Tag Archives: Buy a Home

Arizona set to add 500,000 jobs during next eight years

August 6th, 2018

Arizona is poised to add 1 million new residents between now and 2026 as well as more than 500,000 jobs to continue growing the state’s economy.

Arizona expected to gain 500,000-plus jobs, 1 million residents by 2026. Downtown Phoenix District Booming.

The statistics, from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, paint a picture of a state once waylaid by the Great Recession as it continues to find its economic footing, according to a report by the Arizona Republic.

phoenix,downtown,growth,real,estate,realtor,central,condos,homes,house,buy,area,neighborhood,specialist,agentThose numbers would see the biggest growth in Phoenix and Maricopa County, already the state’s most populous region. The population is expected to grow from about 4.9 million to 5.5 million in the metro area during the next eight years.

The state’s population likely would rise to 8.1 million by 2026.

While those numbers are big, it’s not the kind of growth the state saw during the 1990s. Yet the county’s job growth could top out at 2.1 percent annually during that span.

What it could mean for Maricopa County and Arizona is increased influence on a business scale in the state where things already tip toward Phoenix. Politically, it could mean more clout in Washington for the state as increased representation at least following the 2020 Census.

That kind of political clout would continue to bolster Arizona’s industries that deal with federal contracts, notably the defense and aviation industries that have a large number of companies doing work in the region and state. During the second quarter, companies in the state received $2.26 billion in defense contracts.

Arizona already is a tight labor market, with the unemployment rate at 4.7 percent in June.

Whether you’re looking to buy a single-family home in Phoenix, AZ, a Historic Phoenix home, or, If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need!  

 

Metro Phoenix Home Prices Rising Fastest in Affordable Neighborhoods

If you’re one the fence about buying a home in Phoenix, it’s time to get off. It’s been a long, hard road to recovery for metro Phoenix’s boom-and-bust-battered housing market, but it’s back, and then some.

Real Estate,Sold,Laura B,Historic,Phoenix,Homes,Real Estate,neighborhood,districtsBut some Valley neighborhoods are there, back to 2006 price levels, and higher and other neighborhoods are very close. 

As expected, millennial first-time homebuyers are propelling the recovery. 

Metro Phoenix home prices are rising the fastest in many of its most affordable, centrally located neighborhoods, from downtown Phoenix to central Mesa, where young buyers want to live and can afford houses.

2017 was a good year for the housing recovery in the Phoenix area. Almost one-third of the Valley’s ZIP codes posted double-digit-percentage increases in prices last year, according to The Arizona Republic/azcentral Street Scout Home Values report.

Street Scout is azcentral’s neighborhood and housing site that provides property valuations, home sales data, real estate news and listings.

Street Scout exists to make our community stronger, more informed and more connected. We’re a news organization with deep roots here, but we’re also a modern media company that’s pushing the boundaries of what we think about when we say “content.” Stunning real estate photography, comprehensive neighborhood guides, accurate, timely data and expert analysis provide you with what you need to find the best place to call home. 

But there is concern buyer demand for affordable homes is beginning to outpace the supply. And there’s always worry in Arizona about the possibility of another housing bust when prices climb for a few years. 

Phoenix, AZ Recession Rebound

In nearly 30 Phoenix-area neighborhoods, prices have rebounded to 2006 levels or even higher, data from The Information Market shows.

Most of those areas still have median home prices below $300,000.

“Last year was a strong one for the Valley’s housing market, particularly the more affordable neighborhoods closer in,” said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report. “Only 2004, ’05 and 2011 were better years for home sales, and those weren’t normal years.”

The housing boom inflated home prices and sales between 2004 and 2006, and then investors drove up sales as foreclosures climbed and prices plummeted from 2010 to 2012. 

Home prices have doubled in many Phoenix-area neighborhoods since the bottom of the market. Besides the 30 ZIP codes where home prices have bounced back from the crash, values in another 40 neighborhoods are within 10 percent of recovering.

Fastest-growing home prices In the Phoenix Metro Area

Aysia Williams and Benjamin Hughes rented in downtown Phoenix’s historic Woodland historic district for about a year before deciding to buy their first home.

“We fell in love with the area, but saw prices and rents climbing fast,” Williams said. “We knew we wanted to buy, but there was a lot of competition for the houses we liked.”

Woodland is part of the 85007 ZIP code,one of central Phoenix’s more affordable neighborhoods. The area, which has also attracted many investors, saw its overall median home price climb 10 percent to more than $192,000 in 2017. Sales in the area jumped nearly 20 percent last year.

Home prices in their neighborhood on the western side of downtown have rebounded from the crash and are almost 2 percent higher than they were in 2006.

Aysia and Benjamin were so lucky and bought from their wonderful neighbor, who didn’t want to sell to an investor.

The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, wasn’t even listed for sale.

People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time buyers out. But more high-end home sales in the area help other more affordable areas like Woodland and Coronado Historic District improve, too.

Buying a house in the hot 85007 neighborhood of Phoenix included graffiti art in the backyard of Ben Hughes and Aysia Williams’s home.

‘First-time homebuyer market is exploding in Phoenix, AZ’

Stephanie Silva and Billy Horner moved to Chandler, AZ, from Chicago for the warmth last March.

“We wanted to rent first to see if we liked the area and a ‘shovel-free life,’ ” said Silva, who works in Tempe. Horner works in downtown Chandler.

The couple recently bought a home for under $275,000 in the central Mesa, AZ ZIP 85210, almost halfway between their jobs. Prices in the still-affordable neighborhood climbed 9 percent, and sales rose 38 percent last year. 

