Monday, April 13, 2020

Welcome to Pook's E-News!

Pook Bellini 
Arizona Best Real Estate
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Mobile: 480-628-7377
Pook's E-News contains up-to-date articles and information about real estate and other topics of interest. It is sent out as an email to those on my mailing list and then posted to this site.  If you would like to receive Pook's E-News and are not currently on my email list, please contact me. Also, please know that your feedback is both welcome and deeply appreciated!  Feel free to leave comments or email me directly.

Please note that you can search for previous postings at the ARCHIVE at the bottom of the left sidebar.  

You can also scroll down below to see previous postings, however, since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts" (lower right corner of each page) to see older posts.  There are lots of posts hiding there... don't miss them! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Would you like to buy a cave?

Source:  CBS Sunday Morning
Published on May 18, 2014
For the past 25 years, Ra Paulette has been carving out man-made caves from the sandstone hills of New Mexico, and then sculpting these spaces into works of art he calls wilderness shrines. Lee Cowan has the story of an artist who does his best work underground.

This cave digger is a master artist!  His work is beyond description.  And, just in case you'd like to buy one of these amazing caves, there may still be a couple for sale.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Greetings from South Carolina

As some of you already know, my husband and I have finally made the big move to South Carolina. We left Arizona on Christmas Eve and arrived at our home in SC on Sunday, December 28th, after a brief stop in Atlanta to visit our son.

Our wonderful memories of 38 years in Arizona will remain with us always, but we are thrilled to be back on the east coast, closer to family. With all the promise that a new year brings, we look forward to making new friends, discovering new activities to fill our days, and having many opportunities to spend time with family and friends. Our plan is to return to our cabin in Pinetop for a few months each summer, allowing us lots of time to get together with Arizona friends. 

On the business side, I’m maintaining my Arizona Real Estate license and look forward to continuing to work with old and new clients. In this wonderful age of technology, I can do almost everything on my computer and my phone and I am fortunate to have fabulous colleagues who I can count on to show property and be there for inspections and signings. And, if necessary, I can fly in or drive down from Pinetop in the summer to meet with clients personally. Arizona Best's affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World connects me with the best companies in the country and around the world, so I can provide great referrals anywhere. Additionally, I passed the SC real estate exam several months ago, so I will be licensed in both states. I'm really looking forward to working with clients here in our new community, Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC. It's wonderful to be local and global!

Wishing everyone a New Year filled with good health, good friends, and good times!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cromford Report: Market Summary for the Beginning of December

Source:  The Cromford Report™ 
Michael J. Orr, Owner/Founder of The Cromford Report™/
Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business
Arizona State University

There are those who will look at the sales count for November and assume the month was dreadful. Sales were down more than 20% compared with October. However we think this was a pretty good performance. November contained only 17 full working days because of Veterans Day and Thanksgiving plus weekends at both the start and the end of the month. This is the lowest number of days we ever get in a calendar month. In contrast October had 23 working days, the highest we ever see. With 26% fewer days in which to close them, 20% fewer sales is not bad at all. It is disappointing that November 2014 was down 2.4% compared with November last year, but November last year had 18 working days, which is a 6% advantage over 17, so again November looks more reasonable in that context.

There are a few other good news straws to grasp.

  • active listing counts have started to fall (though not in all areas). We are down 1% from a month ago and only 2.3% higher than in 2013.
  • pending listings are UP from last month, as are listings under contract.
These are the first small signs of an improvement in demand that we have seen for a long time, although it would be foolish to claim either is strong signal. At the moment we are willing to take what we can get.

The annual sales count has stabilized and if the number of listings under contract is an indicator, December should be quite a reasonable month for closings.
It is not time to celebrate but it is time to start feeling a little hopeful that the worst is behind us.
Here are the basic ARMLS numbers for December 1, 2014 relative to December 1, 2013 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 24,593 versus 24,043 last year - up 2.3% - but down 1.0% from 24,846 last month
  • Active Listings (including UCB): 27,427 versus 26,817 last year - up 2.3% - but down 0.5% compared with 27,561 last month
  • Pending Listings: 5,497 versus 5,965 last year - down 7.8% - but up 3.9% from 5,293 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending & UCB): 8,331 versus 8,739 last year - down 4.7% - but up 4.0% from 8,008 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 4,992 versus 5,117 last year - down 2.4% - and down 20.4% from 6,269 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $129.07 versus $123.48 last year - up 4.5% - and up 1.2% from $127.59 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $192,000 versus $185,000 last year - up 3.8% - but down 0.3% from $192,500 last month
Pricing has benefited from easy comparisons because November was weaker than expected last year. The opposite will be true when we do the market summary at the start of 2015.

