Area Real Estate News & Market Trends




April 8, 2020

How Technology Is Enabling the Arizona Real Estate Process

Today 2020 in Arizona everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything in Arizona Real Estate right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes we’re adapting to is the revisions to the common real estate transaction, which all vary by state and locality. Technology, however, is making it possible for many of us to continue on the quest for homeownership, an essential need for all.

Here’s a look at some of the elements of the process that are changing (at least in the near-term), due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and what you may need to know about each one if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home sooner rather than later.

1. Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with real estate and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it’s your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a seller, you can still get the process started remotely and create a plan together. Your trusted advisor is still on your side.

2. Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources buyers use when searching for homes. Your real estate agent can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you’re ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, you can still have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those buyers looking to find a home right now.

3. Document Signing – In Arizona we use digital Signatures with most paperwork. Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In many areas, your agent or loan officer can set up an account where you can upload all of the required documents and sign electronically right from your computer.

4. Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home.

5. Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window.

Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.

Bottom Line

If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available. Let’s touch base today to discuss your situation and our local regulations, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.


Posted in Local, Market Updates
April 7, 2020

Spring is typically the busiest season


Annual Price Appreciation Chart

For the Phoenix Real Estate Market, Spring is typically the  busiest real estate season. Mostly, that's because warmer weather and the chance for families to move and get settled in between school years makes it an opportune time to pack up and start somewhere new. In a typical spring real estate season we normally see our prices lift, then they cool back off.   

In 2020 Spring, though, the coronavirus, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders have disrupted the start of the 2020 Phoenix spring selling season. So what happens to all those potential buyers and sellers with plans to enter the market this spring?

Well, according to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist, they're more likely to put their plans on hold than to cancel them. 

“We are in uncertain times, but I do think that people who are staying at home right now, once the all-clear signal is given, will be going back into the market,” 

Yun told Housing Wire. In short, the housing market got off to a strong start this year and those buyers and sellers who were ready to make a move will still be ready once things return to normal. 

The experts don’t always get predictions right.  Nobody has a crystal ball. Ask everyone that purchased homes in 2005, or all the people that loaded up on tech stocks. Be conservative, buy well within your budget so you can weather a storm. 

The combination of a market well positioned to weather the storm and a high level of pent-up demand means we can reasonably expect spring sales in Arizona will be delayed till later in the year rather than canceled altogether. 


April 7, 2020

How to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent in Arizona

How to Find Arizona Real estate Agent Scott Schulte

There’s a ton of Arizona real estate information available in the news today and on the Internet. It can be extremely confusing, especially in times of uncertainty like we’re facing right now.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year 2020, you need an agent who can help you:

  • Make sense of this rapidly evolving Arizona housing market
  • Navigate everything from virtual showings to new online marketing strategies
  • Price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process
  • Determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller

Dave Ramsey, a financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an Arizona agent who has a finger on the pulse of the current Arizona market will make your buying or selling experience so much easier.

So, how do you identify who truly understands what’s happening right now? How do you know who will take the time to simply and effectively explain what today’s market conditions mean to you and your family?

Check out the Arizona agent on social media. What are they posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more? Are they using their social media platforms to share relevant, helpful information, or are they just posting memes and recipes? The best agents are committed to educating the consumer so they can feel confident when buying or selling a home.

Bottom Line

What agents are posting online will help you determine who meets the criteria Dave Ramsey suggested you look for: someone with the heart of a teacher. Let’s connect today, so you can work with a true trusted real estate professional.


April 6, 2020

Will 2020 Surging Unemployment Crush Arizona Home Sales?

Around Ten million Americans lost their jobs over the last two weeks March/April 2020. The next announced unemployment rate will be on May 8th, it is expected to be in the double digits.