Home values just rebounded back to 2006 levels in their neighborhood, where the median price is about $215,000. 

“We are on a quiet, cozy block in a home with a pool and a yard,” Silva said. “So far, it is everything these Midwest transplants could ask for.”

The couple’s real-estate agents said if more people don’t decide to sell in the popular, affordable neighborhoods closer in, then it will soon get even tougher for first-time buyers.

The first-time homebuyer market is exploding. So many people are done with renting and dealing with landlords,” Matthew Coates said. “But we are seeing a deficit of homes available.”

The number of Valley homes for sale priced under $350,000 is down almost 20 percent from last year, according to the Cromford Report.

Some potential buyers are giving up

Nils and Heather Hofmann began looking for a home midway between their jobs in Deer Valley and Chandler more than a year ago. Their budget was $300,000.

The couple, who was renting in north-central Phoenix, put their home search on hold last fall after seeing dozens of houses. The ones they liked usually sold before they could get an offer in.

“I think we must have seen more than 80 houses,” Heather Hofmann said. “We wanted to buy where we were renting, but prices were too high.”

The couple decided to stop looking for a while late last summer because it became too frustrating. But then they found out Heather was pregnant, resumed their search and upped their price to $400,000.

The Hofmanns bought a home last month in north Phoenix’s Desert Ridge neighborhood, close to several freeways for their commute.

The median home price in the Desert Ridge area is about $485,000, up 5 percent from 2016.”

Looking farther outside of Phoenix Proper for Real Estate to Buy

The metro Phoenix suburbs farthest out were hardest hit by the crash and have been the slowest to recover. 

But both sales and prices are again climbing in those areas, including the West Valley suburbs of Goodyear, Surprise and Buckeye and southeast Valley areas of Queen Creek and Maricopa.

The median home price in the Buckeye ZIP code 85326 is up almost 10 percent from last year to $192,000. But the area’s home values are still about 19 percent off the 2006 peak.

Will 2018 be the year for Phoenix?

Metro Phoenix home prices continue to climb in most neighborhoods.

The median Valley home price is now about $253,000, up from $235,000 a year ago.

Some homeowners and national market watchers see price increases in the Valley and are concerned about another bubble.

“The housing market is very solid now. But there’s nothing that shows we are heading for another crash.

Metro Phoenix’s December 2017 median price of $250,000 is still below the high of $260,000 from 2006.

Housing market watchers say 2018 could be better than 2017 for prices and sales.

Whether this is the year the area’s median market reaches that 2006 level depends on whether first-time buyers can find homes they can afford.

“Either low inventory numbers for homes for sale will restrict sales because buyers can’t find houses in their price range or Millennials, the driving force behind our market, will be able to and decide to buy,” said Tom Ruff, housing analyst with The Information Market, owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

“That, coupled with an improving economy, will lead to increased sales in 2018,” he said.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime.

8 Metro Phoenix Neighborhoods You Should Know

For a long time, Metropolitan Phoenix felt distant and had been sorely ignored around the middle. Today that’s not the case. The hottest real estate on the market is smack in the center of town and that emerging historic Phoenix neighborhood you had your eye on is suddenly out of reach. We’ve combed the not-so-mean streets of our city to find eight neighborhoods you might not have heard of and that you definitely need to know more about.

While we’re celebrating these gems, we haven’t forgotten the implications of gentrification and urban development. So we’d like to invite you to be part of the discussion of how Phoenix is developing; what neighborhoods have it right, which are on the wrong path, and what can we do to preserve the past, respect current residents, and create a vibrant future for our city.

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Floralcroft
Boundaries: State Avenue, Myrtle Avenue, 59th Avenue, and 61st Avenue, Glendale
Median home price: $140,000
Origin story: Flora Mae Gillett-Statler founded this neighborhood in 1928 and named it after herself. Ten years later, she founded the town of Surprise.
Why it’s emerging: It’s hard to find a bargain in the Phoenix historic housing game, and these homes have the bones and character to rival way more expensive counterparts in Willo, Encanto, and F.Q. Story.

Long before the age of personal branding, hashtags, and celebrity endorsements, Flora Mae Gillett-Statler did something exceptional. She put her name on a west-side neighborhood. In the early 1900s, the daughter of a pioneering clergyman and land speculator made her mark on the Valley by investing in real estate. She founded a town and a neighborhood, naming the latter after herself.

In 1890, Flora was born in Missouri to Rachel and Charles E. Gillett, an old-school multi-hyphenate who brought his family to Glendale, making them among early city residents. Among other things, Charles was a service-station owner, real estate investor, and friend to Arizona’s first governor, George W.P. Hunt.

One of five siblings, Flora married Luther Ward Statler in 1911 and had two children, Vernon and Elizabeth, eventually known as Bette Stofft, a prominent Valley philanthropist and artist.

After World War I, Flora’s father, Charles, opened a service station in Glendale with Homer C. Ludden, with whom he also worked in insurance and real estate. Drawn to speculation, Flora worked at the station and her father’s office. Eventually, she took the reins in Charles’ real estate business, and by the late 1920s, she was ready to branch out and make her own investments. In 1928, she platted an 83-lot neighborhood just north of downtown Glendale and named it Floralcroft.

It’s unclear when she and Statler separated, though public documents note that he spent a lot of time away from home due to business pursuits, including mining. Flora went on to marry her father’s business partner, Ludden, who until 2010 was erroneously credited with founding the town of Surprise. That was actually Flora, who also named the town. (She subdivided land in El Mirage and Yarnell, too.)

Flora resided in her neighborhood — first in a two-story brick house that served as a model to entice potential buyers and later in a Norman cottage revival that happens to be on the market currently — until her death from breast cancer in 1953.

