opportunity and a greater ability to retain incomes and revenue.

There is a lot of controversy in regard to the influx of people into Arizona, but for people looking to buy or sell homes, the outlook is good. The influx may stress natural resources in Arizona such as electricity and water, and the state may eventually end up with similar problems to California. Hopefully, solutions such as renewable technology will help to alleviate those concerns. 

For right now, all is good in the sunshine state, and those dealing with real estate transactions on any side are in a good place. For buyers, there are many opportunities to get better properties with larger property and bigger homes. It means moving up from their status in California and living a much more comfortable life. For sellers, it means there is demand for Arizona homes at a relatively good price, which means they can make a profit on their home.

Contact an Arizona real estate company today if you are looking to buy or sell Arizona property.

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TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755