Scottsdale Real Estate

The Scottsdale  real estate market contains a relatively tight supply of homes for sale. During market conditions in which demand exceeds supply, you'd ordinarily assume that the chances of selling your home would be pretty good. However, homeowners selling older or outdated homes are finding it a little more difficult to sell. To combat this, smart sellers are turning to smart technology to attract prospective buyers. This article will examine some of the smart home technology available in the Scottsdale real estate market.

Making Scottsdale Real Estate Smarter

Selling your home is a competitive undertaking. No matter whether you're in a seller's market or a buyer's market, the homes that get the most attention are the ones that offer the newest, most up-to-date features. If you're over the age of, say, 50 you may remember how "cool" it was for the new refrigerator in your home to have a built-in ice-maker. How about a two-car garage with an automatic door opener? Even homes equipped with motion-detector floodlights were considered "in" just a couple of decades ago. That's why some sellers are electing to ramp up their homes with a little hi-tech to garner attention. They want to show prospective purchasers that their homes are a little more "state-of-the-art" than some homes in the same age range or price range.

Scottsdale real estate is now featuring smarter homes

According to a survey published in January by Harris Polls for a nationally-known real estate firm, roughly half of all American homeowners either enjoy some type of smart home technology or have plans to invest in it during the remainder of the year. In addition, 70% of survey respondents said they were so satisfied with the purchase or installation of their first smart home product that they were likely to purchase another one.

One of the popular misconceptions about smart home technology is that retrofitting an out-of-date home is too difficult a task or too costly. The truth is, one of the attractive features of some of the technology is the ease of installation and the comparatively affordable cost. More than 50% of current homeowners agreed they would probably install smart home technology because they felt it would help sell their home quicker. To quantify that response in a dollar amount, 65% of respondents surveyed said they would likely pay $1,500 or more to bring their home into the 21st Century. Experts say most homes won't require that much of a smart home investment.

Real estate professionals say a few hundred dollars is enough to add enough smart home technology to make a difference. Citing the gradual lowering of the prices of some of the technology over the past few years, they say it's easily affordable for most sellers interested in positioning their homes for sale. Items such as smart door locks or security cameras can be purchased for less than $500. And smart thermostats are popular with buyers that like the "set it and forget it" advantages of saving energy – and money. More complete home automation systems can be a little pricey, but often pays for itself because of the attractiveness to a potential buyer.

Smart home technology experts in the Scottsdale real estate market suggest these five areas as "smart home starters:"

  • A strong Internet connection and Wi-Fi network
  • A smart doorbell • Smart door locks
  • Smart climate controls
  • Smart lighting and lighting controls

Smart technology is no stranger to newer homes and newly built homes. Now, as a result, homeowners choosing to include it into existing homes is becoming increasingly popular, both for the convenience of their owners and in an effort to provide an advantage when the time comes to sell.

Surprisingly, the rate of older American homeowners acquiring some type of smart home technology outpaces younger owners. Forty percent of homeowners aged 65 or older who own smart home products also have smart climate control technology. Comparatively, only 25% of millennials (aged 18-34) have those products.

Real estate agents remind sellers that buying a home is very much an emotional decision. If prospective buyers are able to "connect with the house" through various features that help make the home stand out above the rest, they are more likely to move it to the top of their short list. Smart technology can – and does – give the buyer the impression that the house is modern and is likely well-maintained.

See more articles pertaining to Scottsdale real estate in the Scottsdale Real Estate section of our site below Scottsdale  Real Estate Categories in the column to your right. As always, you can find information here on a variety of topics ranging from home buying and home selling tips to home improvements, home inspections, mortgage financing, homeowner's insurance and of course, all the latest Scottsdale real estate news that affects all of these categories.

Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there, too.

Higher Scottsdale real estate prices have ushered in the return of the house flipper. Flippers are loosely defined as investors who buy homes, maybe perform some minor or major improvements and try to immediately sell the properties –– usually at a much higher price than they paid for it. In 2015, the number of active home flippers in the market reached the highest level in almost a decade. Let's take a closer look at the future of flipping.