Today, Floralcroft has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to its decades-spanning architectural styles, including ranch, bungalow, and late 19th- and 20th-century revivals. Take a drive through the neighborhood, wedged between Caitlin Court and Northfield, and you’ll find sidewalks lined with black street lamps and charming homes in red brick and pink stucco with original crank windows and white wood siding.

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Eastlake Park In Central Phoenix
Boundaries: Van Buren Street, Jackson Street, 12th Street, and 16th Street
Median home price: $359,900 (based on one home for sale as of press time)
Origin story: A segregated African-American community arises around Phoenix’s oldest park
Why it’s emerging: Recent renovations, a new community grant, and modern-day cultural significance

If you’re unfamiliar with Eastlake Park, there’s a strong chance you’re not alone — and an even stronger chance you’re, well, white. That’s because, for the majority of its existence, Eastlake Park has served a predominantly African-American community. And while those who have lived, worked, or possibly attended civil rights rallies there may already understand the area’s significance, for everyone else who’s unsure as to what Eastlake Park means or even where it’s located (hint: there’s no actual lake at this point), we need to look back at the neighborhood’s history.

Eastlake Park, formerly Phoenix Park, was established in 1890 by Moses Sherman and later purchased by the city of Phoenix in 1914. During its early-20th-century development, Eastlake Park and the surrounding neighborhood of the same name, along with areas in west and south Phoenix, became home to Phoenix’s black community.

This had less to do with choice and more to do with a lack of opportunity for African-Americans. Between limited funds, increasing segregation, and later an all-out combined effort from banks, real-estate agents, and lending agencies to prevent African-Americans from moving north of Van Buren Street, it was difficult for black residents to live elsewhere.

As a result, Eastlake Park was comprised almost entirely of black-owned businesses, churches, and schools such as Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church and the Booker T. Washington School (now occupied by Phoenix New Times). It also bore witness to many of the historic milestones made by African-Americans in Arizona during the 20th century, including speeches by Booker T. Washington in 1911 and Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, the founding of Arizona’s first African American-owned newspaper, the Phoenix Tribune, and the founding of the Booker T. Washington Hospital in 1927 by Phoenix’s first African-American physician, Dr. Winston Hackett.

As the Civil Rights movement gained momentum in Phoenix during the 1940s, Eastlake Park became a hotbed for protests against inequality and discrimination. But progress was slow, and by the 1960s, Eastlake Park had begun to change. Housing started to deteriorate, residents who could relocate did, and business development waned, leaving the area in a less than ideal state.

In 2013, Eastlake Park underwent a $4 million renovation to upgrade its facilities. This past spring, Eastlake was one of nine communities selected to participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute, a collaborative program for improving communities through creative efforts.

“Eastlake is one of the few truly diversified urban neighborhoods being redeveloped with a history of leadership and community involvement.” says Virgil “Jackie” Berry, one of the team members chosen to represent Eastlake Park in the AZ CCI grant.

The Eastlake AZ CCI team notes that while the neighborhood is experiencing positive change in recent years, it’s been at an inconsistent pace. Still, they’re working to explore ways they can create a better environment for the Eastlake community while at the same time memorializing the area’s past, because at the end of the day they all agree, “Eastlake is the soul of the city of Phoenix.”

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Squaw Peak Groves In Central Phoenix
Boundaries: 12th Street, 12th Place, Glenn Drive, and the Arizona Canal
Median home price: $423,900
Origin story: Former citrus groves turned midcentury suburb
Why it’s emerging: Trendy new restaurants, a prime central location, and atomic ranch appeal

If you’re looking for the sweet spot south of Sunnyslope but north of uptown, we’ve got three words for you: Squaw Peak Groves. Tucked between 12th Street and 12th Place, Glenn Drive and the Arizona Canal, this hidden gem of atomic ranch homes built primarily between 1960 and 1962 — is a suburban dream.

Set against the backdrop of Piestewa Peak, this cluster of cul-de-sacs and winding no-outlet drives delivers on generous lots, manicured lawns, and quaint facades that feel familiar to anyone who grew up in Phoenix’s more mid-century developments: breeze-blocks, weeping mortar, and yes, maybe even a pastel paint job here and there. It’s ideal for anyone looking to raise a family without relinquishing that coveted central location.

While there aren’t as many, or any groves as the name would lead you to believe, Luci’s owners Ken and Lucia Schnitzer have been bringing the area’s past front and center with their multi-use space, The Orchard.

Located on a former citrus farm and nursery, presumably the source of the development’s original name, The Orchard features Luci’s second location, Splurge Ice Cream and Candy Shop, and Pomelo, an Italian eatery with a citrus name to pay homage to the neighborhood’s history.

Since its opening in 2016, the generous space has become a hotspot for 12th Street corridor in North Central residents looking for a place to gather with their kids, dogs, and the influx of new neighbors. Actually, The Orchard has become a major selling point for the once-sleepy neighborhood, where Ken Schnitzer says that home values have definitely increased. And he’s not surprised.

“Across the United States, people would build housing developments and then shopping centers would go in there and they’d say okay, there’s a need for shopping centers and open a store and restaurants and they’d come in after. Nowadays, the restaurants and places are there and people want to live in the area. So it’s backwards now. You don’t want to move to central Phoenix if there’s no cool places. But if there’s Luci’s and Stock & Stable and The Yard and Windsor … you want to be there.”

And to Schnitzer’s point, there’s very little for sale in Squaw Peak Groves at the moment. Those that are available are a mix of mint condition grandma-chic and newly flipped homes from investors who knew a good deal when they saw one. Either way, interested buyers are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled because a home in the Groves gets snatched up quickly. 

