Tags Articles tagged with "housing"

housing

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Photo by Mason Callejas

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa from March 16 to April 15 was a 13-year-old Engle home in Province. The one-owner house with a play pool and fire pit went for $9,500 under its asking price and was on the market less than three months.

  1. 20144 N. Evening Glow Trail

Sold: March 24
Purchase price: $390,000
Square footage: 2,830
Price per square foot: $137.81
Days on market: 76
Builder: Engle
Year built: 2005
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Community: Province
Features: Great views, granite countertops, his and hers walk-in closets, fireplace, covered patio, 2 master bedrooms, formal dining room
Listing agent: Dana L.P. Melcher, Revelation Real Estate
Selling agent: Patti Wasowicz, The Maricopa Real Estate Co.

  1. 22386 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms, $333,450
  2. 41644 W. Springtime Road, Province, $332,846
  3. 41903 W. Almira Drive, Glennwilde, $330,000
  4. 42443 W. Bravo Drive, Rancho El Dorado, $325,000

    This item appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Mason Callejas

Marketed to first-time homeowners and landlords, the least expensive home sold in Maricopa from March 16 to April 15 is a no-frills house in Senita. It was sold for cash at asking price with no time on market.

  1. 42968 W. Cowpath Road

Sold: March 20
Purchase price: $130,000
Square footage: 1,509
Price per square foot: $86.15
Days on market: 0
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2008
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Senita
Features: Basic house with three bedrooms and a two-car garage
Listing agent: Eric A. Hubert, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona
Selling agent: Anthony Schumacher, The Maricopa Real Estate Co.

  1. 19039 N. Ventana Lane, Glennwilde, $140,380
  2. 36029 W. Velazquez Drive, Tortosa, $145,000
  3. 42974 W. Jeremy St., Senita, $145,000
  4. 43432 W. Rio Bravo Drive, Rancho El Dorado, $263,000

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Homestead construction

 

As construction on residential housing ramps up in Maricopa, the city is considering ways to make the process easier for developers.

Last year the city received 500 residential building permits, and recent projections predict major growth ahead.

During a city council work session March 20, the Development Services Department presented the city’s current procedure: An eight-application process that usually entails two years of meetings and sub-steps before a builder receives a building permit.

A team of planners began brainstorming how to consolidate timewasting steps and documents about a year ago.

The result was a color-coded flow chart that details the city’s process used since pre-recession Maricopa as well as updated steps the department has identified and streamlined.

Development Services Director Martin Scribner said even with improvements, development processes are inherently complex across the nation.

“As a rule, the process is complicated,” Scribner said.

The process is detailed in a digital timeline that essentially serves as a snapshot of what developers could expect during the pre-development stages.

Some of the department’s major consolidation in the process affected the construction and inspection portion of the process.

SMARTGov, the city’s digital terminal for permit viewing and submittal, is a big part of that, according to Senior Planner Rodolfo Lopez.

“(Developers) don’t have to resubmit some of those documents unless something is changed or modified,” Lopez said. “This process streamlines it a lot quicker.”

The city has been teasing a redesign of its website and Mayor Christian Price indicated he’d like to see the process timeline posted on the city’s digital front page once the online update is completed.

Development Services is expected to compose a similar timeline for commercial development, which entails an even more complicated process.

Vice Mayor Peggy Chapados said the digital flow chart could decrease the number of complaints the city receives from commercial builders regarding perceived delays in the process.

The commercial development presentation is expected sometime in the future.

“The more information we get out there, the better,” Price said.

 

Costa Verde is building homes in the Santa Rosa Springs development. Photo by Michelle Chance

A report by Phoenix-based consulting firm Applied Economics estimates Maricopa’s recent housing growth could be a sign of more to come. It projected 1,200 new housing units will be built every year for the next five years. If future construction projects become a reality, AE estimates the city could grow by 42,000 housing sites 20 years from now. To read the report submitted to Maricopa Unified School District, click here.

 


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The developer of multifamily housing is interested in Maricopa.

