Things Are Looking Up!
Where has the time gone? Summer is nearing an end in many places, although we will not see much cooling in Arizona until October. Many of our neighbors and friends left early due to COVID and will be making their plans to return this fall. Fortunately, our numbers for new cases are going down each day and we look forward to seeing those who can return soon.
Through all of this, the real estate market continues to thrive. Low inventory continues and buyer demand remains strong. Many have asked us if we feel our Canadian clients will start to sell, creating a glut of inventory. We are not hearing that at all from our northern neighbors. In fact, our Canadian friends tell us they want to return - they are just safely waiting it out until they feel it is appropriate to venture back to the US. To avoid the possibility of quarantine, some are waiting through the holiday season and plan to return early in 2021.
In the meantime, we truly appreciate all that the homeowner associations have been doing to allow us to safely use as many of the amenities as possible. The restaurants are open with social distancing practiced and at the recommended limited capacity. People are still golfing, and playing tennis and pickleball. Attitudes are great with a neighborly spirit of people helping others when needed.
For those returning this fall, we can’t wait to see you! And those waiting until 2021, we will be anxious for you to come back and hopeful that we can have some sort of “normal” return to the active adult lifestyle we all love.
We are proud to live, work, and play in the Sun Lakes community. If we can do anything to help with real estate or any other need, please get in touch. We are happy to help.
2020 Good News
We subscribe to the paid version of the Cromford Report – a “Realtor Bible” that measures real estate valley-wide on a daily basis. One tool that indicates the current market is the Cromford Index. A normal or balanced market is a straight line at 100. The higher above 100, the stronger the market for sellers. Conversely, the further below 100, the stronger the market for buyers. Currently, the index is 285.1 – a STRONG market for sellers. Why is that? Buyer demand remains strong and inventory is shrinking with only 34 homes actively listed for sale out of nearly 10,000 in all 5 Sun Lakes communities.
More good news
If you owned a home in Sun Lakes in 2017, you have achieved a 23.6% gain in 2020. Annual median sales in Sun Lakes in 2020 is $333,750 compared to $270,000 in 2017.
The appreciation coupled with the strong market for sellers creates the perfect time to list your home for sale.
Whether you want a quick sale with no showings or top market price, we are here for you. Let’s chat about your options. We have sold over 500 homes and $150 million in volume. Put our expertise to work for you!
Mortgage Update from Guild Mortgage
By Amber Kovarik, Guild Mortgage
We are definitely living in historic times. Interest rates have hit all-time lows and remained at these levels for the past few weeks with little to no movement. No one knows exactly what is in store for interest rates, but they are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future. During the last Federal Reserve meeting, Chairman Powell stated that the Fed remains committed to purchasing mortgage-backed securities - this means they will do whatever is necessary to keep interest rates low. How low is the question, and I am still waiting on my darn crystal ball (it is on backorder like everything else, LOL). At this time, housing is the one bright spot in our economy, and I believe the government will do what it can to keep this part of the sector strong.
There may not have ever been a better time than now to sell and buy real estate. With the aggressive appreciation rates we are seeing, coupled with all-time low interest rates, we are helping many of our clients buy their dream home for a much lower payment than they ever would have expected. The strategy is: sell while prices are high and buy while interest rates are at all-time lows. If interest rates go up 1%, it reduces your purchase power by around $40,000. That is certainly nothing to sneeze at (but if you do sneeze, please use your elbow, LOL). Just think of how much more house or land $40K could maybe get.
If you would like a complimentary mortgage analysis, please feel free to reach out. We can run a detailed analysis, so you can truly compare different options side by side! Let us know how we can help. You can reach Amber Kovarik and the Guild Mortgage team at 480-420-4911 or Kovarikteam@guildmortgage.net.
Highlight on Local Business Owners
Mike and Patti Groulx – Sun Lakes Oakwood Residents
Mike and Patti Groulx moved to Sun Lakes in 2003 with the intention of retiring and relaxing. However, in 2005, they found they needed something else to do besides play golf, eat, drink, and be merry.
A friend suggested that they consider providing a service to homeowners who leave Sun Lakes for the summer. They decided to give it a try and thus was born “WhileurawaySL”.
The word about this new venture spread fast through our community!! We have used the services of Mike and Patti, and gladly refer our clients to them. They have always done a great job. If you need a house sitter while you are away, consider giving them a call! Patti gave us an exclusive scoop on “WhileurawaySL” below. She can be reached at 480-748-5394.“We want homeowners to leave knowing that their homes are being well cared for in their absence. House inspections are done weekly. Some things that we do:
- run water in all the sinks to prevent traps from drying out
- flush all toilets
- run garbage disposal to prevent freezing up and rusting
- run a rinse cycle on dishwashers once a month to keep the seals from drying out
- Mike walks the outside of the property, checks for irrigation leaks, and makes sure that windows/doors are securely closed and locked
If there are problems, we contact the owner and follow up with securing the proper vendor to make any needed repairs. Other services are available upon request by homeowner such as golf cart maintenance. We care for 30-40 houses each summer and appreciate the many referrals we have received from The Kolb Team and existing customers.”
Grand Canyon Railway Tour
To relax, beat the summer heat, and take in stunning views of Arizona’s most famous natural attraction, there’s no better way than a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. Safety precautions and procedures are in place, so even during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can enjoy traveling to the canyon in style – all you need (at the time of this writing) are advanced reservations and a mask or face covering.
The train’s website (www.TheTrain.com) is the easiest way to purchase your tickets, and even plan an overnight stay. You can choose your preferred train car and service level, from pullman to the luxury parlor. A train ride through what used to be part of the wild west just wouldn’t be complete without cowboys and some music from a squeezebox or a string instrument. Don’t worry – the Grand Canyon Railway thought to include those Arizona traditions too.
The train depot in Williams is only a few hours from Sun Lakes, and boasts an impressive gift shop. You’ll board the train there, then travel north through gorgeous scenery. The 110-year-old train depot at your destination is where you will disembark to enjoy some time in Grand Canyon National Park at the south rim. Just make sure you don’t miss boarding time for your train ride back to Williams! Perhaps you will also decide to include an overnight stay at the historic El Tovar or another hotel in your travel itinerary to allow for more time to explore.
If your calendar for the summer is filled up, consider instead winter’s premiere event on the train. Hollywood even made a movie about it starring one of our favorite and most talented actors, Tom Hanks. Even animated, Tom Hanks aboard the Polar Express was quite a sight to see
Buyers of the Month
Speaking of buyer demand, we have buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase and can’t find homes. If you or someone you know is thinking of selling and can accommodate, get in touch with us. We have your buyer.
- Buyer coming from Washington State. Seeking 2 bedroom plus den or 3rd bedroom 1800-2000 sq ft. in Cottonwood or Palo Verde. Some updates desired. 350-425K range.
- Buyer from Pennsylvania looking for a 2 bedroom + den home. Absolute must is extended garage and would like space for a workshop. Some updates desired. Prefers a view - walking path, greenbelt, water or golf course. 400K range
- Buyer from Colorado looking for a Villa in Unit 46 or a golf course lot home on Golfview. Former Oakwood owners who are looking to return.
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Real Estate Update
Wondering about your Neighbor’s Home Sales Price? Find out here to see what sold last month. The report is broken down by HOA, address, and floor plan (if the agent listed the model in MLS).