Compared with a month ago, supply has been growing most in the luxury sectors and in the areas focused on active adults and the retired. Examples include Gold Canyon, Arizona City, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun Lakes and Paradise Valley. Many of the low and mid-range areas have experienced a significant drop in supply, especially Gilbert, Glendale, Avondale, Tolleson, Laveen, Chandler and Phoenix. 

Despite the slight improvement in a few indicators, we would still describe the market as subdued, awaiting an economic recovery that improves the earnings potential of those who depend primarily on a job rather than capital gains.

The for-sale housing market is unlikely to drive the economy forward at this stage; it is more likely to be the other way round.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cromford Report: November Mid Month Pricing Update and Forecast

Source:  The Cromford Report™ 
Michael J. Orr, Owner/Founder of The Cromford Report™/
Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business
Arizona State University

Each month about this time we look back at the previous month, analyze how pricing has behaved and report on how well our forecasting techniques performed. We also give a forecast for how pricing will move over the next 30 days.

For the monthly period ending November 15, we are currently recording a sales $/SF of $129.52 averaged for all areas and types across the ARMLS database. This is 3.1% above the $125.69 we now measure for October 15 and represents quite a significant surge in average pricing. Our forecast range was $127.00 to $132.18 with a mid-point of $129.59. Last month's mid-point therefore proved to be some 0.09% (7c) above the actual average recorded so far. This is well within our margin of error, in fact one of our most accurate forecasts ever. Given that the market is fairly weak, forecasting a 3.1% increase felt very much like sticking our necks out, but the model proved to be absolutely correct.
On November 15, REO sales across Greater Phoenix (all types) averaged $89.67 per sq. ft. (up 1.4%). Pre-foreclosures and short sales averaged $95.04 (down 0.9%) while normal sales averaged $133.20 (up 3.6%). The market share of normal sales edged up from 89.3% to 89.9% over the last 31 days. REOs lost market share from 6.7% to 6.0%. Short sales and pre-foreclosures gained very slightly from 4.0% to 4.1%. 

On November 15 the pending listings for all areas & types showed an average list $/SF of $130.92, 0.1% below the reading for October 15. Among those pending listings we have 81.7% normal, 7.3% in REOs and 11.0% in short sales and pre-foreclosures. The average pricing for pending listings within Greater Phoenix on October 15 in each category was: $138.63 for normal, $94.53 for short sales & pre-foreclosures and $85.30 for REOs. The figure for REO sales is much lower than last month, while that for short sales & pre-foreclosures is much higher while that for normal sales is slightly lower. 

Our mid-point forecast for the average monthly sales $/SF on December 15 is $130.17, which is 0.5% higher than the November 15 reading. We have a 90% confidence that it will fall within ± 2% of this mid point, i.e. in the range $127.57 to $132.77. Our forecast this month is for a fairly small increase in sales pricing over the next month. Once again this goes against the prevailing trend but is based on the continuing strength in the pending $/SF over the last two months. 

There are several factors helping the average $/SF for closed sales to stay high

  1. A continuing fall in the share of homes sold among the lower price ranges.
  2. Continuing sales strength for very high end luxury homes.
  3. More sellers agreeing to pay buyers' closing costs and other concessions, a significant invisible discount that does not show up in the recorded sales price.
With demand remaining weak, we still expect the natural price range to remain stuck between $123 and $133 per sq. ft. over the next few months.

We would need to see a strong recovery in demand to change this expectation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  The main hostilities of WWI were properly finished at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with Germany signing the Armistice.

Heartfelt thanks go out to the men and women who have served in our armed forces, protecting our nation, and preserving the freedoms we cherish. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy 239th Birthday to the United State Marine Corps

With love and thanks to my husband and his beloved Marine Corps brothers for their dedication and service, and with heartfelt thanks to all who have served or are currently serving.   
Semper Fi!

As in years past, it is my honor to share the annual birthday tribute to the United States Marine Corps presented by Bob Parsons, Executive Chairman and Founder of Go Daddy.  Please click HERE to view this 239th birthday presentation.   

In addition to the annual birthday tribute, GoDaddy is partnering with the Semper Fi Fund and  America's Fund to raise money to help critically ill and injured members of all of the United States Armed Forces and their families.  The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation and will match up to $5 million in donations.
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and the America's Fund provide financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families during times of hospitalization and recovery, as well as assistance for those with ongoing medical needs.  

You have the power to make a difference.  Click HERE to help GoDaddy help those heroes who've given so much for our freedom. 
Every November 10th, my husband and his Marine Corps buddies call to wish each other a happy birthday.  This year, there will be one phone call less... today and always we remember with deep love and affection our dear friend, Bob "Heavy" Petrella, who was  a USMC Captain during the Vietnam War and was a recipient of 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for valor.

Thanks for the all the great memories, Heavy!  We love you, man!

I invite you to check out this website for a painting titled 
 created by our dear friend, renowned artist, Denham Clements.