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West Side-Clark Addition
Boundaries: Country Club Drive, Date Street, Second Place, and Pepper Place, Mesa
Median home price: $190,000
Origin story: This was Mesa’s first suburban neighborhood.
Why it’s emerging: Although it’s a suburb, West Side-Clark looks nothing like your average Mesa stucco-and-tile fest. After years in limbo, it was finally granted historic status in 2017.

Mesa doesn’t have a reputation for architecture — let alone historic architecture. But a cluster of bungalows and ranches situated just west of the city’s original townsite bucks that stereotype.

With homes built between 1930 and 1958, the neighborhood, known as the West Side-Clark Addition, stands out as Mesa’s first move from an agricultural settlement to the sprawling, third-largest city in Arizona that we recognize today.

“This is the seventh historic district for the city of Mesa, but it could’ve been one of the earlier ones,” says Lauren B. Allsopp, who worked with the city’s Historic Preservation Office to secure the neighborhood’s recognition as an official Mesa Historic District. The former farmland already had landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allsopp says West Side-Clark is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a prime example of bungalow and ranch housing that gave Mesa its original architectural style. And second, its residents were passionate about having the neighborhood preserved — even though it took a while to make that happen.

As Allsopp explains it, the process for historical designation began in 2004. But it was shelved when the recession hit and the city temporarily didn’t fill the full-time role of Historic Preservation Officer. (Another city employee served as the acting officer, but had several other responsibilities.) When Allsopp joined the office in 2016 on contract, she was able to help reinvigorate the project.

“It’s not the all-one-color tile roofs that you see today,” Allsopp says. “In the 17 years that passed — believe it or not — the neighborhood hardly changed at all.”

That’s a significant factor in a historic designation. In addition to houses still retaining notable features and materials, there were a few more structures that had aged into historic eligibility — or were resorted appropriately.

“Originally, over on Date, there was a little enclave of row houses that weren’t included, and now they were old enough,” she says. Another home became eligible for inclusion after its owners removed siding that covered original materials used in construction.

Residents worked closely with Allsopp to circulate a petition (which is required by Mesa) to move forward with the historic process. It paid off — and the neighborhood got the preservation nod.

This is the first of what Allsopp hopes will be several preservation success stories for Mesa. She’s working on other projects with the city currently, including a recent analysis of the Nile Theater’s mortar, preservation of the city’s neon signage, and securing grants for other neighborhoods.

Still, she says, West Side-Clark was special because she knows how much work went into it.

“I can show you a bungalow, I can show you a Tudor, and I can show you how people have made it work in the 21st century without ruining the character,” Allsopp says. “This is a neighborhood where you’ll want to walk.” B.B.

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Garfield Historic District
Boundaries: Seventh Street, 16th Street, Van Buren Street, and Roosevelt Street
Median home price: $269,000
Origin story: Former farmland turned booming middle-class residential development in the early 20th century.
Why it’s emerging: An influx of hot new restaurants and boutiques, a downtown Phoenix resurgence, and still somewhat affordable historic housing.

Tell native Phoenicians — your parents, for example — that you’re looking at houses in the Garfield district, and they might do a double take. That’s because up until very recently — say, the last five years — the historic downtown Phoenix hood had seen better days. Early 20th-century homes had fallen into either poorly stuccoed despair or complete disrepair. Historic storefronts sat abandoned. And despite the heavy foot traffic of the revitalized Roosevelt Row arts district just a block away, Garfield remained more or less a ghost town for downtown visitors.

That wasn’t always the case. In its heyday, Garfield was a thriving residential development bound by what is now Seventh and 16th streets and Van Buren and Roosevelt streets. Between the 1910s and 1920s, approximately 500 houses were built to meet the demands Phoenix’s early population boom — a growth spurt attributed to the 1911 completion of the Roosevelt Dam. By 1935, 85 percent of the former farmland had been converted into housing, offering up a selection of bungalow, Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, Tudor, and English Cottage-style homes to primarily middle- and working-class families.

Not only did the neighborhood give residents direct access to the then-essential Phoenix Street Railway, it also offered an assortment of conveniently located commercial spaces: churches, groceries, even a pharmacy. That same pharmacy, now an indoor plant nursery called Pueblo, is just one of the spaces that has seen new life in recent years, thanks in part to downtown’s resurgence as a whole.

“I just wanted to be as close as possible to my own house,” says Michael Lanier, Garfield resident and Pueblo owner. “I wasn’t trying to focus on opportunity. I was just trying to improve the area where I live for the residents and myself.”

Lanier isn’t alone. At the same intersection of 10th and Pierce streets, businesses including Gallo Blanco and Welcome Diner are also laying down roots, bringing with them an influx of hipsters, foodies, and home buyers who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Throughout the neighborhood, construction is in full swing, and homes that were once selling well under $200,000 just last year are now going for roughly double the price.

Despite its seemingly overnight popularity, however, Lanier is reluctant to label Garfield as the next big thing. “There’s a really fine line with that, to call it emerging. But it really is on sort of a come-up. I think a lot of the residents that have been here five, 10, 15, 20 years have always appreciated it and have wanted it to be better in the sense that anything could be better.”

Like any homeowner who wants to have his cake and eat it, too, Lanier just hopes that Garfield’s newfound attention doesn’t take away from the initial charm and affordability that initially drew him and others to it. “It’s improving greatly. And hopefully that starts working out for the both longtime residents and new [ones],” he says. K.J.