Scottsdale Real Estate Flips Popular

Higher Scottsdale real estate prices has ushered in the return of house flippers.

According to RealtyTrac, there were nearly 180,000 single-family homes and condominiums flipped in 2015. Technically, a flip is defined as a home that is bought and resold within a 12 month period. Flip transactions comprised 5.5% of all sales in 2015 – the first increase in the flipping share in more than four years. RealtyTrac reports that flipping activity increased in 75% of the nation's housing markets. In addition, profits are setting records, too.

Scottsdale real estate experts attribute the growth in flipping to the renewed confidence in the housing market's ongoing recovery. RealtyTrac says not only is the share of home flips rising again, but even smaller investors are participating in the buy and sell activity.

In some markets across the U.S. there are still a number of distressed properties on the market for sale. And, investor demand fueled by the unstable stock market has reopened this avenue for investment growth and profit gain. Real estate agents report multiple offers on the best investable properties as soon as they hit the market. If there's money to be made in a particular house, the flippers are very interested and are acting fast.

One concern on the horizon is that home prices could be rising too fast – even for the flippers' tastes. the main reason for the increase in prices during 2015 and so far this year is the basic law of supply and demand. The supply of homes on the market is low – especially near the lower end of the housing market – and the demand is high. Everybody, not just the flippers, wants a good deal. The prices for homes sold in January were nearly 7% higher than January 2015 and represented a higher annual gain than the month of December, according to CoreLogic. The fear is that house flipping will cause prices to rise even higher – artificially higher – most notably in markets experiencing the lowest inventory.

Some economists warn that as home flipping increases, it's usually an indication of potential problems in the housing market. Such was the case in the housing boom of a decade ago. The difference then, however, was that the flippers were utilizing cheap and available credit to buy their properties, with little of their own money invested in the homes. Because that type of credit and lending is no longer available as it once was, flippers instead are using a larger amount of their own cash into their deals, even with investor financing.

One leading economist said, "More inexperienced home flippers with a smaller financial cushion could be a sign of an over-speculative market, but the data indicate that flippers in 2015 continued to operate within relatively conservative margins." He went on to say that, "Homes flipped in 2015 were on average purchased at a 26 % discount below estimated market value and resold by the flipper at a 5% premium above estimated market value."

Even more concerning is the ever-weakening home affordability for the first-time home buyer or owner occupant looking to trade up. With first-time buyers comprising a much smaller share of total home buyers today than ever before, the risk of a recurring housing price bubble could continue to dissuade them from buying.

In some markets – especially urban areas – investors have to put more of their money into the property to finance it and renovate homes that are often in critical disrepair. And while the properties can be bought for relatively low sales prices and investors stand to make handsome profits once the houses are renovated and sold, investors must be careful to buy the right property in the right market. The failure to do so will result in not having the buyers they need.

Immediately following the recent housing crash, large institutional investors swooped in and purchased thousands of properties in distress. They were able to transform the overwhelming majority of those properties into single-family rental homes. Institutional investors today are buying fewer properties. Smaller investors are taking their place. And those small investors have a penchant to buy and sell – flip the homes – rather than hold onto them in a Scottsdale real estate investment portfolio.

The total number of investors completing at least one flipped transaction in 2015 was at the highest level in more than eight years. The number of flips per investor was at the lowest level since 2008 according to RealtyTrac.

As home prices continue to rise, flippers in turn are seeing their returns increase. Of the homes that were flipped in 2015, the average gross profit was $55,000 nationwide. That amount represents the highest gross profit levels in a decade (since 2005,) RealtyTrac reports. The return on investment neared 46%, an increase of 2% over 2014 and an 11% increase compared to 2005, when flipping was widespread.

