Here we discuss all matters Real Estate, with an emphasis on Tucson Arizona. We welcome your story ideas. Via Realty is a boutique real estate company founded on Jan 1 2000 by 2nd generation Arizonan Wayne D Anderson, a Realtor since 1989. 520) 327-1550. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Check Your Auto License Plate Frame!

A new law will come into effect on Jan 1 2009 which you should be aware of. Here are the details from the AZ DOT Motor Vehicle Division:

License Plate Holder Law - State law* requires that the state name at the top of Arizona license plates must be visible. Any license plate holder or cover that prevents the license plate from being clearly legible, is in violation of this new law.
* A.R.S. 28-2354(B.)

Fines in Pima County could be up to $133 per violation! Other municipalities may have different fines. In a casual survey around my neighborhood, a majority of the vehicles that I inspected have license plate frames that violate this law. It is a simple thing to remove the plate and frame and re-attach the license without the frame or use a new frame that does not obscure the information on the license plate.

In another "fine" matter, Before the U of A vs ASU football game a few weeks ago, I spied City of Tucson workers busily citing parking law violators in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. Did you know that you may not park within 5 feet of a driveway entrance or 10 feet from an alley entrance? If you didn't know this, you could be surprised with a $180 parking ticket. Beware!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The January Effect

Chart: Total Sales Units vs Month 2004-2008

When one looks at the Tucson MLS statistics, an interesting pattern is quite evident. In the past 4 years, closed sales numbers hit bottom in January, then begin to climb again in February and March, peaking within the next few months.

The peak occurred in June in 2004, 2005 and 2006, with sales numbers March, April and May not far behind. The peak in 2007 occurred in May, but the numbers for February March and April were also not far behind. The numbers for 2008, while down considerably from previous years, had a significant percentage jump in February and March, peaking in June with 1034 closed sales, slightly behind May which had 1,025 closed sales.

Since there is a lead time between when a buyer looks at and decides to make an offer on a home and the closing, (lets say 45 days for argument's sake) you might conclude that it would be wise to have your home on the market in January to catch those buyers and the others that follow in February, March and April. I would agree with that conclusion.

Interest rates are now at historic lows, there is a "First Time Buyer" Federal tax credit available through April 2009 (as much as $7500 for married buyers who file jointly and $3750 for those married or not who file individually) Inventory has been reduced considerably since last year. History points to an improved market in the early part of this year, compared with the previous months, although the actual numbers may still be below last years, YTD. Regardless, a window of opportunity is opening for those who want to sell their home now, and January is the time to begin.

Census Releases Growth Figures. AZ in 2nd Place!

This just in from the US Census , Arizona comes in second, behind Nevada in population growth (percentage wise) since 2000. adding almost 1.4 million souls in that time frame.

Arizona's actual growth in population (not percentages) since July 1 2007 was 147,000, fifth behind Texas, California, North Carolina, and Georgia. Here is a link.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check out These Homes

One of the ways that we promote our client's listings is to design and publish e-flyers. Here are three of our most recent ones:

2005 4 BR 2 BA Home for under $100 per Square Foot!

Big East Central House with Guest House!

Cute East Side 3BR with RV Parking!

They have been submitted to Oodle, Google Base, Vast, Yahoo, HotPads, Trulia, Zillow, Geebo, OLX, Backpage, DotHomes, CyberHomes, FrontDoor, and others, to get the maximum web exposure possible.

Thought you would find this interesting!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Good News

More good mortgage news from the Federal Government. In a move to further push mortgage rates down, and stimulate the housing market, Treasury Secretary Paulson is considering a new plan to reduce mortgage rates. Further implementing the purchase of mortgage backed securities, the move could push rates to 4.5%, according to an unnamed government official. Here is more from Bloomberg News.

We have seen substantial reduction in mortgage loan rates in the past two weeks, one lender we follow had a Dec 2 quote of 5.25%, APR 5.404% for a 30 year fixed conventional loan and 4.875%, 5.135% for a fixed 15 year conventional mortgage!

Refinances are gaining steam and despite the cloudy take in the article, lenders do have money to lend and are offering it to qualified buyers with decent credit.

This is a big opportunity for someone who has been sitting on the fence waiting for a good reason to buy a home.