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Scottsdale Real Estate News

Cambridge Properties Top 3 picks for 2013

Are you thinking that the recovery has finally turned a corner? After the investor storm last year are you ready to purchase some property in Arizona? Where are the best deals?

Do I want to buy a condo or single family house? Something to live in or something for me to rent? Where are the best 2013 Phoenix real estate deals?

 

1. Luxury Homes: With the rest of the market going up the Luxury Market is still in a bit of a downturn. If oyu have the money to spend then the $1m+ homes are for you. There are so many deals in Arizona luxury homes right now you’ll have your pick.

2. Condos: Last year you couldn’t even look at homes under $300k unless you had a pocket full of cash to pick it up quickly. IN the sub $300k market right now the best deals are found in Condos. This Market is doing so well that there are even new developments going up, such as Pinnacle Pointe in North Scottsdale.

3. South Scottsdale/Skysong: During the downturn one of the first things to fall from the topic of conversation was revitalization. You may not remember but the up and coming area right before prices went crazy was south Scottsdale. One of the few places to find a good deal is the area around McDowell and Scottsdale Rd.

 

Are you looking to jump back into the market? Now is the time. These aren’t the only deals in town but they are our top Recommendations.


From REALTOR.COM: Inventories Hover at Historic Lows

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

While buyer demand is picking up, many consumers increasingly are finding fewer choices in housing these days. The number of homes for sale continues to remain at record lows with the nationwide inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops is about 19 percent below inventory levels from a year ago, Realtor.com reports in its analysis of July housing data of 146 markets.

“Low inventories, combined with rising list prices and lower times on market, are positive signs that the overall market is in a stabilization mode,” Realtor.com reports.

Median asking prices were 2.63 percent above list prices in July, and the median age of the housing inventory has fallen about 9 percent in that time period, Realtor.com reports.

California cities have seen some of the largest drops in inventory levels in the past year, as well as some of the largest price increases.

13 Metros With Largest Inventory Drops

The following metro areas have seen the largest drops in inventories of for-sale homes in the past year (July 2012 compared to July 2011):

1. Oakland, Calif.: -59.30 percent

2. Fresno, Calif.: -47.81 percent

3. Bakersfield, Calif: -44.71 percent

4. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: -42.23 percent

5. San Jose, Calif.: -41.76 percent

6. San Francisco, Calif.: -40.26 percent

7. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: -40.24 percent

8. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.: -40.03 percent

9. Atlanta, Ga.: -38.27 percent

10. Sacramento, Calif: -36.43 percent

11. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: -34.89 percent

12. San Diego, Calif.: -34.55 percent

13. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: -34.37 percent

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

 


Scorching Phoenix Plans For An Even Hotter Future by PETER O’DOWD

A Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 "urban style" apartments.

Courtesy of Mica Thomas MulloyA Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 “urban style” apartments.

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August 14, 2012

It’s been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.

A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.

While some city planners around the country discuss ways to mitigate climate change, planners in Phoenix assume that change is already under way. Now, they are working to prepare the Phoenix metro area, and its approximately 4 million residents, for a new reality.

‘How Are We Gonna Live Here?’

The view is bleak from John Larsala’s front drive in West Phoenix. The tree in front of the house is dead, and the grass is dead, too. In fact, there’s no grass at all anymore.

On a household income of $18,000 a year, Larsala can’t afford the water charges required to keep his yard green. “All these trees are dying, because I can’t put water on it,” he says.

So Larsala’s children and their friends play basketball in the barren yard. That is, until June comes around and the blazing Phoenix summer finally forces everyone inside.

John Larsala struggles to keep his family cool during the Phoenix summer. The shade trees in his front yard have died because he cannot afford to water them.

EnlargePeter O’Dowd/KJZZJohn Larsala struggles to keep his family cool during the Phoenix summer. The shade trees in his front yard have died because he cannot afford to water them.

For three months, Larsala will shut the doors and windows tight. To save money, he soaks his kids in a cool bath and delays using the air conditioning until just before bedtime.

“Whether you are inside or whether you are outside, the heat costs you money,” Larsala says.

When told that climate scientists predict the state will get even hotter in the future, Larsala is taken aback.

“It’s going to be hotter than what it is right now? Who gonna live here? How are we gonna live here?”

Sustained Heat Waves Ahead

Phoenix actually suffers from two heat problems. One is a product of growth. Desert nights don’t cool down they way they used to, because energy from the sun is trapped in roads and buildings, a phenomenon researchers call the “urban heat island effect.”