An apartment developer presented a plan to City Council Tuesday, outlining its intentions of developing affordable multifamily housing structures in Maricopa.

Representatives from the Indianapolis-based Englewood Group discussed with members of council their two-fold approach to multi-family housing and how it may be able to help Maricopa overcome the rental gap in the city.

According to their presentation, 76 percent of renters in Maricopa are cost burdened, earning only 30-50 percent of the Area Median Income. Also, according to the presentation, 33 percent of Maricopa residents earn $50,000 or less per year.

Englewood Group representative Brian Pozen said 97 percent of houses in Maricopa are single-family homes. Based on current market analysis, rental properties in the city have an average rent of $1,376 per month with nothing available for less than $1,000.

This, they said, is where they can help.

Englewood’s approach, Pozen said, would use both market-rate and low-income apartments to fill this need.

Market-rate units would range in cost from $800 for a single bedroom, up to $1,300 for a two bedroom, he said.

Three-bedroom apartments were not discussed.

Low-income units would range from around $700 for a studio to $900 for a two bedroom, he said. To achieve that goal, the company would utilize the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

To qualify for the credit, the complex would have to abide by the qualified Allocation Plan which prescribes that the unit would need to be, among other things, smoke-free, built and maintained efficiently, preserve historical aspects of the region and target low income tenants.

Englewood representative Julia Surak said, this is not “Section 8 housing.”

“You can use a Section 8 voucher, but you don’t need it to live there,” Surak said.

Building the low-income units would take more time, Pozen added. However, he said, Englewood has already signed a “letter of intent” for a property in Maricopa where they hope to construct market-rate units.

Once that property is rezoned, he said, Englewood can begin moving forward with permitting and subsequent construction almost immediately.

To apply for the tax credit, the land must already be zoned for multifamily thus drawing that process out on a longer timeline which they hope would conclude in spring or summer of 2019.

The company also expressed an interest in building a senior living complex. Each complex would contain on average 20 units per acre – 90-110 units per complex.

Residents are asked if they want to continue to live in their current homes in later years. Photo by Michelle Chance

A recent housing study conducted by the city prompted debates online from residents who oppose the idea of multi-family housing in Maricopa. Read the study here

Saturday morning, residents continued the discussion during “Councilman on the Corner,” a public forum held regularly by Councilman Henry Wade.

“This subject seems to have resonated when I put it out there in Facebook and social media as to a question I posed,” Wade said. “It generated quite a bit of discussion, although that question was quite a small part of what the housing assessment is all about.”

Some residents argued the apartment and condominium units would bring down property values and attract crime.

“I also value that we have low crime, and that’s partly because of the kind of neighborhood that we have,” said resident Leonard Gonchar.

Maricopans who support the idea fired back.

“As a retired person, I’m not an undesirable,” said resident Karen Balliet, who said she cannot afford the cost of a single-family home in the city.

Balliet said after her husband died, she closed her business and searched for a home in Maricopa near her children and grandchildren.

“I was going to have to go to Casa Grande or Chandler to be as close as I could to them,” Balliet said. “But luckily for me, they built a multigenerational home so I could move in with them. That’s the only choice I had.”

Maricopa Development Services Director Martin Scribner said besides a few exceptions in Province, a retirement community, Maricopa is dominated by single family housing.

Scribner said the city is losing opportunities to attract multi-family housing developers, as well as the renters who would occupy the units.

“They have to be making somewhere near $50,000 per year in order to afford the housing here,” Scribner said.

City officials said housing and rental costs pose a challenge to not just retirees on a fixed income, but also to young professionals in the infancy of their careers.

Patti Coutré, president of the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board, said the district hired 80 employees for the new school year, many of whom are single and hired within the first five years of teaching.

Coutré said the housing costs in Maricopa often drive young educators to live in the Valley and make a long commute to work.

“If we can get them living in Maricopa, we have a better chance of retaining them. That’s one of our goals because it does show that our schools will get better if we can retain the employees,” Coutré said.

