Tag Archives: Metro Phoenix Real Estate

5 Phoenix Neighborhoods Offering the Best Value for First-Time Homebuyers

Courtesy, Catherine Reagor, Arizona Republic

Home prices have shot up in metro Phoenix, but deals can still be found if you know where to look.

laura,boyajian,realtor,media,interviews,channel 3,on your side,historic,phoenix,real,estate,homes,newspaper,neighborhoodsFinding that Valley neighborhood, block or home that is still a bargain and likely to rise in value sooner rather than later is the end game for most homebuyers, investors and flippers.

Rising home prices are making it so much tougher for first-time homebuyers. So this year I am sharing some neighborhoods where houses are priced below $300,000.

A disclaimer: I am not advocating to buy in these areas. Some of the areas come with higher crime rates or other urban issues. But when a friend or source asks me where first-time buyers can still afford houses closer in, here’s my answer. 

South Phoenix

I thought this central Valley area close to freeways and the biggest city park in the U.S. would rebound 15 years ago. But the housing boom and bust delayed its comeback until now.

Home sales in the area’s 85040 ZIP code soared 37% last year. Prices in that neighborhood climbed 22% to $201,000 but are still affordable compared with metro Phoenix’s median home price of $268,000.

South Phoenix has golf and gated communities closer to South Mountain in the 85042 ZIP code. But the median price for that area is only $250,000.

A cool new community called Avance on a former golf course, right next to the preserve, opens in May, 2019. Prices there are expected to start above $300,000.

Downtown Mesa

Light rail, new universities and investment from the Mormon Church are giving this older area a boost. Several new restaurants have opened, and new housing projects are planned, and Mesa has some wonderful historic homes.

It’s become a place for people to hang out again.

The median home price in downtown Mesa’s 85201 ZIP code is $220,000, up 10% from last year. The Evergreen Historic District with homes dating to 1910 can be found here.

Benedictine University has a new campus in downtown Mesa, and Arizona State University is opening one. ASU’s investment in downtown Phoenix helped create a rental housing boom in that area.

Sunnyslope

This often-maligned north Phoenix neighborhood that stretches up and around 7th Street and 7th Avenue north of Northern Avenue to North Mountain is starting to see home prices rise and more businesses open.

Its lower-income housing may deter some buyers, while others like the great diversity. It spans the ZIP codes 85020 and 85021 and is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in both.

The median home price in 85021, the more affordable area, is $301,000. But that area also includes parts of the much-pricier north central neighborhood.

Some interesting luxury homes can be found in Sunnyslope around the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.

Melrose Woodlea Historic Neighborhoods

Buyers can find mid-century homes with relatively affordable price tags in several midtown neighborhoods in the 85013 and 85015 ZIP codes such as North Encanto Historic District, Woodlea Historic District or Pierson Place Historic District.

The Willo, Encanto and Uptown neighborhoods, where prices are much higher, border this area.

Neighborhoods bordering some of the historic districts are great places to look, too. Grandview is one of my favorites, or St. Gregory/Westwood, and there are some hidden gem “no-name” neighborhoods also between 7th and 15th streets and Osborn and Indian School roads.

The redevelopment of Park Central Mall and the many new apartments going up in Midtown are also giving this area a boost.

The median home price in 85013 is $325,000, but houses that need some work can be found for less. The median price in 85015 is $229,000.

West Phoenix

The 85017 ZIP code is home to growing Grand Canyon University. The school helped revitalize the area that had Phoenix’s highest crime rate in 2010.

This west Phoenix neighborhood is drawing investors, who are buying homes and turning them into rentals for students, and flippers, who are redoing the area’s older brick ranch-style houses.

Crime rates have dropped and home values have climbed in this area near Interstate 17. The median home price in the 85017 ZIP code has rebounded 302% from $41,000 after the crash in 2011 to $165,000 in 2018.

Despite the jump, it’s still one of the Valley’s most affordable neighborhoods.

Investors/flippers

These areas are top picks for investors and flippers for the same reasons they draw first-time buyers.

That means first-time buyers will face a lot of competition for the best properties.

But for buyers who don’t want to fix up a house or want to rent in an area before buying, it means more options.

For buyers interested in affordable new homes, check out a list of the least pricey new communities. Most are in metro Phoenix’s edge suburbs.

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!

Downtown Phoenix’s Growing Popularity is Pricing Out Many Residents

neighborhood,agent,central,historic,downtown phoenix,first friday,real,estate,district

10-28-2018 Courtesy, in part, azcentral

Downtown Phoenix’s Metro housing boom is blanketing the area with thousands of new apartments and condominiums.

But the rents and prices for the new homes will shut the door on some who want to live in the area. and home prices in historic neighborhoods in and around downtown Phoenix are soaring as the area becomes more popular, further limiting Metro Phoenix potential buyers.

“It’s heartbreaking that the teachers and those working in the area’s hotels and cafes can’t afford to live in downtown,” said Cindy Dach, downtown Phoenix proponent, resident and business owner. “The area won’t be diverse unless we plan housing for everyone.”

