As a homebuyer unless you’re paying for a new property with cash your credit score will ultimately be a factor in the purchase process. Of course there are minimum qualifications to get a loan period, but there are also good reasons to take a close look at your credit even if you qualify. Depending on the loan product and lender a single credit point difference can make a substantial impact on the rate offered. While there are a multitude of factors that can impact credit, speaking with a reputable lender of choice early on in the process is highly recommended. Most lenders have computer simulations which can show the impact a change in a credit factor would have on a credit score. For instance, perhaps paying down a credit card balance by $200 will give you another 5 points to your credit score which drops your rate from 4.125% to 3.875%. That would absolutely be worth knowing and taking advantage of before a home purchase. Even the order which changes are made to credit can impact the score so be sure to follow any sound advice to the letter.
For buyers who are thinking about a purchase in the near future, particularly those who know they have marginal credit, it’s wise to begin the conversation with a lender immediately. Having a few months to make changes is best and won’t run the risk of not qualifying or delaying a closing. One other note is to be very cautious of “credit counselors” who advertise that they can make huge impacts in your credit score with easy fixes. More often than not these are scams that may not change your credit at all or in some cases only impart temporary modifications which will once again reappear on your credit soon after you pay the company. As always feel free to ask us for recommendations on lenders who we’ve been successful with in the past. We have multiple lenders across many companies that we’ve used and sometimes they can each offer a different spin or product.
Long Realty’s mobile home search app was just launched on Thursday and it’s already receiving tremendous buzz for its innovation. Helping to revolutionize the mobile home search app is the “Home Scan” feature, which is an augmented reality product that utilizes a device’s GPS location, compass and camera. Essentially this feature allows you to hold your phone up, pointing any direction, and the listings within that compass range will overlay on your screen showing their distance from you. Click on any of the listings to bring up the property details.
What’s perhaps most important though is the app ties directly into the MLS systems and is updated every 15 minutes, making sure all the latest information is at your fingertips. Other national search apps just don’t provide current information and Long’s app is also exceptionally easy to use. The large, high resolution photos and property details are the icing on this fantastic cake.
Among the app’s highlights are:
Search Active Listings, Pending Sales, and recently Sold properties across Arizona
Current & Accurate Information – Updated Every 15 Minutes
Find nearby properties based on your current location
Draw your own search area
Track favorite listings (integrates with Long’s Virtual HomeFinder web technology)
Large, high resolution property photos
HomeScan – Scan the neighborhood for homes using a live camera view
Available for iPad, iPhone, and Android technologies (Apple & Google Play stores)
Watch the video below for a demonstration of this new app’s capabilities:
The lastest Housing Reports from Long Realty are now online at TeamWoodall.com. To view the reports simply navigate to the Real Estate Info tab and click on the Local Housing Statistics. Long does publish a few more reports broken down by geographic area, so contact us if you’d like to view these but typically the regional/community reports have been much more popular. You’ll see the market continues to churn along and has been hampered if anything by a lack of good inventory. Interest rates remain exceptionally attractive so the outlook continues to be quite positive.
Team Woodall has just listed a turn-key condo unit located in the desirable master-planned community of Rancho Vistoso. This 1,445 square foot unit includes an attached garage which also has an indoor staircase up to the second level unit. Featuring an open floor plan and split bedroom layout, this unit maximizes its square footage potential and provides 3 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms. One of the bedrooms is the perfect “flex space” with a desk providing a comfortable office while a pull-out sofa allows the room to easily convert to a bedroom when needed. This property has been exquisitely maintained and needs no attention whatsoever. Even best yet is all the furniture, appliances, and decor is included in the purchase. This is literally the definition of move-in ready! Click here for more pictures of this fantastic property! Contact Team Woodall today for more information or to schedule a visit to see the property.
Stephen Woodall will be hosting an open house on Saturday, April 20th at his listing within the private residential golf community of Stone Canyon from 1-4pm. We welcome everyone to come see this phenomenal custom home at 931 W. Tortolita Mountain Circle. From Tangerine & Rancho Vistoso head north on Rancho Vistoso for approximately 2.5 miles, then turn west on Tortolita Mountain Drive at the Stone Canyon monument. Follow that back to the gatehouse to check-in with the gate attendant to receive final directions and an information sheet. To preview this great house before coming out you can visit the website at: http://teamwoodall.com/931.
Buyer’s today may be thinking they’re still in the driver’s seat when making a purchase, but the reality today is a shift has occurred and the “screaming deals” of the last few years are gone. Now, this isn’t to say there aren’t any good values to be had or that sellers hold all the cards, but buyers need to be keenly aware of the market in which they’re shopping. What is becoming more rare are purchases made well under the list price. Sellers, from banks to private individuals, are more accurately pricing homes from the outset near market values. Inventory levels across Tucson are at 3.3 month supply, which is a very small supply.
Price point makes a tremendous difference in how quickly homes are moving and how much of a discount can be had though. The most competitive price points, typically those under $200,000 around the Tucson-area, have the least amount of inventory and the most demand. This has caused an increase in average and median prices by roughly 20% over the last 18-19 months. Homes in very good to excellent condition that are priced well are selling quickly at or very near list prices. It’s definitely not uncommon to find multiple offer situations again, although bidding wars are not as common as during the market’s peak. Buyers remain more pragmatic still about their purchase and many come to realize acting quickly after finding the right property is highly important.