Scribner and Wade reiterated multi-family housing does not necessarily equate to “affordable housing” and the negative conations that often accompany the term.

However, Project Manager Kazi Haque said meetings with county agencies and local school districts proved there is also a need for housing for lower-income families as well.

“There is a lot of tendency for homelessness, which you don’t see every day,” Haque said. “There is homelessness over here, but it is undercover.”

In September, the city will begin work on a housing plan that will set priorities for the future of Maricopa housing.

File photo

Does Maricopa need more diverse housing?

That’s the question posed by City Hall in a survey conducted this winter. The survey ran on the city’s website in late February through today. It asked residents what housing should look like in Maricopa in the next decade.

The city had a booth at Salsa Festival to question residents in person.

Rebecca Rothenberg of Atria Planning said the survey was meant to get feedback that helps the city “streamline zoning.” Atria was contracted to conduct the survey.

A presentation of a housing update is due to come before Maricopa City Council at its work session Wednesday at 6 p.m. A final draft of the housing report is due in May.

Rothenberger said while several residents indicated concern about apartments bringing crime or causing lower home values, a large portion of single-family homes (up to a third) are already occupied by renters.

The draft study shows 97 percent of housing is in single-family units, and “no housing for single individuals, regardless of income.” There are also no senior apartments or other housing for seniors in the low- to medium-income brackets. Rothenberger said more diversity in housing makes a community more sustainable.

Home ownership is considered affordable ($100,000 to $200,000) but renting is not, with most houses renting for at least $1,000 a month.

If Maricopa encourages diversity in available housing, planner Kazi Haque said there are options and zoning available for them. Besides apartments, that includes duplexes, condominiums, executive homes and townhomes.

The survey asked Maricopans what they want, if any, of those options.

A housing steering committee will have a workshop on the survey results Tuesday morning in council chambers before the presentation to city council that evening.

vacancy-rate

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The Anderson Russell Planned Area Development site is on the extreme southeast edge of Maricopa, outlined in red on the map and in the inset.

A cursory presentation delivered by city Development Services personnel to the Planning & Zoning Commission on Monday exposed concerns about the future development and annexation of a large parcel of land to the east of town.

The “high altitude” overview of the project raised questions among commissioners, who seemed worried about infrastructure installment costs and, above all else, about public safety.

Located at the nexus of Anderson Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway south of the Ak-Chin Regional Airport, the 776-acre Anderson Russell Planned Area Development site is slated for the eventual development of 2,000-3,000 homes as part of the City’s 2040 Vision plan.

Commissioner Michael Sharpe, who at the same meeting was elevated to the position of vice chair, is one of several commissioners who expressed concerns over the project. He is worried about both the cost of infrastructure development and effects from the eventual widening of the highway.

“[It] requires investment in the necessary infrastructure, and that’s going to be difficult,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe asked if the city was “considering when Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway eventually gets expanded.”

Recently-appointed P&Z Chair Linda Huggins raised concerns about emergency situations that could arise due to the proximity of the airport and the subdivision’s distance from first responders.

“With this amount of area being developed, we definitely need to have the Transportation Department look at the egress and ingress,” Huggins said. “We can’t prevent first responders from being able to respond.”

Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl said he, too, is concerned about the implications of such obstacles. Though he believes in the city’s development, he said in its current state the MPD would be unable to properly serve the addition of so many homes.

“The way it sits right now there is a high probability that we would not be able to provide the appropriate amount of resources,” Stahl said, “both police and fire.”

Stahl also expressed concern about the isolated nature of the area.

Not only would it become inaccessible in the event of a flood, he said, but the railroad, which currently has trains traveling through Maricopa 40 or more times a day, could further isolate the subdivision, which would reside on the south side of the tracks with no current alternate access.

Development Services staff said they didn’t have all the answers to those questions and were giving only a loose overview of the proposal. A detailed report is due to come back to the commission at a future date.

If the commission decides to move forward with rezoning, public hearings will be held to allow for public input.

Fulton Homes has purchased parcels in Glennwilde. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

After an eight-year hiatus, Fulton Homes is coming back to Maricopa.