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Brentwood Historic District
Boundaries: 16th Street, 20th Street, Brill Street, and Culver Street
Median home price: $199,000
Origin story: Former farmland turned early-20th century residential development
Why it’s emerging: Affordable historic housing, a central Phoenix location, and a influx of new restaurants and shops along the neighboring Miracle Mile.

If you’ve ever driven by the modest remnants of Phoenix’s once-thriving Miracle Mile — a generous strip of storefronts along McDowell Road that served as a prominent shopping destination in the 1950s — chances are you’ve passed its even less-assuming historic neighborhood, Brentwood. Nestled between 16th and 20th streets and Brill and Culver streets, this freeway-adjacent residential area has remained, for the most part, undisturbed, thanks to its limited-access streets.

With its collection of 19th- and 20th-century revivals, including Tudor, Southwest, Spanish Colonial, and bungalows, Brentwood offers a vibe not too dissimilar from more established historic neighborhoods, but without the gentrified price tag.

Like other neighboring districts, Brentwood homes began as farmland, but thanks to Phoenix’s transportation growth and a population that doubled roughly every decade between 1900 and 1940 (it quadrupled in the 1950s) the area was platted for residential development beginning in 1924. By the time of its completion in 1956, Brentwood was composed of six subdivisions — McDowell Heights, Brentwood, Brentwood East, Wright Davis, Valley of the Sun, and Governor Hunt Tract. However, a good portion of the neighborhood later had to be razed to make way for the construction of State Route 51 and Interstate 10.

Still, despite some patchy areas, the neighborhood maintains its historic charm and a central location thanks to its proximity to the concentration of topnotch Mexican dining along 16th Street and of course the Miracle Mile, which, according to residents and business owners, is poised for a comeback. Actually, some of Phoenix’s more popular restaurants and retailers have set up shop along the McDowell corridor over the last few years, including Tacos Chiwas, Ollie Vaughn’s, and Rubymint General Store. Artists like Emily Costello and Kathy Cano-Murillo have arrived, too.

When asked if the area is gearing up for a resurgence, Rubymint General co-owner Kui Mi Oh is hopeful. “[It] used to be the main drag back in the day, so it would be nice to revitalize that. There’s a lot of businesses that have been trying to move on the Miracle Mile, so revamping it would definitely be a plus for us, and I think for the neighborhood as well.”

Aislyn Richmond, McDowell Corridor Coordinator, is working to make it happen. Through a partnership among the Phoenix Community Alliance, Banner Hospital, and Trellia, a nonprofit specializing in affordable housing and community development, Richmond is able to host cleanup events, workshops with businesses in the area to help them succeed, and visioning sessions with residents in Garfield, Coronado, and Brentwood to make sure ideas are being heard.

“The main goal is that [the Miracle Mile] is a very locally focused. So it’s supposed to really serve the neighborhoods here and be community-driven with services that the neighbors can really appreciate while still maintaining the history of the area and bolstering that.”

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Garden Apartment District
Boundaries: 68th Street, Fifth Street, Goldwater Boulevard, and First Street, Scottsdale
Median home price: $180,000
Origin story: South of the Hotel Valley Ho, more than 15 upscale garden apartment complexes were built in the mid-20th century. Originally marketed to seasonal tourists, this is a unique collection of multifamily housing that ranges from luxury to kitschy and dramatic.
Why it’s emerging: As housing prices creep up, apartments and condos are once again prime real estate investments. And this particular cluster of apartment buildings has been recommended for historic designation.

Back in the 1950s, Scottsdale was a Hollywood playground. Swanky hotels, new businesses, and tourist attractions set the stage for a multifamily housing boom. One hundred such complexes were built between 1948 and 1964 to accommodate people who wanted to live in the suburb.

The influx came, in part, because of high-level job prospects at Motorola, which announced plans to open a facility in the suburb in the late ’50s.

Nearly 20 garden apartment complexes popped up just south of Hotel Valley Ho, a resort that opened for business in 1956, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright student Edward L. Varney.

Motorola used the hotel to house employees while they looked for permanent residences in the area. And the Valley Ho welcomed entertainers including professional baseball players and the cast and crew of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Perhaps most notably, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner hosted the reception for their first wedding in 1957 at the Valley Ho.

It was an exciting time for the suburb, says Ben Brosseau, a Realtor and Garden Apartment District resident. That history and Old Hollywood glamour is what drew the midcentury modern enthusiast and film buff back to Scottsdale after living in Los Angeles for about a decade.

It’s also why he’s working to get the neighborhood a historic designation — something that’s been on hold for a few years.

Brosseau lives at the Shalimar Sands complex, which, alongside buildings like Embassy and Capri, mirrored the designs of destination hotels like the Valley Ho, and the neighboring Safari, which was designed by Al Beadle and later demolished.

“People didn’t just buzz out here for a couple days,” Brosseau says. “They came for a week.”

Those two hotels drew visitors, and demand for Scottsdale rentals skyrocketed. Around the same time, multifamily housing construction was supported by government incentives. Hence, the boom.

Turns out, some of Scottsdale’s garden apartments are architecturally significant for several reasons, according to Steve Venker, Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Officer. Venker says the district near Valley Ho has one of the best collections of upscale garden apartments in metro Phoenix, and it’s important because of “its use of theme designs and dramatic facades as part of ongoing marketing efforts to attract the seasonal resident.” Also of note is the “range of modern styles, varied use of materials, decorative features, and extra amenities.”

Though a study recommended several of the Garden Apartment District buildings as eligible for historic status, the project was shelved a few years back.

But Brosseau’s taking action. “The city can only get so involved with projects like this,” he says. “They have to wait for people to rally a neighborhood.”