See additional articles pertaining to Scottsdale real estate in the Scottsdale Real Estate News section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right. You can find information here on a variety of topics ranging from home buying and home selling tips to home improvements, home inspections, mortgage financing, homeowner's insurance and of course, all the latest Scottsdale real estate news that affects all of these categories.

Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.

In the Scottsdale housing market and others throughout the country, as spring approaches so does a feeling of optimism for many looking to buy. Historically, for a variety of reasons, the coming of spring signals the start of the housing market's activity. However, with home inventory at considerably lower levels than most real estate professionals would like to see them, a home search promises to be a challenging and lengthy task.

Inventory Low in Scottsdale Housing Market

With the supply of homes on the market scarce, real estate experts expect demand to continue to rise. Home prices remain on the upswing – not as a result of rising incomes, but simply because of the age-old economic principles of supply and demand. Homes in short supply meet demand at its peak, resulting in a proverbial seller's market enjoying higher sales prices.

While prices continue to rise, some economists say the pace is slowing a bit. Still, the growth in home prices should encourage additional activity in new home construction. Aggregate housing starts have remained above the annual rate of 1 million starts per year for the past eleven months. In addition – and more importantly – single family housing starts have exceeded 700,000 units per year since June 2015. So, in spite of the lagging inventory of homes on the market, housing investment continues to be a positive factor in the growth of the gross domestic product of the U.S.

Homes in or near urban centers are expected to fare the best. The demand to be close to the city or metropolitan areas creates a veritable buying frenzy. Tight inventory will lead to multiple offers as prospective buyers look to purchase – often before the homes officially reach the marketplace.

The prognosis for some buyers isn't quite as rosy, however. Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell says, "There are a lot of economic forces at work behind the scenes that will have a big impact on housing as we enter the busy home-shopping season. Low inventory is a factor in almost every market, so buyers should be prepared for a limited selection in the months to come.

Some home buyers won't find exactly what they're looking for. Those home shoppers will be faced with an uneasy dilemma. Will they be forced to settle for something that doesn't meet their expectations or needs? Many buyers are hesitant to make a purchase for fear they may get stuck with a house they can't easily resell. In addition, they dread "buyer's remorse" that may set in once they realize they made a bad decision by buying something they really didn't fall in love with.

As a result, renting is always an option. Some prospective first-time buyers have put off buying for a variety of reasons. Chief among them are a lack of a sufficient down payment, fear of taking on additional debt on top of student loans, an ever-changing job market and rising home prices. Plus, statistics have shown that younger buyers are less apt to buy "fixer uppers" at today's prices, primarily due to the cost involved to improve the property to meet their needs.

For those in the Scottsdale housing market looking to buy but possibly deciding to rent until they find their dream home, they're faced with another dilemma: rising rents. The question many will have to ask themselves is, "Does it make better financial sense to buy or rent?" Most real estate analysts say that depends on the old adage of "location, location, location." In some markets throughout the U.S., homeowners can reach the break-even point in less than two years. What that means is home buyers can spend as much to own as to rent, taking into consideration mortgage rates, down payments and taxes. In pricier markets the break-even period may take longer – often between 4-5 years.

Some home buyers remain bullish on buying instead of renting – even though they may not find exactly what they want. They view home ownership as an investment, preferring to buy and hold the house as it appreciates in value. This segment of the Scottsdale housing market is less likely to rent. They consider renting tantamount to throwing money away without building equity in an investment. And, with mortgage interest rates near record lows, buying probably makes better sense for many.

Other factors will impact the Scottsdale housing market this spring. Global economic volatility continues to contribute to an ever-strengthening U.S. dollar. This will ultimately have an effect on demand from foreign purchasers, resulting in keeping interest rates low.

In addition, some U.S. economists warn that continued single-family residential investment as a major component of gross domestic product is worth watching and tracking. Historically, the investment component has been a high-ranking monetary indicator that tends to peak just before the beginning of economic recessions. This has been cited as a reason that some financial analysts point to a "mild to moderate" recession by the third quarter of 2016.


