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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby Boomers Impact on Housing

Another benefit of hanging my license at Coldwell Banker: Each month the brains at corporate put out the monthly Market Watch - This month's edition does a great job - not so much in reminding many of us that we are indeed getting older (it's pretty obvious each morning as I notice a new sag someplace) - but the effect the boomers have on the market.   

Here they come! Recently, the New York Life Insurance Company did a survey of Baby Boomers as they prepare to enter retirement. Here are some interesting facts surrounding Boomers.
  • Beginning in January, 2011 and over the next 20 years 78 million Baby Boomers will begin turning 65 in the United States. That’s 10,000 people a day for the next 20 years! Baby Boomers represent 26% of the US population so soon, one in four US citizens will be in retirement.
  • Baby Boomers have their own set of needs, desires and values that they will be bringing to the consumer table. 47% of them plan to downsize their home in preparation for retirement. When asked about their retirement necessities, 94% said the Internet, 60% said shopping, 51% said pet care and 47% said providing the funding of education for their children and grand children.
  • When asked about their biggest concerns as they contemplate the next 20 years, Boomers responded, health care, outliving their income and the decline or potential decline in Social Security. Additionally, 22% said that they are delaying their retirement due to current economic factors. Of those who are waiting, only 10% said that they plan to sell their home as part of their financial process of preparing for retirement.
  • The Median income of Baby Boomers entering retirement is $62,300, the highest in history, but due to life expectancies, many think it will be a challenge. Currently, the average life expectancy for Boomers is 79 for males and 83 for females, but keep in mind that’s an average and many will live much longer creating various housing needs as they age. Currently, the state with the largest number of Baby Boomers is California with 8.9 million currently in the state.
If you ask me, let's invite them to consider Arizona!  Where else can you get our lifestyle, diversity, culture and attractions?  

For more detailed information, check out...

Some good stuff.  If you'd like the latest market trends for another valley area not included above, let me know and I'll send it to you.  Watch for updates each month.

Photo from Flickr courtesy of x-ray delta one

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tierra Santa May be McCormick Ranch’s Best Value

McCormick Ranch has often been regarded as one of Scottsdale’s most desired communities. Its central location, manicured greenbelts and pathways, shops and eateries have helped make 85258 a sure bet in terms of values overall.  Tucked away in the northeast corner of McCormick Ranch lies one subdivision often missed – Tierra Santa – a community offering carefree living, resort-like amenities and single family home prices that’ll make you think it’s a condo.

I’ve just listed a property in Tierra Santa – Arabian Gardens if you ask the tax assessor – that’s a perfect example.  The community is quaint and residents know one another.  Situated between Mountain View and Shea just west of the 101, you discover a charming Italianate colonnade of about 50 homes, all single family homes ranging in size from about 1,525 – 2,160 square feet.  Central to all is an impeccably groomed lawn complete with pool, cabana and tennis courts. 

The community takes care of all front landscaping and that helps explain the pristine curb appeal all the homeowners enjoy. 

Here’s a peak at 8778 E. Appaloosa Trail – it’s a 1,800 square foot home with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It would make a perfect lock’n leave vacation home or create a great easy-maintenance lifestyle for someone who appreciates being close to hospitals, shops, dining and the freeway. 

The living room is impressive with its soaring vaulted ceilings, marble-clad fireplace and snow-white tiled floors.  Beyond lies the formal dining area and an open great room space and ample kitchen.  The split floor plan provides privacy for visitors.  Out back, the bubbling fountain takes center stage from the sprawling covered patio and no-hassle desert landscaping. 

Most homes in McCormick Ranch were built in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s.  Not so here.  Homes in Tierra Santa – Arabian Gardens came much later – this home was built in 1993 and you’ll notice the difference with ceiling heights, fire sprinklers and other more modern design elements lacking in most of 85258.

