June 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report
The housing prices are at record highs while inventory is at record lows and home sales are trailing 2017’s pace, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. June sales were 5.5 percent lower than June 2017 in the fifty-four metro areas surveyed, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
Headed in the opposite direction, the June Median Sales Price of $258,500 was an all-time high in the nine-year history of the report. It was 5.1 percent higher than the $245,000 recorded last June, bringing the consecutive months of year-over-year price increases to 27. In each of the previous five years – going back to June 2013’s $193,750 – June has posted the highest Median Sales Price of the year.
“Year-over-year prices have been climbing for more than two years now, which is great news for homeowners and sellers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “In the hottest markets, demand is especially high because there simply aren’t that many homes for sale. The slower sales figures we’re seeing are tied to inventory more than anything else.”
Forty-two of the fifty-four metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. That years-long trend is reflected in Months Supply of Inventory dropping to 2.7 – down 8.8 percent year-over-year and the smallest figure ever recorded for June. Fewer houses for sale generally results in a faster process: Homes sold in June averaged just forty-two Days on Market – five days less than June 2017 and three days under the previous nine-year low of forty-five days.
“Lack of inventory has become a theme for the year,” Contos said. “Having fewer homes to choose from poses a challenge for buyers, who need to be ready to act decisively and quickly. Working with a full-time, professional RE/MAX agent can prepare them for that.”
To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT or click here to download your copy of the June 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason, Associate Broker
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
5 Ways to Avoid Home Improvement Scams
Each summer, professional home improvement scammers roam the U.S. in search of victims. Scams include everything from offering unbelievable deals that end up with hidden fees to using low-quality materials and not doing quality work. If you’re in the market for making big repairs to your home, here’s 5 ways to avoid home improvement scams according to Consumer Reports, Inc.
1.) Get recommendations. Avoid contractors that contact you unsolicited. Don’t hire a contractor based solely on an ad in a local newspaper, even if you’re offered a big discount or another incentive. Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives.
2.) See what others are saying. Before hiring a contractor, check his or her work history with your state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Search the Web using the company or individual’s name and such words as “reviews” and “complaints.”
3.) Check credentials. Verify with your state that the contractor has the required license or registration. Some states have funds that reimburse consumers who obtain judgments against licensed contractors.
4.) Know your rights. Some states give consumers three days or so to cancel home-improvement contracts. Under federal law you have three days to cancel most contracts that are signed in your home or outside the contractor’s regular place of business.
5.) Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on spoken promises. Demand a written contract, and get all warranties in writing, too.
Older adults are especially at risk of home improvement fraud so please be on the alert and share with friends and family. For more tips on how to avoid home improvement scams or if you’re looking for a home in one of the many luxury Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today!
New Library in Glendale Coming in Spring 2019
New builds in the Valley of the Sun are always exciting, because they bring new employment, new revenue and new services and amenities to the community. That’s just one of the many reasons so many residents are excited that construction for the new library in Glendale that’s coming in spring 2019!
The Heroes Regional Park Library in Glendale recently broke ground and will be part of the Heroes Regional Park, at 83rd Avenue Bethany Home Road, which has been a work in progress for two decades. The park is currently a mix of play structures and ramadas and vacant land. After long last, part of that vacant land will be used for Glendale’s fourth library branch. A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for the the new library was held last month and construction officially began a few weeks ago. The library is scheduled to open in Spring 2019.
“The Heroes Regional Park Library, while long overdue, is such an exciting opportunity to provide free and equitable access to information, technology and cultural and educational materials to our citizens,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “I want to thank our City Council, especially Yucca District Council member Joyce Clark, for their support. Our Library Board, our city staff — it takes everyone working together to make it happen.”
The new 7,500 square-foot library will serve an estimated 80,000 visitors annually and bring an array of library programs, services and the latest innovations in library technologies to Glendale’s west side. It will eventually have a collection of about 25,000 books. Facility amenities will include dedicated children’s and “teen’s only” patio areas. A large glass window will bring the park inside.
Staffing the new branch will be fifteen employees, adding up to seven and a half full-time equivalent salaries. The new library will also likely offer volunteer positions which are a great activity for active adults and Arizona retirees looking to give back to the community and stay active.
For more information about what’s happening in your West Valley community or if you’re seeking to sell your home or buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
3 Senior Housing Trends for 2018
Now more than ever, Arizona retirees, active adults and baby boomers are reinventing the idea of retirement, taking control of their quality of life, and making their own choices for their personalized retirement experience. The aging population is more active, more empowered about their health care choices, and wanting different living accommodations to better suit their retirement needs. These changes have contributed to these 3 senior housing trends for 2018.