Because the covid-19 health crisis brought the economy to a screeching halt, many are feeling a personal financial crisis in Arizona. James Bullard, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, explained that the government is trying to find ways to assist those who have lost their jobs and the companies which were forced to close (think: your neighborhood restaurant). In a recent interview he said:

“This is a planned, organized partial shutdown of the U.S. economy in the second quarter. The overall goal is to keep everyone, households and businesses, whole.”

That’s promising, but we’re still uncertain as to when the recently unemployed will be able to return to work.

Another concern in Arizona: how badly will the U.S. economy be damaged if people can’t buy homes?

A new concern is whether the high number of unemployed Arizonan’s will cause the residential real estate market to crash, putting a greater strain on the Arizona economy and leading to even more job losses. The housing industry is a major piece of the overall economy in this country.

Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, in a post titled Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic, addressed the toll this crisis will have on our nation, explaining:

“Housing is a foundational element of every person’s well-being. And with nearly a fifth of US gross domestic product rooted in housing-related expenditures, it is also critical to the well-being of our broader economy.”

How has the unemployment rate affected home sales in the past?

It’s logical to think there would be a direct correlation between the unemployment rate and home sales: as the unemployment rate went up, home sales would go down, and when the unemployment rate went down, home sales would go up.

However, research reviewing the last thirty years doesn’t show that direct relationship, as noted in the graph below. The blue and grey bars represent home sales, while the yellow line is the unemployment rate. Take a look at numbers 1 through 4:

Unemployment rates and homes sales 2020 Arizona

  1. The unemployment rate was rising between 1992-1993, yet home sales increased.
  2. The unemployment rate was rising between 2001-2003, and home sales increased.
  3. The unemployment rate was rising between 2007-2010, and home sales significantly decreased.
  4. The unemployment rate was falling continuously between 2015-2019, and home sales remained relatively flat.
  5. The impact of the unemployment rate on home sales doesn’t seem to be as strong as we may have thought.

Isn’t this time different?

Yes. There is no doubt Arizona and the US have not seen job losses this quickly in almost one hundred years. How bad could it get? Goldman Sachs projects the unemployment rate to be 15% in the third quarter of 2020, flattening to single digits by the fourth quarter of this year, and then just over 6% percent by the fourth quarter of 2021. Not ideal for the housing industry, but manageable.

How does this compare to the other financial crises?

Some Experts believe this is going to be reminiscent of The Great Depression. From the standpoint of unemployment rates alone (the only thing this article addresses), it does not compare. Here are the unemployment rates during the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the projected rates moving forward:

Compare Unemployement to Great depression-Great Recessions-Current Covona 19

Bottom Line


We’ve given you the facts as we know them. The 2020 housing market will have challenges this year. However, with the help being given to those who have lost their jobs and the fact that we’re looking at a quick recovery for the Arizona economy after we address the health problem, the housing industry should be fine in the long term. Contact me with any questions


April 5, 2020

The number of homes for sale in Surprise, AZ has been lower than normal

The number of homes for sale in Surprise, AZ has been lower than normal for some time now. A combination of homeowners staying in one place longer, fewer new homes being built, and increasing demand among buyers has caused for-sale inventory to lag and prices to climb higher. 

There was hope that those conditions would change or slow down this year. New residential construction in Arizona was poised to make gains, add supply, and help moderate price increases. 

Then the corona-virus hit. Naturally, efforts to contain the virus will affect the housing market. But how? Well, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, it's still too soon to tell but there are some early indications. 

For example, during the second half of March there were double digit drops in the number of newly listed homes for sale, with significant declines in areas like Phoenix, Milwaukee, and San Diego. Additionally, home prices grew at the slowest pace this so far in 2020, with the median listing price just 2.5 percent higher than it was one year earlier. 

Still, prices continued to climb and, in some areas like Minneapolis, listings actually rose year-over-year. Overall, the data is consistent with a market slowdown, though future numbers will give a more complete look at where things stand.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about selling, struggling financially, or wondering what to do as a buyer?  Contact us, we can look at the market together and devise a plan that helps you.