That’s why he’s working to get all the buildings’ homeowners associations on the same page, and he hopes to make major progress next year. Then, they can take more formal steps toward preservation.

Regardless, the neighborhood’s time capsule-like midcentury dwellings are just a hop away from Scottsdale’s arts and entertainment districts. Make that a bike ride, as the city’s recently implemented a bike-share. Brosseau asks, “How great is that?!” B.B.

warehouse district,phoenix,neighborhood,historic,real estate,historic phoenix,district

Warehouse District In Phoenix
Boundaries: Jefferson Street, Sherman Street, Seventh Avenue, and Seventh Street
Origin story: An industrial district and former home of Phoenix’s Chinatown with railroad proximity.
Why it’s emerging: A flood of new businesses, warehouse renovations, and a downtown resurgence.

In major metropolitan cities across the country, warehouses have long been en vogue, operating as clubs, co-ops, studio apartments, and of course industrial chic wedding venues. But like many things our cosmopolitan cohorts have created, Phoenix has admittedly been a little late to the game.

Despite the fact the fifth-largest city does in fact have a bona fide warehouse district — its debated boundaries fall between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street, Jefferson and Sherman — for decades, urban dwellers and developers were reluctant to recognize the area south of downtown as anything more than storage space and potential parking lots.

Fortunately for these early 20th-century buildings — which have housed everything from wholesale grocers to Phoenix’s now-lost Chinatown — preservationists like Brian Cassidy of CCBG Architects have sought to turn things around. Since constructing their own offices at the corner First and Buchanan streets 12 years ago, the architectural team specializing in, among other things, adaptive reuse, have witnessed firsthand how the warehouse district is making an 11th-hour comeback.

So far, roughly two-thirds of the warehouse renovations have been handled by CCBG architects, including spaces like R & R Partners, The Croft, Grant Street Studios, IASIS Healthcare, Moses Inc, and most recently, the 411 Building, soon to be the home of Scottsdale-based software company Scientific Technologies Corporation.

Cassidy, who’s also Warehouse District chair, says CCBG averages two inquiries a month from businesses looking to move into the warehouse district. But at this point, demand outweighs supply. “Nothing is immediately available. All the space that could be available is going to take anywhere from three months to a year to renovate the buildings.”

So why the sudden rush of ready-to-relocate businesses in the Warehouse District? Cassidy has a few ideas. “We’re seeing that a lot of creative type businesses … their employees are more interested in unique buildings and buildings that you can literally walk out the front door and be out on the street — be close to the restaurants, the entertainment, the bars, and so forth.

Cassidy also credits the warehouse district’s upswing to the catalysts of downtown’s own renaissance: ASU’s downtown campus, the expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center, and Valley Metro’s ongoing light rail expansion, which is set to extend directly through the warehouse district to Baseline Road.

“I always felt that people living in Phoenix wanted a better urban experience but it wasn’t being offered,” he adds.

Now, however, downtown and its subsequent Warehouse District are finally getting the recognition they deserve, thanks to new bars, new restaurants, a grocery store coming in 2018, and a plethora of high-rise residences, including the warehouse district’s first residential development in a decade, set to break ground next year.

“This area’s really going through a resurgence,” Cassidy says. “And if you could fast forward five more years, you’d really be amazed at what’s likely going to happen down here.”

Entrance to New City Studio on Central Avenue – Article Courtesy Phoenix New Times 

To buy or sell any historic Phoenix home in the Central Phoenix or Downtown area, call Laura Boyajian for her expertise in historic homes real estate.

 

REPORT: Phoenix Ranked Second-Best Metro Area For Homeowners

Bankrate.com Aug 31, 2016

The Phoenix metro area is the second-best in the nation for homeowners, according to a Bankrate.com report released Wednesday.

phoenix,az,market report,real estate,historic,bestPortland, Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Minneapolis/St. Paul round out the best metropolitan areas for homeowners, according to the report. Bankrate.com is a leading aggregator of financial rate information and this marks their first time releasing such a report.

The study reviewed eight factors: home affordability; price appreciation; property taxes; homeowners’ insurance, energy and maintenance costs; foreclosures and how rapidly rents rose over the past six years for which data are available.

Phoenix ranked high on the list for several reasons, including strong home-price appreciation, few foreclosures and inexpensive homeowners’ insurance, according to the report.

“Phoenix was one of the best cities in all the categories we looked at,” said Claes Bell, Bankrate.com analyst. “We were looking to see which cities were the best for attainability, sustainability, affordability and if there was a rewarding financial benefit to owning a home in these areas.”

The Phoenix area scores fifth lowest on the scale of rent hedging, which is a way of measuring rent increases compared with the home price appreciation. In Phoenix, house prices have also been rising faster than rents over the past five years, contributing to the Valley’s high ranking. The Phoenix metro area had the tenth highest energy cost among the 50 metro areas, a reflection of high air conditioning bills during the summer months, according to Bankrate.com.

Home values plunged during the housing bust, but now they are recovering, according to Bankrate.com, and the pace of home appreciation in Phoenix in the last five years is second fastest among the 50 largest metro areas.

The greater Phoenix area also has bounced back from the foreclosure crisis. For the last three years the city has had the second lowest foreclosure rate among top metro areas.

“Builders stopped building during the housing bubble and now demand beats out supply,” Bell said. “Phoenix is no different in that way from the rest of the country. What’s different is the property tax rate and the affordability of the home itself. In cities like New York and L.A., housing costs are half to three-quarters of a person’s annual income.”

Strong home-price appreciation over the past five years is a common thread in Phoenix, Atlanta and Las Vegas. The Twin Cities’ best housing attributes are strong home-price appreciation and a dearth of foreclosures.

