Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because Bruce & Pam Wachter - West USA Realty Pinetop care about the communities and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 5, 2019

Pickleball in the White Mountains of AZ! Come play with us!

Come and play with us in the Pines!  Do you know about pickleball?  Maybe you do, but if not, pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. Due to the exploding popularity of this scores of years-old game, parks and recreation departments are adding pickleball to their sports programs. But what is pickleball exactly, and why is it becoming so popular?

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a "paddle sport" that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong using a paddle and plastic ball with holes-- like a whiffle ball. The game is appropriate for players of all ages and skill levels. Basically, anyone can play. And the rules for pickleball are simple, making it a great introductory sport. But, depending on levels of play, pickleball can be quite a challenging, fast-paced, and competitive game when people become more experienced at playing.

 

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Feb. 28, 2019

Tips for Searching for Homes Online

Most home buyers "ask Google" to help them find homes online.  From those results, people pick from whatever pops up in a search.  But, most people really don't know where to find homes online.  They think that the websites with the most pictures, some Q&As, is the best place to look.  Unfortunately, that's hardly true.

Websites that have homes from all over the country (and world) pull data from many sources.  Some good, some not so good.  They're what are called "aggregators"-- putting together lots of data from everywhere, with much of it not of much use, outdated, or just plain unreliable.  But those websites look busy with a lot of activity, so people are attracted to them.  It can be maddening when information is incomplete, or just plain wrong.  Most importantly much of the data needs refinement, and that refinement can only be done by Realtors who are "on the ground" in that market.

These websites also charge real estate agents hefty fees to be "featured".  It is "pay to play".  But what does that mean?  Did the website choose the agents who appear on the website?  No.  Those are paid advertisements with no relation to actual experience or professionalism of the agent.  So that begs the question, "Who are you actually contacting?"  You really don't know.  You also will more than likely hear from several unknown agents who have paid the website for your information to follow up on.  Who are they?  You really don't know.  Are they best suited for the work you need them to do?

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Feb. 26, 2019

IBuyers: The Cost vs. Convenience

Is It Worth It?

The real estate tech trend known as "ibuying", or an "ibuyer" is a company that will make an offer to buy your house sight unseen very quickly, and that figure is based on their own automated valuation model (AVM).  Ibuyers, if you accept the offer, can usually close very quickly.  They will offer a streamlined process that's fast and easy, less hassle than a traditional sale.  This method can be a good choice when a seller needs to move quickly for a job, to be near family when older, a "distress" sale, where a seller needs to get out from under fast-- and other reasons.  So, the model does work for some, that's true.

Sounds pretty good.  Is there a catch? What, or who is actually behind the transaction?  An investor.  Or investors.  An investor is buying the home.  They're not "bad" people.  They're not "stealing" homes, although there's a lot of negativity surrounding the Ibuyer model from traditional agents.  And what do investors want?  A profit.  Can't blame them.  After all, they're taking all the risk.  They may end up "holding" the property for an extended period of time, which is costly and cuts into their profit margin.  So, with risk in mind, Ibuyers will charge a full commission that may be greater than that of a traditional real estate agent.  That's not mean or shady, it's just how that business model works.  An Ibuyer will also discount the value of the home to offset the risk they're taking giving the home seller instant liquidity.  They're giving the seller cash.  The buyer, or investor, is using his own money.  He's not financing.

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July 31, 2017

Curious About White Mountains AZ Real Estate?

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Curious about White Mountains AZ real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.