Some affordable housing is planned in the city’s core, but not enough, say housing advocates. Building affordable housing in the area is tough due to rising land prices.

“We need the entire spectrum of housing in downtown Phoenix,” said Patricia Garcia Duarte, CEO of the housing non-profit Trellis. “Many people forget affordable housing is needed to create a healthy community.”

Luxury, luxury and more luxury in Metro Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

Most of the 8,000 apartments recently built, underway or planned in downtown Phoenix are in luxury complexes with rents higher than the average Valley mortgage.

The average apartment rent in downtown Phoenix is $1,608, according to ABI Multifamily. The average apartment rent for a one bedroom for the entire city of Phoenix is $1,050.

Millennial Adrian Zaragoza rented in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row neighborhood for five years before buying a new condo in the area’s Portland on the Park development last year.

“I saw rents rising, and the chance to buy a condo before those prices climbed too,” he said.

Zaragoza said all of the new development going on downtown “is exciting,” but he’s glad to be his own landlord and not dealing with rent hikes.

If too many apartments go up and don’t fill up fast, rents could fall in downtown Phoenix.

Also, though rents are high in downtown Phoenix, they are still $50 to $100 lower a month than rents in downtown Scottsdale and Tempe.

Can you still find an affordable house In Phoenix, AZ?

Aysia Williams and Benjamin Hughes rented in Phoenix’s Woodland Historic District, on the western edge of downtown, for about a year before trying 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.

The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, was never even listed for sale. They were renting in the neighborhood and searching for a home they could afford when they met a longtime homeowner who didn’t want to sell to an investor.

People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time homebuyers out. Buyers can still find affordable homes if they look hard enough.

Home prices in most other historic neighborhoods around downtown Phoenix are much higher. Prices in nearby the nearby Roosevelt historic district and Willo historic neighborhood can easily top $500,000.

Housing downtown workers can afford

Phoenix Housing Director Cindy Stotler said downtown Phoenix has 1,001 affordable units which is more than most people realize.

The issue is that those units are reserved under federal law for “very low-income” individuals who have a median annual income of  $14,000-$38,000.

Stotler said the real downtown housing gap is in “workforce housing,” for middle-income individuals who make $38,000-$48,000 annually. These individuals would have to pay nearly 50 percent of their income to afford living in market-rate housing downtown which is not reasonable or sustainable, she said.

“To me, the area that we’re missing in downtown is the working people’s housing. And people who are not like a lawyer or something and making a lot of money, but they’re just average working people,” she said. “There’s no regular housing for them. We’re not building that.”

To get workforce housing downtown, the city likely won’t be able to rely on traditional developers, Stotler said.

Land prices are high, which makes it difficult for developers to offer middle-income rents and still turn a profit on their projects, she said.

Garcia Duarte said financing is also difficult for more affordable housing, which deters some developers from building it. 

Stotler is looking to city-owned land in downtown as a possible solution to this issue. She hopes to find developers or non-profit groups that may be able to build middle-income housing on these lots.  

Affordable housing to market-rate

Phoenix’s housing department owns and operates three affordable housing properties in the downtown core.

  • Deck Park Vista: Located at Third and Moreland streets, Deck Park Vista has 56 subsidized senior apartments. The average household income is $17,848 and only two of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Ambassador West: This complex located near Van Buren Street and Fifth Avenue has 102 units. The average household income is $24,159 and only 28 of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Reflections on Portland: This small, 18-unit complex at Second and Portland streets has five workforce housing units. The average household income is $35,245.

Stotler would like to take some of the city’s housing projects and redevelop them as denser projects with more units available for middle-income households.

For example, Deck Park Vista is a garden-style apartment complex with just 56 units on two acres of land. Stotler said she could fit between 200-400 units on the land.

“It’s a poorly designed project for the downtown,” she said.

Stotler said the city has 10 other senior housing options across Phoenix, including some near downtown, like the Warehouse District, where the current residents could be moved to accommodate a new multistory project on the land with 200 workforce units and 50 affordable units.

Financing the project won’t be easy. While the city gets federal assistance to provide low-income housing, there are far fewer resources to build and provide middle-income housing, Stotler said.

“That’s where I’m struggling right now, is where we can get the funding to build all these workforce units,” Stotler said.

Pressure to build affordable In Phoenix, AZ

In most large cities, particularly those on the East Coast, it’s common practice to require developers who build market-rate housing to contribute to an affordable housing trust fund, which allows the city to build affordable housing.

Phoenix can’t do this. State law prohibits cities from creating such trust funds, Stotler said.

Instead, the city council can, and has, put pressure on developers to include a percentage of affordable or workforce housing in its projects if they want special perks from the city like a tax break or extra height.

Recently, the developer of an apartment project planned at the Arizona Center agreed to reserve 10 percent of its 354 planned units for workforce housing in exchange for a tax break.

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!