If you’re looking for a central location in North Scottsdale at a bargain price, you may want to consider Tierra Santa.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prescott Vacation Getaway Blends Historic Charm with Today’s Luxuries

Sitting on the front porch the other day, a couple riding their bikes stopped at the corner and said, “this has got to be the cutest street in America”.  Like this couple, I, too, fell in love with the tree-lined street of Prescott’s Mt. Vernon Avenue and recently gobbled up a vacation cottage there.  My passion for preservation, magnetism towards historic homes and the terrific real estate values got me hook, line and sinker.  So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m ready to share the cottage with others and am starting to market it as a vacation rental getaway.
Location, location, location.  Mt. Vernon is just a couple of blocks from the town square Prescott, Whiskey Row, eateries and the many antique shops that line Cortez.  Built in 1910, the cottage has a personality all its own. 
With my background in the luxury hospitality industry and in anticipation of a guests every need, it has been well appointed, including antiques and period furnishings, a well stocked kitchen with tools to create any feast, and rich linens and plush, thirsty towels.  With two bedrooms and two full baths, the cottage is nicely set up to accommodate family and friends.  Satellite TV and high speed internet will keep the techies connected, too.  Weekend or week-long stays are encouraged, and like the Phoenix/Scottsdale seasonal visitor, there is also a market for furnished vacation rentals in Prescott for a month or two.
Check out the complete rental details on VRBO, a terrific site targeted to those looking for vacation rental property and weekend getaways. 

Like Lombard Street in San Francisco or Michigan Avenue in Chicago, it didn’t take long to learn that having an address on Mt. Vernon is one that commands attention.   Even the organized tours make Mt. Vernon a must.  One thing is certain, sitting on the front porch watching the passersby is as close to perfect as I’ve ever found.  Well, sandy beaches and umbrella drinks, excluded.  It’s the ideal RX for that much deserved getaway.

Friday, November 4, 2011

October's Priciest Home

Now that we're into November and the stats are in, here's the scoup on October's priciest property.  The priciest home sold in the month of October, 2011 is another Desert Mountain beauty.  After 3 years on the market, 10029 E. Boulder Bend Road in North Scottsdale has closed for $4,400,000 in an all-cash transaction. With over 8,100 square feet, October’s priciest home sold for $540 a square foot.  That’s on par with what other homes in Desert Mountain are now recording.
The key is still proper positioning in the market.  Originally listed at $7,495,000, buyers for three years have traipsed through this estate but not biting.  The new buyer picked it up at a 41% discount.  Another feather in the “buyers demanding exceptional value” quiver.  It makes you wonder, if it was positioned a little differently from the beginning, how long would it have sat on the market?
I was fortunate enough to be included in a high powered real estate seminar yesterday on proper market positioning and marketing strategies for optimal results.  In that session, I had to chuckle – the presenter called “Active” listings “homes currently listed by not selling.”  I had to think, “how true is that!”  We often talk about “actives” - when in fact, they are anything but active….they’re still sitting on the market coaxing the buyer pool to drag their muddy feet through the living room.  What really matters is what has closed – that’s the true indicator of market value.
Enough on that subject for the time being.  Back to the Boulder Bend home: The custom homes sits on just over an acre overlooking the Valley of Sun, as it should in Desert Mountain.  Built in 2005, this Lee Hutchinson-designed home enjoys spectacular views with its placement between the 16th and 17th holes of the famed Geronimo course. 

A casual living yet elegant lifestyle awaits inside.  5 bedrooms, 8 baths, a home theatre, dual offices, and an exercise room are sure to please.  What caught my eyes was the exquisite details and finish work inside.  Flowing water features, onyx, hand carved beams, stacked stone….the list goes on and on.

Here’s the details on October’s priciest home:

Listed October 11, 2008.  Closed October 20, 2011.
Total days on the market was 1,104 days.
Original list price was $7,495,000.  Final sales price was $4,400,000.
Sales price per square foot: $540.80

Photos courtesy of ARMLS.