Fulton plans to build 400 homes in the Glennwilde subdivision starting in 2017.

Dennis Webb, vice president of operations for the developer, said the new construction activity in the city and interest rates were important factors for the return.

“The pricing of homes has substantially improved,” he said.

Fulton Homes created Cobblestone Farms, where it constructed around 900 homes at the beginning of Maricopa’s establishment as a municipality. When the economy collapsed and the housing bubble burst, Fulton and most other developers left, at least temporarily.

Interest rates during the construction boom were around 7 percent. Now, that is around 4 percent and is expected to rise in 2017. Webb said that is a significant component.

He said the housing boom in Maricopa was an exciting time, and Fulton Homes was putting in many of the young city’s most expensive houses.

“We had a great product in Cobblestone,” Webb said. “I just drove through there again, and it still looks pretty good.”

Fulton Homes’ plans for Glennwilde are three products – small, medium and large.

Webb said the small home will be 35 feet wide with square footage between 1,500 and 2,300. In the medium range, the homes will be 1,700 to 3,400 square feet. The large homes will be 2,000 to 4,000 square feet.

Customer demands and tastes have changed in the past eight years, and Webb said the company is moving with the times.

“We listen to our customers and take into account what they want,” he said.

That means energy-efficient homes with lots of storage space, courtyards, large garages, great rooms and more bathrooms. Potential customers can visit the Fulton Homes Design Center in Tempe before they buy to examine what elements are most important to them.

Another important factor in Fulton Homes’ decision to take on parcels in Maricopa was the fact the lots were finished. Though the property had gone through a few owners in the past few years, the lots are shovel-ready.

Permits have not yet been pulled, but the company expects to start construction in the first quarter.

“We want to have the highest quality homes in Maricopa,” Webb said.

He said Fulton Homes had a good year in 2016 and expects 2017 to be even better.

“We think Maricopa we’ll be a good one for us,” he said.

Fulton joins Richmond American Homes in filling in the lots in Glennwilde.
Fulton joins Richmond American Homes in filling in the lots in Glennwilde.

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Pat Lairson

By Pat Lairson

By now, you may have already voted or are about to. The question so many are asking is, “How will the election effect the housing market?” There is no doubt the next president’s economic and employment policies will be a key influence on the health of the nation at large and the price you may pay for a mortgage.

A recent survey reveals increasing numbers of Americans believe the 2016 presidential election will have a negative effect on the housing market.

The survey, by national real estate firm Redfin, shows 27 percent of homebuyers believe the election will hurt real estate. The poll was conducted May 17-23 and includes responses from 975 homebuyers in 36 states, Redfin says.

On the flip side though, 63 percent of respondents believe the election will have no or little effect on the housing market. The real estate market is robust in Arizona right now. Resale and new-build sales are moving, and we have a nice even market between buyers and sellers in Maricopa.

Of course, a lack in consumer confidence or a substantial increase in interest rates or unemployment could slow the market and maybe even create higher inventory, which could create a stronger buyer’s market.

In Maricopa, there is no reason to lack confidence about buying a home at this time. I say this from a very realistic perspective and by analyzing the market at large. Even if there is a mortgage rate increase after the election, it will likely be a slow increase over time. A mortgage can still be bought for under market rent, and even though lenders are still strict on lending guidelines, there are various down payment assistance programs available.

Home prices have increased, but not at an inflated pace, and Maricopa still averages about 40 percent less per square foot than homes in neighboring Chandler.

We have 323 active listings available on the market. Almost 25 percent of those listings for sale are in the 55+ subdivision of Province. At the time of this writing there are 215 homes pending or under contract waiting to close. Between Sept. 12 and Oct. 13, 139 homes closed in Maricopa at an average of $86.92 per square foot. This means there is about a two-month supply of inventory.

The new build market is also moving forward with many empty lots in subdivisions being filled.


Pat Lairson, Realtor
The Maricopa Real Estate Company
520-280-5862
PatLairsonRealtor@gmail.com