1.) Amenities: Today’s seniors aren’t sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch anymore. They’re playing pickle ball, hiking, going back to school and staying more active than ever before. Due to this, many facilities are considering the area’s appeal to active adults. Arizona retirement communities are offering more amenities and more senior-friendly activities for those early retirement years.
2.) Independence: More Arizona retirement communities are embracing baby boomers and retirees who can live comfortably on their own. The housing market for older adults is gradually adapting to the need of younger retirees by providing self-governing living facilities that encourage and celebrate independence.
3.) Aging in Place: A recent AARP study estimates that nearly ninety percent of people over age sixty-five want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Because of this senior housing trend, there has been a development of more affordable-in-home care programs. There has also been an increase in health technology from wearable medical alert bracelets to health apps for smart phones to help make home care more viable and manageable for Arizona seniors.
If you are an active adult looking for an Arizona retirement community to enjoy your golden years or are looking to downsize or sell your Sun City home, please contact Sharon Mason today!
June National Housing Report
Homes sold faster in May than at virtually any other time in the past decade, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low inventory and high demand in May cut Days on Market to 46, the second-lowest monthly number in the nearly 10-year history of the report. May home sales topped April sales by 14.5 percent, and were down by 2.8 percent from May 2017. The median sales price of $251,673 was up 7.8 percent. By comparison, homes averaged five more days on the market (51) in May 2017, 12 more days (58) in May 2016 and 18 more days (64) in 2015.
“Even with low inventory and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, homes are going from ‘for sale’ to sold 28 percent faster than three years ago,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.
With eleven metro areas increasing the median sales price year-over-year by double digits, May is still a seller’s market, and homebuyers should expect to compete with other buyers when they are ready to make an offer on a home.
“Be prepared — that’s my message to potential homebuyers in this summer selling season,” added Contos. “Make sure you are pre-approved with a lender, try to make a clean offer with no contingencies and, if possible, consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date. Pairing today’s real estate technology with the guidance of a professional RE/MAX agent, can help you find the right home.”
Click here to download your copy of the May2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report or access the housing report infographic here. If you are looking to sell your Arizona home or are ready to buy a home in a luxury Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today.
3 Ways to Enjoy a Fun Retirement Staycation
Now’s the fun time of year where many Arizona retirees begin taking their summer vacations. From taking adult cruises to the Bahamas to snorkeling off the Cayman Islands and hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. But these days, more and more active adults are opting to stay close to home and enjoy all the amenities their community has to offer. This has aptly been called taking a “staycation” which is a slang term for frugal vacation without leaving your hometown. Whether you’re saving up or just don’t feel like traveling this year, here are 3 ways to enjoy a fun retirement staycation.
1.) Create a Staycation Schedule: Can you believe there are Arizona retirees who have lived in Arizona their entire life and have not seen the Grand Canyon? If you’re one of those, create a staycation itinerary of some fun places to visit or local things to do. Pick up the paper or check out a local even page online to see what’s happening that you’d be interested in. Visit local art exhibits, craft shows, free live entertainment venues, museums, or try out that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about. The possibilities are endless when you stay in town so why not explore them?
2.) Homeward Bound: Who says you can’t have fun in your own home? It’s easy to get into a daily routine rut that has you yawning long after you’ve started your day. So breaking the bonds of your normal home routines can be a great way to enjoy your staycation. Indulge in some new hobbies like planting a garden, taking a recreational online class, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. If you’re feeling more social than solitary, you can host a weekly book club or host a wine tasting party at home. Fire up the grill and have a dinner party to remember right in your own backyard!
3.) Get Outside: Early mornings and evenings are still great times to discover the hidden gem bike riding trails, join a hiking club, or even indulge in some camping near a lake. Stargazing on a night hike away from the city is a great way to appreciate and connect with nature. Not into trekking and sweating? The many outdoor spring festivals, farmers markets, and public barbeques happening valley wide can help give you a healthy dose of vitamin D and a shot of retail therapy too.
Having fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and staying in doesn’t have to be a bore. If you’re interested in finding more retirement activities for a staycation in your area or if you’re an active adult seeking the perfect home in Sun City, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Get Your Arizona Home Summer Ready
July is usually our hottest month in Arizona and if you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare your air conditioner and home to ensure the lowest energy bills and maximum efficiency. And with the temperatures expected to reach 110 degrees this weekend, you definitely want to make sure you and your home are staying cool. Here’s what you need to do to get your Arizona home summer ready.