As Phoenix grows, so does the problem, says Nancy Selover, the state climatologist.

“We keep thinking we’ll probably see a night when we only get down to 100 as a minimum temperature, which is kind of shocking,” Selover says.

Standing outside in a low-income neighborhood near Phoenix, Selover points out that many households here are using “swamp coolers,” or evaporative coolers. These cooling units are cheaper than air-conditioning — but they’re also less effective.

If Phoenix’s temperatures rise, “it’s going to be pretty unbearable,” Selover says — and without adequate cooling, potentially deadly.

Phoenix’s second problem comes from global climate change. Researchers predict it will make droughts longer and temperatures higher in the region.

Data from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program predict sustained heat waves above 114 degrees will be a yearly crisis in Phoenix by 2040. And each one, researchers project, will last a sweltering three weeks.

A Laboratory For What Works

Selover says these coming changes present Phoenix with an opportunity.

“As a desert city, Phoenix is kind of a laboratory for us to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, to try to mitigate those things.”

In the future, Selover says, “we may well have to live differently.”

Now, city officials are starting to think about what that new lifestyle might entail. One idea is to cover 25 percent of Phoenix with shade trees.

But some, like architect John Meunier, argue for much greater lifestyle adaptations.

Meunier studies pre-industrial desert cities around the world, looking for lessons to apply in modern desert cities like Phoenix.

Sitting at a light-rail stop downtown, he says creating sustainable futures in cities like this one has”everything to do with managing without having to use a lot of extra energy and power.”

To do that, Meunier says planners could encourage 10 times as many people to live around Phoenix’s light-rail stations. Getting more use out of the system would take cars — and heat — off the street.

These people would also live in taller buildings. Meunier says desert cities in Yemen, for example, take advantage of tall buildings to shade narrow streets.

“It’s crucially important. I mean, not being exposed to the direct sun’s rays makes a great big difference,” he says.

Instead of exposed front yards and backyards, older desert cities employ well-ventilated courtyards, Meunier says. Mediterranean cities paint roads and rooftops white to reflect sunlight.

It’s the way Phoenix has been built, Meunier says, that will make its residents vulnerable to rising temperatures.

“I’m not arguing that we should all live at a higher density,” Meunier says. “What I am arguing is that there’s a lot to be gained by having more of us live at higher density.”

Learning To Build Better

For Meunier’s ideas to become reality, developers will have to make the choice to build differently.

Some of them already have. Take the city’s light rail north about three miles, and you can get a close-up view of how buildings like Meunier envisions might actually work.

Felicia McMullen has lived in the energy-efficient Devine Legacy apartment building in central Phoenix since December.

EnlargeCourtesy of Mica Thomas MulloyFelicia McMullen has lived in the energy-efficient Devine Legacy apartment building in central Phoenix since December.

The Devine Legacy is a housing complex designed for people with lower incomes. Right next to the rail line, every window is dual-paned, and the building is also superinsulated. Together, those features make a typical Devine Legacy unit 40 percent more energy efficient.

Walking through the front gate leads you to a courtyard. Four-story buildings rise up on either side of you. There’s shade everywhere, and a breeze moves through the space. Even on a 113-degree day in Phoenix, it feels much cooler.

“Having a cool place to live is more important to me than food,” says resident Felicia McMullen.

Before she moved here, McMullen says she was sick and stressed. She sometimes spent $300 a month to cool her suburban home.

Now, McMullen says, “I don’t have that problem.” Her last electric bill was $60 — and the stress is gone.

Ernesto Fonseca, a planner who specializes in sustainable communities, helped test Devine Legacy’s energy use before it opened late last year.

He considers the complex a small victory in what may someday be a more complicated effort to stay cool.

“People in extreme climates learn to live with it,” Fonseca says. “And that’s part of a resilient society.”

Fonseca thinks a lot about this idea of resilience. He says it means that people who live in Phoenix must do more than try to solve the causes of escalating temperatures — they must also learn to withstand the changes as they happen.

Because, as Fonseca says, “We don’t have a choice.”

Peter O’Dowd works with the public radio collaborative FronterasRead more from their series “Heat Wave.”