April 4, 2020

Arizona Real Estate

Arizona Real Estate

Making the move to Arizona has many advantages, which is why people from all over the country have chosen to do so. For one thing, there are 320 days of sunshine every year, with mild winters that are the envy of the rest of the country. And compared to much of the country, Arizona real estate is affordable.




The Phoenix metropolitan area also has both good job opportunities and high quality of life; in fact, U.S. News surveyed 125 metro areas throughout the country to find the best places to live based on both the quality of life and job opportunities. Phoenix ranked number 17 out of 125 as the best place to retire and ranked number 19 as one of the best places to live. Arizona’s economy is extremely strong, and add to that a low cost of living, Arizona is the perfect place for both young professionals and retirees to settle down.

The fact of the matter is, whether you’re a retiree or a young professional, there is a place for you in the Valley of the Sun. Arizona real estate is a good value for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life. Likewise, if you’re an investor, Phoenix real estate is one of the best long term investments in the country.

The Phoenix metropolitan area includes many smaller cities, all of which have their unique character and appeal. Sun City West and Sun City Grand are vibrant communities perfect for the active senior. Waddell real estate is great for anyone who wants an equestrian property, and Cave Creek AZ homes for sale are perfect for anyone who wants to live the Old West spirit.

West Valley cities like Surprise and Litchfield Park are especially safe and family-friendly. Much of the West Valley is new, fresh and expansive, providing your family with room to grow and thrive into the future. The schools in towns like Surprise and Litchfield Park are very good, and there are plenty of fun things to do. The median price for Surprise AZ homes for sale is close to the national average, but the quality of life is definitely above average in the West Valley.

Overall, the cost of living in and around Phoenix is 5% less expensive than the national average, and the year over year appreciation rates for homes in the Phoenix metropolitan area was 8.4% with a 5-year appreciation rate of 10.5%. This means, investing in Phoenix Arizona real estate will help to grow your personal wealth.

Whether it’s golf, baseball, horses or a career in a high-tech industry, Arizona real estate will make your lifestyle dreams a reality. Arizona continues to grow into a multi-cultural economic powerhouse, with plenty of opportunity for growth and expansion.

With so many diverse communities to choose from, consider your options carefully. Scott Schulte can not only help match you to the right home in the right community, but he can also help you through the purchasing process, explaining all of the paperwork in detail, guiding you through each step in the home purchasing process.

Posted in Has video, Local
April 4, 2020

April 2020 Arizona Real Estate Prices Are Starting to Slow

Arizona Real Estate Prices Starting To Slow

Arizona Real estate has many unknown factors. We can look at the numbers and hope after the Corona Virus is over we can be optimistic. The S&P Case-Shiller Indices are considered to be among the leading measures of U.S. home prices. According to their most recent release, which covers data through January, home price increases were accelerating at the start of the year. 

In fact, their 20-city composite index was up 3.1 percent year-over-year, up from 2.8 percent the month before.  

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says the increases were broad based.  

“Results for the month were broad based with gains in every city in our 20-city composite; 14 of the 20 cities saw accelerating prices,”  

Lazzara said. “As has been the case since mid-2019, after a long period of decelerating price increases, the national, 10-city, and 20-city composites all rose at a faster rate in January than they had done in December.” 

In other words, high real estate buyer demand combined with a lower number of homes for sale in Arizona had begun to push prices upward. However, Lazzara cautions that their data predates the effects of the coronavirus and the impact that it may have on home prices. 

Like they said we have no real numbers to go by yet,  as soon as we see the number of home listing cancellations, home sales numbers, Showings numbers, and average days on the market we will have a lot more to look at.  

So far Arizona For Sale Home listings going on to temp off the market, cancellations, significantly less showing time showings stats.   The sellers that can wait, are waiting.  The sellers that can't wait may be a lot more flexible with buyers making offers with flexible terms and room in the price. 

Once Corona Virus is gone, the experts are thinking the real estate market will correct and move forward.  They are probably right, but my question is how long will the buyers market last? 