Keep Your Filter Clean: Arizona’s 300 days of sunshine contributes to the dry, dusty climate that can quickly clog your air filter and reduce its efficiency. Clogged air filters can lead to higher energy bills and more frequent air conditioning repairs. So be sure to clean or replace your filter every month. If it’s easier, set the same date every month on your calendar or in your phone to change your filters. You and your A/C will be much happier.
Set It and Forget It: If you’re constantly changing your thermostat, you won’t conserve energy in your home. It’s best to set it at the highest comfortable temperature and leave it. Or if you can, use a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust for times you are away from home or sleeping. Also, thermostats can pick up heat from lamps, TVs and appliances so be sure to keep them away.
Get Cool: Using your air conditioner isn’t the only way to cool down your Arizona home. Use ceiling fans and oscillating fans when you can to move and cool the air around your home. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to have it blowing downwards for a cool breeze effect. Just remember to shut your fans off when you’re not in the room or away from home to save energy. You can also invest in room darkening window coverings like sunscreens to help keep the heat out.
During Arizona summers, our homes demand extra care and attention to stay cool and comfortable. The good news is with a small amount of effort, you can sit back and make the most of your home. If you’d like more tips on keeping your home cool this summer or if you’re looking to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 5 Tips for Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona
Summer is nearly hear but the temperatures are already on the rise in Arizona. And for active adults who love to hike outdoors, taking safety precautions to avoid heat stroke and stay protected is especially important this time of year. Trails can turn deadly for even the most avid hikers if they’re not prepared, especially during the summer months. If you’re ready to brave the trails, please don’t forget these top 5 tips for safe summer hiking in Arizona.
For more tips on safe summer hiking in Arizona or if you’re an Arizona retiree looking for a luxury Arizona retirement community to call home this summer, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Looking for Volunteer Work? Northwest Valley Connect Needs Drivers
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Volunteering and helping others can help older adults reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
If you’re an active adult or Arizona retiree looking for a volunteer work then you’ll be happy to know that Northwest Valley Connect is currently looking for drivers! The nonprofit agency helps Northwest Valley residents with transportation challenges find alternatives. One of those is Northwest Valley Connect’s volunteer driver program, in which volunteers use their own vehicles to provide rides for residents for doctor and other medical appointments, grocery shopping and other trips within the area.
NVC officials aim to educate the population it serves on existing transportation resources as well as provide new senior transportation options to service unmet needs. NVC serves as the one-click, one-call resource aimed to keeping older adults in the Valley active and connected to the community. From doctors appointments and errands to grocery store trips and visits with friends, getting Valley residents to the places they need to be easily and efficiently is the agencies primary mission.
Northwest Valley Connect is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the agency responded to more than 10,500 requests for transportation referrals and rides during the past year, according to Kathy Chandler, the executive director of Northwest Valley Connect. Most calls are from residents 55 or older with physical limitations, she added. In the past three months inquiries from Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise residents doubled figures at this same time last year.
NVC’s area of service has also seen growth and now includes Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale and the projection for 2018 response to inquiries is 14,000 or more shared Chandler. If you’d like more information about volunteering for Northwest Valley Connect call 623-282-9304 or visit northwestvalleyconnect.org. If you’d like more information about volunteer activities in Sun City or if you’re looking to downsize to a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 3 Super Summer Health Tips for Seniors
Though the first day of summer is stilltechnically not for another month, there’s no denying that it’s already beginning to heat up in Arizona. And while the summertime is a time of relaxation for most people, for older adults, the heat and sun can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren't taken. Here are the top 3 super summer health tips for seniors that Arizona retirees and active adults can use to make sure they have a fun, safe summer.
1.) Watch for heat stroke: It is extremely important to watch for signs of heat stroke, especially for Arizona retirees. Some signs to look for include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, excessive tiredness, headache, lethargy, nausea, and a rapid pulse. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
2.) Stay hydrated: By the time you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. For active adults, the feeling of thirst decreases as we age, so be sure to increase your water intake if you are exercising or doing any type of prolonged physical activity. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
3.) Apply Bug Spray: The elderly is unfortunately prone to the Zika Virus, West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito carrying this virus.
The beautiful Arizona summers can bring a few dangers for Arizona retirees including sunburn, eye damage, dehydration, heat exhaustion and more. If you follow these top 3 super summer health tips for seniors, there's no reason you can't have an enjoyable and fun-filled summer -- no matter your age.