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! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

200th Annivwersary of the Star-Spangled Banner

Here's a link to the Smithsonian's excellent page about the Star-Spangled Banner:

In honor of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, here is one of the all-time great renditions done by Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV in 1991.  It was re-released after the terrorist attacks on 9/11...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Phoenix Area Flooding and Flood Insurance Information

Flooding in Mesa, 

Sept. 9, 2014.(Photo: The Republic)

This week the Phoenix metro area received record-breaking rainfall and many areas experienced severe flooding. Initial news reports were calling it the "hundred year flood." Later reports on local news stations were calling it the "500 year flood" and one even called it a possible "1,000 year flood." As some areas still remain under water and some folks are dealing with the aftermath of extensive flooding, many people are discovering that their homeowner's insurance does not cover this type of water damage.

With this in mind, it is important that all homeowners review their insurance coverage, take the time to check out FEMA flood maps,  and give serious consideration to getting flood insurance.  Flood maps can change, so even if you've checked area maps previously, it's a good idea to review your area flood map again. (See links below.)

According to a recent ArizonaCentral article, "Flood insurance has a 30-day delay before coverage starts. But there's no waiting period for sewer and drain backup coverage, which can be added as an endorsement to standard policies.

Because public infrastructure such as sewer systems often takes a beating during heavy storms, this can be a wise purchase and typically doesn't cost much."

Below are links to FEMA Flood map information and to the Maricopa County Flood Control District.  Take a few minutes to check them out.

The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

For the most current information for your area, go to the FEMA Map Service Center (MSC) website: 

The Maricopa County Flood Control District:  Click HERE

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cromford Report: Market Summary for the Beginning of September

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

Last month we mentioned that we expected active listings to grow between August and November. This may still turn out to be true, but they certainly did NOT grow between August and September. This is quite unusual and shows us how extreme the shortage of new listings has become. New listings have been arriving at a rate which is lower than in any August we have seen since 2001. In the last four weeks we saw 15.6% fewer new listings than last year and 13.2% fewer than in August 2012, the previous low record holder. It is quite surprising that a slump in demand would be followed by a slump in supply, but it is certainly good news for sellers who might otherwise be facing growing competition from other sellers. If demand were to recover to normal levels now we could be facing a supply shortage fairly quickly.
Here are the basic ARMLS numbers for September 1, 2014 relative to September 1, 2013 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 23,296 versus 18,182 last year - up 28.1% - but down 2.5% from 23,900 last month
  • Active Listings (including UCB): 26,142 versus 21,359 last year - up 22.4% - but down 3.8% compared with 26,887 last month
  • Pending Listings: 5,951 versus 7,302 last year - down 18.5% - and down 2.1% from 6,079 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending & UCB): 8,797 versus 10,479 last year - down 16.1% - and down 3.0% from 9,066 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 6,417 versus 7,187 last year - down 10.7% - and down 6.2% from 6,844 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $126.10 versus $119.38 last year - up 5.6% - but down 0.4% from $126.60 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $196,000 versus $182,000 last year - up 7.7% - but down 0.5% from $197,000 last month
Active listings (excluding UCB) rose 9.5% between August 1 and September 1 in 2013 but fell this year by 3.8%.

Demand has shown a few small signs of improvement in some isolated areas, such as Chandler, Tempe, and several locations in the West Valley. High end luxury homes continue to sell very well. Across Greater Phoenix in August we saw 19 closed sales of homes priced over $2,000,000, up from 10 in August 2013. We still have 32 listings under contract for homes of $2,000,000 or more, with 2 ultra-luxury listings over $10,000,000 currently in escrow. However the entry level luxury market is not looking quite so strong.

By this time next month we expect to be in a very neutral market with demand and supply in almost exact balance.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Real Estate Report: No Housing Bubble Right Now in Phoenix

Mike Orr Source:  W. P. Carey School of Business/Arizona State University
Posted: September 03, 2014 

Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, created new, enhanced real estate content to complement his monthly housing reports.

The Phoenix-area housing market is not creating another housing bubble to pop anytime soon. The latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows a lack of enthusiasm from both buyers and sellers. Here are the latest details on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of July:
• The median single-family-home sales price went up 8 percent from last July, but forward price movement is greatly slowing down.
• Activity in the market was also much slower this July than last July, with the number of single-family-home sales down 19 percent.
• The W. P. Carey School is launching an enhanced-content website where those interested in more in-depth housing-market statistics can get customized views of what’s happening.

Phoenix-area home prices dramatically recovered from the housing crash, quickly rising from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices dropped a little, leveled off and then finally, the median single-family-home price rose this summer. The median jumped 8 percent – from $194,000 last July to $210,000 this July. Realtors will note the average price per square foot also went up about 8 percent. The median townhouse/condo price went up about 6 percent to $130,000. However, don’t expect much more upward momentum.

“Most of the median-price increase over the last 12 months is because a greater percentage of the homes being sold are in the luxury market, not because home values overall are increasing,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We anticipate pricing will move sideways or slightly down over the next few months until supply and demand get back into balance.”

At the moment, both demand and supply are low in the Phoenix area. The amount of single-family-home sales dropped 19 percent from last July to this July. (The only bright spot is new-home sales, which increased their market share from 9 to 12 percent.) Investors have focused on other areas of the country with better bargains, so the percentage of residential properties they bought in July was just 13.6 percent, down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. Orr says other home buyers aren’t stepping in and supply isn’t rebounding.

“Usually, when demand is weak for an extended period, supply starts to grow, as it did in the second half of 2005 and throughout 2006 and 2007, heralding the collapse of the housing bubble,” Orr explains. “However, this summer, supply is slowly weakening. It appears that the lack of enthusiasm among buyers has spread to sellers, instead of causing them to panic. Many sellers clearly have the patience to wait for better times and are unwilling to drop prices to dispose of their homes.”

Orr adds the choices for anyone who wants to buy a Phoenix-area house for less than $175,000 are pretty slim. For example, bargain foreclosures are few and far between. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and condos are down 45 percent this July from last July.

The limited options at the low end of the market are also contributing to the booming demand for single-family rental homes. Orr says fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed the rent on single-family homes in the most popular areas up 7.5 percent over the last 12 months. Affordable apartment and condo rentals have also become hard to find.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Falling Rates Spur Loan Demand in Latest Week

Source: REALTOR®Mag
National Association of REALTORS®
Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, September 03, 2014 
Mortgage applications were on the rise last week as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to its lowest level of the year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports Wednesday.

Applications for home purchases and refinancings rose 0.2 percent in the week ending Aug. 29, according to the MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity. Broken out, refinancing applications increased 1.4 percent, while applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading indicator of future home sales, dropped 1.5 percent during the week.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.25 percent in the week, the lowest level since June 2013, the MBA reports.

Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Rise in Latest Week: MBA,” Reuters (Sept. 3, 2014)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Checklist for HVAC Maintenance

Source: HouseLogic 
Courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®

Here's an easy, doable preventive maintenance plan to keep your HVAC in top shapeCLICK HERE

Includes things to do now, monthly or seasonally, and annually.

HOUSE LOGIC- Topics of Interest can always be found at