Nov. 25, 2005: Short-term interest hikes shouldn't discourage Phoenix-area home buyers

You may not have bought a home yet, but don't say it's for lack of interest.

Here's a modern curse: Virtually everything that matters in real estate is a long-run phenomenon, but the news we use to judge the real estate market is all about the short run. Home prices are up compared with last year, last month, last week. Building permits are down compared to last month, but they're up compared to last year. The news item that may cause you the greatest concern is mortgage interest rates. They've been fairly steadily up over the last month.

Take the long-term view. Interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage have hovered between 5.25 percent and 6.25 percent for the last three years. Mortgage interest rates in general are at historic lows. There is no reason to expect a 30-year fixed to surge to 8 percent anytime soon, and 8 percent is still a very low rate.

Don't let the short-term news frighten you. The long-term prognosis for the Greater Phoenix market is excellent - continued in-migration from the Snow Belt and California, continued demand-driven appreciation, continued low interest rates.

The high hurdle to leap is entry cost, of course. Current homeowners have their accrued equity to use when they move up. First-time buyers have to qualify for most if not all of their financing, then they have to find a home priced at their qualification level. Now that's a curse!

Even so, it doesn't make sense to buy just anything. The home you buy must have appreciation potential, which means it should be in high demand when you sell it. In the recent seller's market, virtually everything rose in price, but newer single-family homes in freeway-accessible suburbs did a lot better than manufactured homes in the boondocks. Interest rates are still great, housing inventories are up and sellers are negotiable. It may not be a buyer's market, but it's a great time to buy a home.


Greg Swann is the designated broker for BloodhoundRealty.com, a full-service Metropolitan Phoenix real estate brokerage. This article originally appeared in the West Valley regional sections of the Arizona Republic.

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About BloodhoundRealty.com: Who we are and how we work

Why do we deliver so much more value for our clients? For one thing, it's a great strategy for marketing our real estate brokerage. But even before that, we love selling real estate, and we want to do the best job we can for our clients.

BloodhoundRealty.com is a boutique real estate brokerage working in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and the Phoenix suburbs. We would love to help you buy a home in Metropolitan Phoenix or to sell the Paradise Valley home you already own. If you're relocating to Scottsdale, we'll show you some hi-tech tactics we've discovered to save you time and money. And if your goal is to invest in Phoenix-area rental homes, we've helped dozens of investors realize their financial goals.

We work a lot harder than the agents we compete against. As an example, take a look at everything we do to list historic, architecturally-distinctive and mid-century modern luxury homes for sale. No one does the kinds of things we do, and we're just as detail-oriented -- and exuberant! -- when we work with buyers. Day by day, task by task, home by home, we want to get as close as we can to perfect performance as Realtors -- a virtual virtuosity in real estate representation.

We write, too -- could you have guessed? BloodhoundRealty.com is our main Phoenix real estate weblog, but we also publish Distinctive Phoenix, which is devoted to historic and architecturally-distinctive homes in Central and North Central Phoenix, and Distinctive Paradise Valley Homes, which is focused on the incomparable luxury real estate to be found in Paradise Valley. Our most famous weblog, though, is BloodhoundBlog, our nationally-focused real estate industry, marketing and technology blog -- which puts us in the vanguard of hi-tech real estate brokerage.

But that's all just credentials. We're thoroughgoing Realtors, contemplative Realtors, innovative Realtors, very hard-working Realtors. We're definitely hi-tech Realtors, and the internet, surely, is the second best tool a Realtor can deploy -- and we use the internet better than any of our competitors. But the best tool -- always -- is integrity, and without integrity there is nothing.

We believe in clear, detailed, complete communication. Where other Realtors might hope to dazzle you with pretty pictures, we bend over backward to tell you the whole, unvarnished truth about real estate transactions -- how they succeed and why they sometimes fail. It can be a comfort, at times, to 'leave it to the experts.' But real estate decisions can have very costly, life-long consequences. If you want to know every detail about your transaction, we want to share them with you.

Our passion is to do the best we can do, to find the best house at the best price, to find the best-qualified buyer for your home, to negotiate the best terms, to help our clients reach the best decisions, making the best possible investment. We're not about doing deals, we're about forging relationships. We want for you, as our client, to be so delighted by our efforts that you could not conceive of working with another Realtor.

Above all, we are about family -- yours and ours. And while we might be a small business, there is nothing small -- or small-time or small-minded -- in the way we do business. We want to be your Realtor for life. We will do everything we can to make that happen.

Want to find out more?

Please do!

You can visit our main Phoenix real estate web site at BloodhoundRealty.com or you can pick up the phone and dial 602-740-7531. (Outside of Arizona? Dial 1-800-508-5430.)

Either way, we're proud Bloodhounds at your command -- devoutly loyal, smart, frisky and eager to please...

 
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