As we pause be optimistic about real estate, we still urge you to be conservative and buy well within your budget.   

Posted in Local, Market Updates
April 3, 2020

2020 Recession Real Estate Bounce Back

2020 recession Rebound chart and infographic


The Arizona Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Arizona Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]



Some Highlights

  • Expert insights are painting a bright future for Arizona housing when the Arizona economy bounces back – and there is hope it will.
  • We may be facing challenging economic times in 2020, but the housing market is poised to potentially help the economy recover, not drag it down.
  • Let’s connect to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move. Please Call/Email us
April 2, 2020

Ways To Get Ready To Buy an Arizona Home 2020

Getting Ready to Buy A Home 2020


The last few days, weeks and months have caused a major health crisis throughout Arizona and the world, leading to a pause in the U.S. economy as businesses and consumers work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus has been compared to prior pandemics and outbreaks not seen in many years. It also has consumers remembering the economic slowdown of 2008 that was caused by a housing crash. This economic slowdown, however, is very different from 2008.

One thing the real estate and economic experts are saying is that while we’ll see a swift decline in economic activity in the second quarter, we’ll begin a sharp rebound in the second half of this year. According to John Burns Consulting:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices), and some very cutting-edge search engine analysis by our Information Management team showed the current slowdown is playing out similarly thus far.” 

Given this situation, if you’re thinking about buying a home in 2020, the best thing you can do right now is use this time to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which you can do from the comfort of your home. Pre-approval will help you better understand how much you can afford so that you can confidently do the following two things when you’re ready to buy:

1. Gain a Competitive Advantage

Today’s low home inventory, like we’ve seen recently and may continue to see, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get to make a strong offer and close the deal. Being pre-approved shows the sellers you’re serious about buying a home, which is always a plus in your corner.


2. Accelerate the Homebuying Process

Pre-approval can also speed-up the homebuying process so you can move faster when you’re ready to make an offer. Being ready to put your best foot forward when the time comes may be the leg-up you need to cross the finish line first and land the home of your dreams.


Bottom Line

Pre-approval is the one of the best things you can do right now to be in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready. Let’s connect today to get the process started.


April 2, 2020

Covid-19 GDP Recovery 2020?

financial predictions calling for rapid V type recovery

As our lives, our businesses, and Arizona change day by day, we’re all left wondering how long this will last. How long will we feel the effects of the corona-virus? How deep will the impact go? The human toll may forever change families, but the experts expect the Arizona economic impact will rebound with a cycle of downturn followed by economic expansion like we’ve seen play out in the U.S. economy many times over. 

Take a look at what experts and current research indicate about the economic impact we may see as a result of the coronavirus. It starts with a forecast of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to Investopedia:

“Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, it functions as a comprehensive scorecard of the country’s economic health.”

When looking at GDP (the measure of our country’s economic health), a survey of three leading financial institutions shows a projected sharp decline followed by a steep rebound in the second half of this year. 

A recent study from John Burns Consulting also notes that past pandemics have also created V-Shaped Economic Recoveries like the ones noted above, and they had minimal impact on housing prices. This certainly gives hope and optimism for what is to come as the crisis passes.

With this historical analysis in mind, many Arizona business owners are also optimistic for a bright economic return. A recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey shows this confidence, noting 66% of surveyed business owners feel their companies will return to normal business rhythms within a month of the pandemic passing, and 90% feel they should be back to normal operation 1 to 3 months after. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey of 50 leaders about recovery of business after covid-19

From expert financial institutions to business leaders across the country and Arizona, we can clearly see that the anticipation of a quick return to normal once the current crisis subsides is not too far away. In essence, this won’t last forever, and we will get back to growth-mode. We’ve got this.

Bottom Line

This market can potentially turn into a buyers market, and rebound back into a sellers market by the end of the year/next year.  Homes may go on sale for a few months.  Buy well within your budget, please don't over do it.