Good morning this morning! :) Ten years ago this past week our little family celebrated a significant milestone... we celebrated living in our home for TEN years?! Since being a child, this is the longest place I have ever lived. In doing so, this has become our children's childhood home. In 2010 Chas and I short-sold our first house and in a mad rush found a rental to rebuild our life. Tristan was only a couple months old, Avin was pushing five and a half. I had also just started a brand new job within this window of time. It would take another two and a half years before our financial life leveled itself out. Our lease was on a month to month now and rents were going to increase a couple few hundred dollars in that upcoming August. I specifically remember our landlord saying in response to the rent: "It's what the market will bear". With that knowledge we started looking for our someday home. In the spirit of going through the grind over the years all I could tell Chas was someday. This inevitably became a rub as everything had to wait and would always be on someday. When the boys would want A,B,C we'd say someday. One of them ultimately said "on someday" can X happen? I told Chas Chas really wanted to go house window shopping.. I told her that I cannot do that because if we find something remotely possible I will be hooked and will invent ways to pull it off. Sure as shit, we found a worthwhile home. I remember the builder telling us that if we did NOT get the bonus room the square footage would have been 2,600'ish, but with the extra room - in lieu of the double tandem - that would kick up to 2,850sf.. I was locked in! Chas was unsure of how expensive it would have been in order to have the down payment in time. I told her that I can do X,Y,Z and I will make that happen. Day job plus water feature builds I had pending, it was going to be possible. Sure'nuf that 2,850sf house also allowed us to also add 4' onto the garage in depth. Between the property square footage, garage space, and bedrooms, it was the house! Then we picked our lot and were now committed.
From there each week following we'd be out there all the time checking out the progress.
And finally, two weeks after our short-sale season date we closed on our new home in August of 2013.
*Avin in his trashed ass pants and Tristan wearing Chas's old shoes hahah!
Tristan happens to be wearing the EXACT same outfit he did between the lot picture and the keys picture?!
Our someday home, finally here.
Slowing down and looking back to what's transpired over these last ten years there would have been NO way of anticipating what "someday" would have become. Prior to Real Estate, the longest job I ever had was five years. I ended up getting my RE license in 2015 and would leave my day job - after 5 years no less - in August. That means I've been employed longer in one field and have lived in the same place for longer than a time in my life. Recalling the last ten years is a blur. Our family has so many memories tied up into this house it's hard to remember a time before. Nothing has been more demanding on my life than pursuing the idea of "someday". Someday has been a pain in the ass and also words of encouragement that we needed to lean on when "now" just wasn't ready. It's hard to put into words what growth looks like. The kind of deep transformative growth in chasing the someday to make the today of tomorrow possible. Just as an unhealthy person someone chooses a better lifestyle of eating better and being physically active - there's transformation beyond the physical. Their mind is wired differently. Although I do not have a physically transformative body, all I have is the metaphor of our home to measure what the interpersonal physical and mindset growth over these last ten years has been. Such growth cannot be purchased or given. This kind of growth comes through a portion of the happenstance of life, but more so having the intentional willingness to step into the unknown while having the discipline to grind through the struggle of today for a positive change in what could be a different someday, tomorrow. Similarly, for me at least, when I see the physical pictures of transformation over the last ten years, specifically the last four/five, I know the physical work and vision it required to pull off through completion. When I visit the mindset and personal growth, the before and after of what I created with my hands, for our home, is equal to the mental change I have grown through.
The takeaway is that we might not see it right now, but with resilience, patience, and the willingness to keep showing up, the circumstances of my today are only for now, someday is possible. :) In light of the topic of our new home, I'd be remiss not sharing the latest on going's regarding real estate. Here's some colorful imagery about our current market along with some anecdotal take away from my friends at the Cromford report.
Active Supply Stabilizing
Still Down 39% From Last Year Annual Appreciation Expected
to Be Positive by September
Not a lot of changes are happening in the housing market right now. It’s as if both buyers and sellers are in a holding pattern awaiting a sign before making a move. Conventional mortgage rates have held steady in the high 6% and low 7% range for nearly 3 months now with little signs of a decline yet. Rates have kept contract activity restricted since the 4th of July and overall demand 22% below normal for this time of year.
The continuous drop in supply we’ve been experiencing since October has slowed and flattened out over the past 6 weeks as well, but still 52% below normal for the past month and 37% below last year’s supply count. The ratio between supply and demand is keeping Greater Phoenix in a seller’s market, but it’s mild compared to the last 3 years. This indicates an upward pressure on price, but more subdued. Between September and December, the annual appreciation rate is expected to turn positive and may return to a pre-pandemic level similar to 2018 and 2019, which had annual appreciation rates between 5-8% on average.
This is good news for buyers for two reasons. First, the latter half of the year is typically the best time to be a buyer in Greater Phoenix as the highest months for closings are March through June. After June, buyer competition declines until the end of the year and gives buyers a little breathing room to tour homes and make decisions. Second, buyers understandably like to see their home’s value increase after they purchase, even if it's just a little bit.
There is also an expectation that the uncertainty surrounding mortgage rates may be lifted towards the end of the year or after the Federal Reserve concludes their meeting on September 20th. While mortgage rate predictions continue to be all over the board, and mostly wrong, if they do indeed decline over the next 3 months then expect both buyers and sellers to break their holding patterns and housing to move once again.
For Sellers: While the Greater Phoenix market is experiencing its typical “summer slowdown”, marketing times prior to contract have held steady for the past 2 months at a reasonable 21 days. Also holding steady, 41% of closings involving seller-assisted closing costs, with the median cost to the seller at $8,000. Offsetting this statistic is a growing number of sales closing over asking price. June saw 21%, July 22%, and August is pushing 23% so far. In a normal seller’s market, this statistic doesn’t exceed 18% and typically peaks in June or July. The median amount over asking price for July closings was $6,000, and the majority of sales last month with both seller concessions and a prices over list occurred on properties listed below $600,000.
New home construction is roughly a third of available inventory in the Arizona Regional MLS. While permit activity dropped significantly last year, this year it has bounced back, but not to the same level as 2022. Instead, new single family permits year-to-date are at a level Greater Phoenix hasn't seen since 2017. For existing homeowners, this means fewer new homes will be added to competing supply. Multi-family permits have outpaced single family and continue to hit new highs. The majority of these units are intended to be rentals, however, and will be adding little competition for existing owners of townhouses and condominiums.
The latest employment report for Arizona showed our state’s labor force continued to grow 2.5% year-over-year, faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.8%. Non-farm employment grew by nearly 72,000 jobs and private sector earnings are up 2.4%. The unemployment rate is just 3.5%, well below the pre-pandemic measure of 4.9% and the lowest unemployment rate for Arizona since 2007. A diverse employment base and positive economic measures for Greater Phoenix continue to support price stability and a mild appreciation of home values through this period of restricted demand. Commentary written by Tina Tamboer, Senior Housing Analyst with The Cromford Report ©2023 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC There's a lot of moving parts in finding a place to call home. If you or someone you know needs a safe place to make their someday possible, we'd be grateful to help. Have a grateful weekend friend! Check out this picture window! wow!