Hartford, Connecticut ranks last because of high carrying costs: It has above-average property tax, energy, homeowners’ insurance and maintenance fees. The New York City metro area is second-worst due to high property taxes, minimal home-price appreciation and expensive maintenance costs. Only Los Angeles (fourth-worst) prevented a northeastern sweep of the bottom five (Providence is third-worst and Buffalo is fifth from the rear), according to the report.

“Major cities in the middle of the country did really well in this ranking,” Bell said in a press release. “Out of the top 15 metro areas, only one is within 250 miles of an ocean. Homeowners in America’s largest coastal cities face a number of challenges, ranging from sky-high mortgage payments gobbling up an outsized portion of homeowners’ incomes to high property insurance rates, especially in hurricane-prone areas, and our ranking reflects that.

It’s a terrific time to buy or sell a home in the Phoenix Metro area.

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Mortgage Rates Hover Near All-Time Low

HISTORICPHOENIXDISTRICTS.COM DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016

Fixed-rate mortgages this week dropped to their lowest averages of the year, which analysts attribute to the fallout from last week’s “Brexit” vote.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.48 percent this week, only 17 basis points from its all-time record low of 3.31 percent in November 2012, Freddie Mac reports.

“In the wake of the Brexit vote, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond plummeted 24 basis points,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This extremely low mortgage rate should support solid home sales and refinancing volume this summer.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 30: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.48 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.56 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.08 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.83 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.70 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 2.74 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.99 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

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It’s never been a better time to buy a home. Money is inexpensive but that doesn’t mean you should spend a lot, unless you’re wealthy, of course. Call Laura B. for a free consultation on buying a home in any one of the Historic Phoenix Districts, historic adjacent, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, Scottsdale, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, Arcadia or Surrounding suburbs.

Phoenix Approves Sale of Historic Downtown Building

The city of Phoenix will sell a 101-year-old historic downtown building to a developer for $2.28 million.

Jun 23, 2016

Barrister Building,downtown Phoenix.historic

Barrister Building in downtown Phoenix sale approved and will be renovated

The Arizona Republic reports that the city-owned Barrister Building, which sits on the corner of Jefferson Street and Central Avenue, will be sold to Crescent Bay Development Services LLC. The developer plans to renovate the century-old building, which the city bought in 1990.

Development plans include at least 88 condos in the existing six-story building as well as two new buildings.

This is the latest effort to renovate and preserve the historic building, which originally opened in 1915, and at one time was the tallest building in the state. The city had approved another project plan two years ago but it eventually fell through.

The building was long home to the Jefferson Hotel, featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 movie “Psycho.”

“We’re really excited about the project,” said Geoff Beer, a principal with Scottsdale-based Crescent Bay.

Beer said plans calls for construction of two new six-story buildings to go along with the six-story, 100-year-old Barrister building. The Jefferson Hotel/Barrister building was built in 1915.

Beer expects condos to be priced between $250,000 and $650,000 with an average unit size of 1,170 square feet. He said Crescent’s bid calls for buying the city-owned building for $2.28 million. It will also include some ground level retail and restaurant space.

Phoenix could reimburse Crescent Bay up to $1.9 million for infrastructure and preservation improvements, according to the Republic.

Vintage Culture Expanding In Downtown Phoenix

May 2, 2016, 6:00pm MST

Anyone who has driven through downtown Phoenix recently has seen the construction on every corner and dozens of new restaurants and coffee shops.

Contrastingly, if they drive four miles north of downtown along 7th Avenue, they’ll encounter a neighborhood with rich history and 20-year-old small businesses surrounded by historic districts like Woodlea and Pierson Place.

Melrose on 7th,Phoenix,Downtown,Central

The Melrose District In Downtown Phoenix, AZ

The Melrose District, nestled between Camelback and Indian School roads, is a place to shop for vintage clothing and antiques, eat at locally-owned restaurants and service your car at an old-school auto body shop. It might stick out like a sore thumb in comparison to the new developments downtown, but that’s exactly what has made the district so successful over the years.

Melrose prides itself on being “a shining star in the Metro Phoenix area,” but what really shines is the rich vintage culture there. What makes vintage work so well in the Valley? Some store owners in the district say it’s because of Phoenix’s unique history, the supportive community and being able to adapt to change.

Phoenix’s unique history

More people are buying and selling vintage artifacts than ever before, according to a study by The Association of Resale Professionals. In fact, the U.S. resale industry has seen an average growth of 7 percent each year since 2012. Many cities have hopped on the vintage trend, and Phoenix in particular has become a destination for some of the best quality vintage at a cheap price.

Arizona’s southwestern roots make it a prime location to find vintage vests, cowboy boots and denim. Phoenix specifically is well-known for its mid-century modern architecture, which makes vintage furniture highly sought after too.

Retro Ranch owner Indigo Hunter said customers often come through her store looking for 50’s, 60’s and 70’s pieces.

“A lot of people have ranch-style homes, and the furniture works in it because it’s scaled properly,” she said.

Sarah Bingham, co-owner of Antique Sugar, said high rates of retirement and the ideal climate in Arizona also benefit the vintage culture.

“People come here to retire from all over the country, and then when they get here they have all their fabulous clothes,” she said.

Due to the abundance of vintage clothing in Arizona, Bingham said store owners can afford to sell their merchandise for cheaper prices than you’d find in Los Angeles or New York.

“And the climate’s really good…we don’t lose a lot of our stuff to rot because it’s dry here,” she said.