Cambridge Properties is one of the Top Paradise Valley agencies

Looking to sell your home in Paradise Valley? Or are you interested in moving to Paradise valley? Cambridge Properties has been working in the exclusive 85253 zip code for years. Weather you are looking to move into a beautiful all inclusive community like Montelucia, or build your own dream home on Camelback mountain Cambridge Properties knows Paradise Valley.

For years Cambridge Properties has been selling luxury high rises and custom homes to the valley’s most discreet real estate buyers. Clients who want only the best agents that really know Paradise Valley should look no further than the team at Cambridge Properties.

Give us a call today! 602-787-6346 or feel free to search all Paradise Valley MLS listings on our website CambridgeProperties.com


AZcentral.com to get a paywall, will it work?

It’s been a few years since the first PayWall’s were erected across the web, famously the New York Times  the Wall Street Journal have seen some better than expected success. Other media outlets like the Washington Post however refuse to go the pay model but it looks like that infamous “Paywall” is coming  to a local news site near you!

AZCentral.com has gained a reputation as the online goto source for Arizonan’s looking for state news. But is their monopoly on AZ culture strong enough for the Republics’ PayWall to generate serious revenue? Arizonans by our very nature are not intensely loyal, we come from all over the country and some people still like to get their news from “back home.”

The Arizona Republic fought hard in the early days of the web bringing many independent bloggers under on roof to create a powerhouse of local content, these days if it’s not on AZcentral it might as well not be happening. But can that last? Is AZcentral truly a factory of sought after original content? Or is it merely a great aggregator that will soon be replaced by young scrappy independent sites?

Time will tell if this was a smart move, but until next week get your fill of all the local stories you can handle!


Bloomberg Business Week: Consumer Bureau Proposes New Rules on Mortgage Servicing

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new regulations that would revamp how American homeowners interact with mortgage servicers.

One set of rules aims to provide homeowners with clearer, timelier information about changes to interest rates and options for avoiding foreclosure. A second set of rules requires servicers to credit payments promptly, correct errors, stay accessible and limit foreclosures if homeowners are working on loan modifications.

“Millions of homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages, often through no fault of their own,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in an e-mailed statement. “These proposed rules would offer consumers basic protections and put the ‘service’ back into mortgage servicing.”

Cordray summed up the policy underpinning the rules as “no surprises and no runarounds.” The bureau is seeking public comment on the proposals by Oct. 9, and will finalize them by January 2013.

The proposal would cover major bank servicers, such asBank of America Corp. (BAC), as well as smaller non-bank players like Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN)

Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading LLC in Washington, said in a research note that the new rules would support a “secular shift in the mortgage servicing industry” away from big banks toward specialty servicers like Ocwen.

“We expect the big bank servicers to offload a sizable portion of their servicing assets,” Boltansky wrote.

Secondary Market

Tom Deutsch, executive director of the American Securitization Forum, said the new rules aimed at consumers should also take the secondary market into consideration.

“Servicing standards must strike the appropriate balance between providing meaningful protections for borrowers and ensuring the contractual certainty necessary for the capital markets to fund sufficient mortgage credit for American consumers,” Deutsch said in an e-mailed statement.

Bob Davis, an executive vice president at the American Bankers Association, lauded the bureau’s goals while warning that some rules could create hurdles.

“We want to make sure servicing doesn’t get tangled in so much red tape that high quality, responsive servicing is no longer viable,” Davis said in an e-mail.

The new regulations go beyond the standards for mortgage servicing that state attorneys general wrote into a court settlement reached with major banks on March 12, according to a senior CFPB official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. For example, the CFPB proposal requires servicers to acknowledge receipt of complaints or information requests within five days, and respond to the borrower about the inquiry within 30 to 45 days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carter Dougherty in Washington at cdougherty6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net


Thinking short sale? Think FAST the Mortgage Debt Relief act is set to expire!

Chances are the you or someone you know is underwater in their home. Most people who are underwater are waiting to sell in the hopes of recouping as much of their lost investment as possible. Why? With the Mortgage debt relief act of 2007 when your short sell your home your not responsible for the remainder of your loan AND you won’t be taxed on it as income.

Many people are embarrassed to short sell or simply don’t know that they are eligible for this type of forgiveness. All of this takes on a new sense of urgency when you realize that the Mortgage Debt Relief act is set to expire December 31st 2012.

A short sale can be scary but the right brokerage with the knowledge to help you navigate the process might just  the support you need to get through it relatively unscathed. That’s why Cambridge Properties is the expert in luxury short sales in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Phoenix.