Sellers Take Note – Scottsdale Home Buyers Have Many Choices

I’ve been working with a young couple purchasing their first home.  Like so many buyers today, they started their search on the Internet, and found me through “some social networking site, can’t remember which one”.

Bright, educated, and articulate, they know what they want in a home.  Pre-approved for a loan.  Lease up in two months.  Ready to buy.

They found a house they liked and would serve their needs. Made an offer.  Received a counter offer from the seller. Made a counter offer back.  There was an $8,000 difference between buyer and seller on a home in the $300,000 price range, and the seller decided that he was done negotiating.

So, the buyers proceeded with their search and found a lovely home just around the corner, priced 20% higher, but a larger, much loved home, with significant upgrades.   In a period of about 24 hours, they came to terms with the seller, on price and time frame.  The seller even offered to leave the cat!

CC photo credit: foshie

We are still in a buyer’s market.  Sellers often must make concessions.  Buyers determine the value of the home, and a seller can choose to agree, or disagree.  If there’s agreement, the house sells, if not, only time will tell.

Scottsdale Elementary School Going Hi-Tech

Navajo Elementary School is located in the 85251 zip code of Scottsdale.  It’s a great school.  I know.  My son attended 5th and 6th grades there.  I served on the PTO board, and was the school web master.   The school population is diverse, and the parents are involved.  It’s truly a neighborhood school.

Today, the East Valley Tribune wrote “Navajo Elementary ready for high-tech face-lift“,  describing the school’s efforts to refine its focus on a math and science curriculum, coupled with a technology transformation.  Navajo will teach to the state standards, but from a math, science and technology perspective.

There are three major parts to the plan, which will be implemented when the school finalizes the resources and partnerships.

  1. Create a partnership with Arizona State University that will bring graduate students into the classroom to run hands-on labs and extracurricular activities, like a robotics club.
  2. Adding a science teacher to develop high-level math and science lessons, in collaboration with the classroom teaching staff.
  3. Finally and most exiting, immersing students in technology, with a “one-to-one” laptop program.

Several years ago, I participated on the Scottsdale Unified Technology committee that, in collaboration with the school district, created a vision and plan for technology in the Scottsdale school district.  Administrators, teachers, parents, business people, and technologists met over a several months, putting together a long-term solution for upgrading the networking and classroom technologies for the district.   In that plan, laptops were to be provided for each high school student.  Some say, that the laptop program is why the bond did not pass in that first election.  Since then, the bond to fund technology evolution has been passed by voters, minus the one-to-one laptop program.

At Navajo, they have reopened that door.  In the passing years, newer, smaller computers have been created, which helps.  And, in this case, Navajo hopes to procure a grant to implement their program, rather than using public funds.

I’m a nut for technology.  I was exposed to computers in high school in the early 70’s, when a teacher worked out some ad hoc arrangement with the Phoenix Union School district.  Our algebra class wrote programs in Basic and COBOL over a three week period.  That experience parlayed into a life-long love of computing, which led me to graduate school and has given me opportunities in many fields.  So needless to say, I’m a strong advocate of the program and am proud that Navajo has taken the initiative to push ahead and provide its students with a unique and timely education. 

And, if the grant passes, Navajo will be one of two schools in Arizona with the “laptop for every child” education program! 

Special Day for Special Kids at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

Here is a free event for the Valley’s special needs children and their families.

Special Day for Special Kids

March 29th, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

Special education children and their families can join us for FREE train rides, carnival activities, carousel rides, balloons, activity booths, clowns, face painting, petting zoo and lots of free food and ice cream.

Leave Your Stress Behind – Move to Scottsdale

The Phoenix Business Journal just published an article in their March 28th issue, “Phoenix among least stressful metro areas, according to study“.  The Phoenix metro area ranks #3, right behind Virginia Beach/Norfolk and Salt Lake City.  The study looked at weather, crime stats, and economic conditions. 

And then I find that, in Arizona, Scottsdale is top-ranked for launching a new business and ranked #25 nationally, according to Fortune Small Business’s “100 Best Places to Live and Launch 2008.”   This study looked a broader range of livability factors, including natural beauty and access to culture.

In the city’s overview, it was noted that Scottsdale has a large entrepreneurial community, high volume of tourist traffic, and lots of culture and nightlife.  With approximately 250,000 residents and over 2200 small businesses, Scottsdale offers a unique opportunity for business owners.

One of the largest growing commercial developments is on the eastern border of Scottsdale, in the area of the Pima (101) Freeway at the Via de Ventura exit.  Featuring two major developments, Riverwalk Arizona, a 187 acre office/retail park, and the Pima Center, with an addition 209 acres of mix-use commercial space.

This rapidly expanding business park is projected to house 40,000 workers when fully developed and is located in close proximity to the airport, with a variety of home communities and living styles (condo, loft, coops, townhouse, and single family properties priced from $50,000 to $10,000,000).

So, if you are thinking of relocating or starting a business, definitely consider Scottsdale – low stress, great weather, affordable housing, and a hospitable business environment.

Blogging Helps Buyers Find a Realtor

Yesterday, Omadelle Nelson from Channel 5 news came out to my office to talk about real estate blogging.  One of my clients who decided on using me because of my web site and blog, was also interviewed.

Here’s the newscast, Real Estate Agent Blogs For Business.  It’s chance for you to get to know me just a little bit better, and get a feel for how real estate blogs can help you select a Realtor.

Is Waiting for the Real Estate Market to Bottom Out a Smart Thing?

I received an email from a potential home buyer this week, telling me that it is not a good time to buy a home.   I didn’t necessarily agree, so I shared some of the following information with her.

I asked if she’d be following the interest rate forecasts, and let her know that inventories (homes for sale) are starting to level off. In some Scottsdale zip codes, median list prices are starting to increase.

Some other reading that I recommended included the Time magazine article “Ignore the Headlines“.

And also, the article from Tuesday’s Arizona Republic, “After months of declines, existing-home sales up

My perspective is that we won’t know that we hit the bottom of this market, until it’s past.

The writer responded back asking for more information on the areas where listing prices have been increasing, and I’ll share that Scottsdale update with you tomorrow.

Two other related posts on our current real estate market:

Scottsdale continues to be a Safe City

From the City of Scottsdale e-mail update:

SCOTTSDALE CONTINUES TO BE SAFE COMMUNITY. The 2007 Uniform Crime Reports indicate that Part One crimes (homicide, burglary, robbery, rape, vehicle theft, aggravated assault and larceny) are down by three percent from last year, with a four percent reduction in the crime rate per 1,000 persons. With the exception of 2005, last year saw the lowest crime rate per 1,000 since 1985, when the City’s population was estimated at 137,000 fewer people. There continues to be double-digit reductions in almost every category. At this time, theft appears to be the only crime category that is on the rise, specifically shoplifting, vending machine thefts and building thefts. The clearance rate in the City for homicides has continued to be 100 percent since 2002.

You can sign up for your own City of Scottsdale email notifications.