Luxury market buyers are the ones still most apt to receive a more substantial discount compared to list price. However, the inventory levels here have dropped recently. Last year at this time there was a 43-month supply of homes over $800,000 and now that number is only 19.9 months. This still represents a surplus of homes though, so buyers have a wide selection to choose from and pricing remains relatively stable. However, many luxury market sellers simply don’t NEED to sell their properties and are less apt to “give the home away”. If you can find a motivated seller and a property that you like though, very good deals can be found. Much has been written about how new construction has returned in the broad market, and this is also becoming somewhat the case with luxury homes as well. Spec homes priced in the $800,000 – $1,300,000 are seeing increased sales as well.
The Long Housing Reports for April 2013 are now online and can be viewed here. The positive momentum of the market continues as inventory decreases and prices continue a steady rise. Currently Tucson-wide there is only 3.3 months of inventory on the market! Buyers actively shopping today won’t be terribly surprised by that figure as good properties are hard to come by and when they are found it’s often a multiple offer situation. Even heading into the summer it’s our forecast that inventory remains relatively low and come next Fall you’ll be seeing some continued price increases.
Another notable statistic is that the Luxury Market continues to heat up too. Those agents and buyers looking in this market segment already know of the increased activity over the last several months, but contracts for March were up 33%. As inventory continues to shrink you’ll finally start to see some maintained upward price pressure in the next six months by our estimation. This recovery of the luxury market is something that we forecasted a year ago and it’s nice to see that our prediction at that time is coming to fruition. If you’re on the fence about looking for a luxury home, now is absolutely the time to buy. There still remains a pretty good selection of homes and prices haven’t gone up too much yet. That won’t remain the case forever and if you’re financing the rates are still exceptional. Contact Team Woodall today for a more in-depth discussion of the market.
This weekend sees the return of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association Home & Patio Show on April 5th-7th. Held at the Tucson Convention Center (260 South Church Avenue) the event always draws a large crowd of Tucsonans looking for home improvement ideas, contractors, and the latest gadgets. Hours for the event are from 10am-7pm on Friday & Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. Parking has been publicized as free at the Tucson Convention Center and check your local mail for 2 for 1 admission promos. More information about the event can be obtained at sahbahomeshow.com or you can call (520) 795-3025.
CoreLogic published statistics on foreclosures in the Tucson-area and there is positive news to be shared. The data is for January 2013 and showed that foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 1.42% which is a pretty sharp dropped when compared with last January’s 2.34%. The rate nationally sits at 2.9%. Also, the mortgage delinquency rate, which is defined by borrowers who are 90 days or more behind, decreased to 4.54% for January. Compare this with January 2012 when the rate was 6.13% or even the current national rate of 6.34% and Tucson is looking pretty good.
Forbes recently posted a story about job growth improving across the country and even more exciting was the result that Tucson tied for 3rd with an expected net employment outlook of 22%. This result is based off of a survey completed by ManpowerGroup, an employment services firm, which surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan areas to find out who’s hiring, who’s firing and who plans to maintain their current staff levels in the second quarter of 2013. Their data is also supported with statistics coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which showed unempolyment for February at 7.7%, which is the lowest since December 2008. Tucson continues to receive acclaim not only for its economic recovery & outlook, but also for its quality of life. We couldn’t agree more!
Here’s the specific information from the article, written by Jacquelyn Smith, about Tucson:
“The Tucson Metro Chamber works very hard to promote a strong local economy, so we are not surprised that our work has had positive results,” says Michael Varney, president and chief executive of the Tucson Metro Chamber. “At the same time, recognition of this nature is always a pleasant surprise.”
Which industries are doing particularly well in Tucson? Healthcare, technology and service sectors seem to be out in front, Varney says. “We have a number of excellent healthcare facilities in our region. Renewed in-migration seems to have picked up. With that influx of new residents will be a component of retired individuals who typically need higher levels of healthcare services. There has been a concerted effort to develop the technology and bio-tech sectors of our economy, which I think is starting to bear fruit. Our wonderful University of Arizona has made some very powerful strides to commercialize their research and to help tech companies get up and running. Certain service sectors are also doing well perhaps largely because employment has picked up and there is more demand for services.”
The University of Arizona is one of the city’s largest employers. Others include Raytheon Missile Systems; Davis–Monthan Air Force Base; University of Arizona Health Network; and various mining companies.
“We frequently hear from employers that they have jobs they need to fill,” he says. “The range includes very highly skilled to technical and vocational to manual labor. Tucson’s unemployment level is below the national average, so it is possible to infer that organic growth of our economy is at the root of this demand for employees.”
With 320 days of sunshine each year, and bright blue skies, Varney says Tucson is a wonderful place to live and work. “The climate and natural beauty in Southern Arizona is very unique. Although we are a metro area of one million, there is still a little small town nature to the culture in terms of friendliness and neighbors helping neighbors.”