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Real Estate trends

Like many older community members have already discovered, Maricopa is a great place to retire. However, would it be a good location for Santa to hang up his boots?

We asked a few local Realtors what advice they would give jolly ole St. Nick if he was looking for a home in Maricopa.

Pat Lairson, Coldwell Banker:

Pat Lairson
Pat Lairson

“First off, I would tell Santa to ditch coming down the chimney and to look for more energy efficient features in a home. I would [also] tell him if he wants to move before Christmas, he better hurry. I would tell him about the no down payment loan program available for Maricopa, educate him about the cost of utilities so he can incorporate that into his housing budget, answer any questions he had about Maricopa and lead him to various websites where he could find out more info about school information for his elves.

“My advice would be that it really is a great time to buy a home because in many cases a mortgage is still lower than rent; but to get all his reindeer in a row first, and then make an informed decision.”

Jay Shaver, The Maricopa Real Estate Company:

“I would advise Santa that he will need an RV gate for his sled and a large two story with many upstairs bedrooms for the elves. He’ll also need a private downstairs master bedroom for him and the Mrs. for their reindeer games.”

Terry Sperry, Coldwell Banker:

Terry Sperry
Terry Sperry

“Santa would certainly enjoy taking a break from his holiday rush to soak up some Arizona sunshine while finding that perfect home. Since Santa is so busy this time of year he will appreciate the assistance of his Realtor not only in his home search but throughout the process to assure it goes smoothly.

“Interest remains low, and if he hurries he can be in for the New Year.”

This story appeared in the December issue of InMaricopa News.

Pat Lairson

By Pat Lairson

I went on two listing appointments this week and both individuals wanted to know when the best time to sell their home was.

Should they list it right away or wait until January? The upside of waiting, they thought, would be seasonal visitors are here, the holidays are over, and it is a new tax year. My response to this is always to ask a few more questions.

One of the most common reasons for selling a home is that people want to move closer to family. In the last year, I have had at least five people list their home because they had their first grandchild and wanted to live closer to them.

Job changes and opportunities are another popular reason people move. If you are ready to move and have equity in your home then you need to know what the real estate market is doing. There are factors that will help predict how fast your house will sell and the price you can get for it.

One of these factors is the amount of inventory or homes available to buy. Of course, if there is a high inventory and buyers have a lot to choose from then your house has to be priced right and really pop to stand out and sell quickly.

Every seller and every agent wants your house to get under contract quickly because of all the psychological factors involved in a home that has been on the market a long time. The average days a home in on the market in Maricopa currently is about 92 days.

So back to the question my clients asked this week: Should I list my home now or wait?

Looking at only the market and not the reason you might want to sell, here are some facts. We are starting out the month of October with around 300 single family dwellings available for sale in a subdivision. The real estate market inventory started out in 2015 with over 500 homes available for sale, so you can see our inventory is down. This of course, is a good thing for the home seller.

Approximately 100 homes went under contract in September and sold at an average of just under $82 per square foot. It is anticipated rates will stay at record lows at least until the end of the year with a potential increase after that. Mortgage applications jumped nearly 14 percent the week of Sept. 21 compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey. Purchases were up 9 percent and refinances soared by 18 percent.

In some subdivisions the competition for the resale homeowner has been new builds. This is shifting a bit and I will write more about new build homes next month.

Pat Lairson is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.