The district’s supportive community

The tight-knit community within the Melrose District is another reason vintage culture has lasted in the Valley. The majority of the district is made up of passionate small business owners as opposed to “big boxes,” as Hunter calls them.

“A lot of those are vintage and antique shops, and you kind of feel like that’s our tribe,” she said.

Bingham said she’s been to other towns where the resale industry is cutthroat, but that’s not the case in the district.

“We actually go out for cocktails with all the shop owners often,” she said.

Jeanne Wiesley, the owner of Pearly Mae’s, agreed that the Melrose community is uniquely friendly. Wiesley moved her store to the district in 2014 and said she was instantly welcomed with support.

“Everybody encourages everyone else’s success,” she said.

For instance, if she doesn’t have an item that a customer is looking for, Wiesley said she will happily send them to another store in the area because they would do the same.

Michael Hardesty said he experienced a similar camaraderie when he bought one of the largest vintage stores in the district, Zinnias at Melrose, in 2009. Hardesty even received advice from some of the shop owners on the ins and outs of the neighborhood and how to make his business last.

Adapting to a changing environment

Despite the district’s overall success over the past two decades, not all businesses have stood the test of time.

“Stores are going to come and go, and that’s not necessarily a red flag,” Hardesty said. “It’s just life.”

“Everything’s changing all the time,” Hunter said. “You pretty much always have to stay on your toes and be aware of what’s going on.”

One way Hunter and the other store owners have kept their businesses alive is by going online to cater to a younger demographic. For some of the owners, the prospect of going online is intimidating initially, given their longtime comfort with in-person interactions. Even so, having a digital presence has helped financially.

Wiesley said she recently started selling more of her inventory through Ebay and Etsy accounts during the summer.

“It’s a new world for me, but if it pays the bills we’re going to do it,” she said.

Another way vintage stores in the district have adapted is by pushing heavily on social media. In lieu of print advertising, Hardesty said he advertises aggressively on social media and through email campaigns.

Social media has helped a lot and really developed our brand,” he said.

For stores that make a living off of vintage artifacts, developing a strong brand is particularly important with all of the new development downtown. Fortunately, the vintage store owners see more opportunities from Phoenix’s development than threats.

Bingham, who recently relocated her store from the district to a new downtown building, said business is better than ever. In fact, she credits the changing environment to some of the store’s recent success.

“I say the more people the better,” Bingham said.

Wiesley moved to Phoenix in 1979, when she said people hardly ever went downtown. With the recent revitalization taking place, she’s shocked to see so many people walking around.

“I would rather have a high-rise there and show growth and potential in what our city can be to young and old,” she said.

Hunter is also in support of the developing culture, but cautions against too much change.

“I know that they’re building up downtown, but we still have to take care of the culture and the small business and not make it too corporate,” Hardesty said. “People are in business to make money, so it’s tough.”

Phoenix’s recent cultivation coupled with the need to grow digitally to continue making profits presents new-age opportunity to an old-age culture. But with a supportive community and unique history to back it up, the owners believe Phoenix’s vintage culture will continue to prosper.

“I think there’s always going to be a place for vintage,” Wiesley said.

Mortgage Rates Reach a New Low for 2016

mortgage rates,2016,real estate,phoenixThe 30-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to its lowest average of the year this week, averaging 3.58 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its latest mortgage market survey.

“Demand for Treasuries remained high this week, driving yields to their lowest point since February,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In response, the 30-year mortgage rate fell 1 basis point to 3.58 percent. This rate represents yet another low for 2016 and the lowest mark since May 2013.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending April 14:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.58 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.59 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.67 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.86 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.94 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.82 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.88 percent.

It’s a great time to buy a home in Phoenix, Arizona. Call Laura B. today to begin the process of buying your historic Phoenix dream home.

Source: Freddie Mac

Cheery Lynn Historic District In Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Cheery Lynn Historic District In Phoenix

Cheery Lynn Historic District Home. English and Tudor Revival styles were the dominant styles through 1930.

Cheery Lynn Historic District is roughly bounded by Flower Street to the north, Earll Drive to the south, Randolph Road on the west, and 16th Street on the east. 

Cheery Lynn Historic Homes For Sale

One of the best kept little secrets of Central Phoenix is the Cheery Lynn Neighborhood. When you step off of the hustle and bustle of 16th Street, it is almost like being transformed back in time as you’ll find people pushing strollers, walking dogs, jogging, skating, riding bikes and enjoying a porch party with their neighbors. A great diversity exists among the individuals and families that live in this neighborhood. Some are relatively new, while others have lived here since childhood.

The Greater Cheery Lynn Neighborhood Association was established in 2003. Cheery Lynn was remote from downtown Phoenix when the first home was built in 1928. On January 28, 1928, a tract of land described as Lot 1 Beverly Heights was subdivided under the name of Cheery Lynn. This neighborhood is more than 85 years old!

The Architectural Styles and Square Footage of the homes in the Cheery Lynn Historic District vary widely from around 1,000-1,350 square feet with 2-bedrooms on average. But, the 1940’s Ranch-Style homes can get to 3,000 square feet and have at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. You’ll even find a few 2-story homes here. A nice variety with one of the most diverse, one-of-a-kind homes exist in this perfectly manicured, story book neighborhood.

All homes a very unique to each other with English Tudors and Cottage style homes built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. A few stunners of Spanish and Mediterranean-style homes add an incredible flavor to this classic central Phoenix neighborhood. The homes built post-WWII are modest, French Provincial Ranches

If you like Cheery Lynn, you’ll also like Woodlea Historic District or Yaple Park

Read the history of Cheery Lynn Historic District

Homes For Sale In Cheery Lynn Historic District