See more articles pertaining to the Scottsdale housing market in the Scottsdale Real Estate News section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right. You can find information there on a variety of topics ranging from home buying and home selling tips to home improvements, home inspections, mortgage financing, homeowner's insurance and much more.

Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.

Scottsdale homes recently built are more expansive and expensive. And when it comes to homes, American homeowners love their space and spaciousness. However, large sized homes come with larger price tags. As home become bigger they’re becoming less affordable for a bigger group of prospective buyers.

Scottsdale Homes: Big Houses, Big Prices

In 2014 the average size of a new home was 2,660 square feet. In 2015 the average size was 2,720. Nearly half the homes under construction in 2015 had four or more bedrooms. In addition, 25% of the new homes built have three-car garages or larger. With the increased size comes a heftier price. U.S. home prices have increased by 25% since the beginning of the housing market recovery in 2011.The average sales price of a new home in 2015 was $351,000 — compared to $251,000 just six years ago, in 2009.

Experts say bigger Scottsdale homes don’t necessarily equate to signs of strength in the housing market. The new homes are geared toward a limited market of older buyers and larger families. Home builders are building fewer starter homes due to land acquisition costs and overall construction costs. In addition, mortgage availability for younger buyers has caused builders to concentrate more on those that can afford the higher prices, larger homes and bigger mortgages.
While younger buyers who don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford bigger new homes represent an opportunity for some home builders, many of them are struggling to save money for a down payment. Some homebuilders say they plan to target the younger buying market by adding more community-type amenities like those found in apartment complexes — a popular attraction to the younger demographic. In addition, builders say smaller and cheaper houses with more outdoor space are ways of attracting younger buyers to consider purchasing Scottsdale homes.
For more information on Scottsdale homes, see our articles to the right under Scottsdale Real Estate below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories. We also post on Facebook and Twitter, so look for us there too!

Your Scottsdale home, no doubt, is one of your favorite possessions. But what happens if a pipe bursts or the water heater stops working? When you were a tenant you simply called the landlord. As a homeowner, now it's your responsibility. Enter the next best thing to a landlord… a home warranty.

Scottsdale Home: Peace of Mind

Your Scottsdale home is one of your favorite possessions. But if a pipe bursts or the water heater stops working, what then? Consider a home warranty.

So just what is a home warranty? Think of a home warranty as insurance coverage for the cost to repair or replace just about any system in your home that may malfunction or wear out. Typical coverage includes heating and air conditioning systems, hot water heaters, certain electrical systems and appliances. Most home warranties cost between $300 and $900 annually.

The beauty of a home warranty is that if something goes wrong, you don't have to call various companies to get repair estimates. And you don't have to pay anything additional out of pocket to fix the issue or replace the equipment. All you have to do is call your home warranty company or enter a claim online. The company then contacts the technicians they work with and either send a repairman or replace the item in question. The only added expense you may have in the case of a brand new replacement would be a co-pay (or deductible) of around $50 per occurrence.

Is a Scottsdale home warranty right for you? The answer is maybe. Home warranties are usually a good idea for first-time homeowners like Gen Xers and Millennials. They're used to calling their landlord, and for the most part, have little or no experience in tackling home issues. In addition, these younger homeowners often work long hours and may not have the time to make lots of phone calls to get repair quotes. Plus, they can't very well take off from work to wait on the repairmen to show up.

When your home was inspected for lending purposes, you may remember the condition and life expectancy of some of your home's systems. Some appliances and systems begin to fail after 15-20 years. And, as luck would have it, when one item goes bad another one soon follows. That's a reason many homeowners welcome a home warranty – it's just one more form of insurance that provides them peace of mind.

Home warranties are also popular with investors or landlords who may have to deal with multiple potential problems in more than one rental property. Most investors have other businesses or other jobs, and the last thing they want to have to worry about is finding a plumber to repair a broken water pipe in the middle of the night.

In summary, home warranties can save home buyers time and money – especially in the first year of home ownership. One last tip, remember the older the home the more coverage you may need to have.