A Qwiki View of Scottsdale

Phil Sexton at John Hall and Associates, keeps the company’s agents updated on current real estate tools in this world of rapidly changing technology.  Recently, he posted about an alpha product, Qwiki.

Qwiki quickly blends public information (like you would find on wikipedia) with a robotic voice to create an interactive, multimedia presentation of information.

I took a little time to explore the Qwiki web site, and found two presentations that had been created about Scottsdale.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall

It’s easy to see that the software is in its formative stages, yet I find the concept very interesting and have lots of ideas for other Qwiki’s that could be created for Scottsdale. That diverse and detailed information about a community can be compiled into narrated presentation without human intervention is really kind of amazing.

3.8% Transfer Tax Rumors Persist: Truth is, new Medicare tax may impact high income investors

imageFrom John Packham, Government Affairs Director, at the Scottsdale Association of Realtors:

Misleading emails and other communications about the 3.8% Medicare tax in the health care reform law continue to circulate.  You might have received one or more of these emails.  The messages usually say that the 3.8% tax is imposed on unearned income that includes the sale of a principle residence. However, the tax that’s being referenced is far narrower and only has the potential to impact a small sliver of high income households who receive investment income.  The $250,000-$500,000 capital gains exclusion remains in place.  NAR has created a brochure with more information on who is impacted and it is available on REALTOR.org.

The brochure includes the following details about home owners who are impacted to this new tax on some investment income which goes into effect January 1, 2013:

Applies to:

  • Individuals with adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000
  • Couples filing a joint return with more than $250,000 AGI

Types of Income:

  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Rents (less expenses)
  • Capital gains (less capital losses)

Formula: The new tax applies to the LESSER of

  • Investment income amount
  • Excess of AGI over the $200,000 or $250,000 amount

The brochure contains examples of various transaction and the resulting tax.

Additional information can also be found at: www.REALTOR.org/healthreform

Sunset Magazine Names Scottsdale as “Best City to Raise Your Kids”


Scottsdale is known for a lot of things: golf, shopping, car shows, horse shows, great weather, beautiful desert location, and more….

It’s has low crime rates, high ranking schools, a ton of outdoor activities,  and access to the arts.

Sunset magazine has just named Scottsdale as the “Best City to Raise Your Kids”.  It’s definitely one of the many reasons I live here!

Related Posts and Web Sites:

Want to get away? Scottsdale Winter Rental Available February 1st!


Tired of freezing temperature and tons of snow?

I have this cozy, fully furnished winter rental available February 1st. It’s located in the heart of McCormick Ranch within walking distance to the McCormick Ranch Golf Club, 10 minutes from downtown Scottsdale to the south, and just as close to some of the unique shopping experiences to the north. Restaurants, healthcare, and lots of recreational activities are nearby.  With 2 master suites, a designer kitchen, and a warm southwestern feel, all you need are your warm weather clothes and a toothbrush.  Golf clubs are optional!


Open living area with a wall of windows for views and a lot of natural light.


A sweet interior and totally private courtyard, that doubles as a second living and dining room.


The primary master opens to the private courtyard.

The Scottsdale weather forecast for the beginning of February is sunny and warm.


More information and additional photos for this single level patio home and the surrounding area can be found at:  7552SanManuel.com.

For a quick preview of the shopping options in Scottsdale, here’s a short video from the Scottsdale Convention and Visitor Bureau (SCVB):

And, here’s a link to the SCVB golfing web site: Golf In Scottsdale

Any questions, just call me or your current Realtor.

Real Estate Appreciation? In Scottsdale?


I don’t know about you, but I’m sure ready to hear some good news about home values.  I must confess that I signed up for the monthly updates from Zillow, and for the last two months, there have been negligible, but POSITIVE increases in my home value.  I realize that Zillow is providing me generalized information, and I use it more for watching trends rather than assess actual value.  Like any home owner, the thought that my house might actually be worth more than it was a few months ago is welcomed news.

It turns out that real estate appreciation values in Scottsdale are improving, slowing, but surely, since the summer of 2009.  While we are not solidly back into appreciating values for single family homes, we have seen a couple of bounces into the positive. I realize that this seems to totally contradict my post from yesterday, but it really doesn’t.  Yesterday’s information was about home listing prices, and today’s data focuses on actual sales prices.  What I believe that we are seeing is home listing prices coming more into alignment with the market, which is in turn stabilizing prices.  We’ll know more in the next six months as we see how the spring selling season goes.

Past posts related to Scottsdale real estate appreciation:

Scottsdale Real Estate Update: Median Home Listing Price

Here’s a quick look at the past two years in Scottsdale.  The median list price for single family homes has dropped steadily, with a  couple of plateaus along the way.  It looks like there’s a possibility that we may have a reprieve this spring.  That would certainly be good news for local home sellers.  Buyers will definitely want to keep their eye on this to see if it’s a long-term trend.

Scottsdale Home Prices 2 years

If you’d like to see what the trend is for your Scottsdale zip code, you can click on one of these links for the most up-to-date market information:


Related Posts for Scottsdale Home Sellers:

“I didn’t think it would be so hard to buy a house”

I’m working with a client who would really like to buy a house in Phoenix.  However, it’s been a bit more challenging than expected. Short sales. Lender owned. Multiple offers. Backup offers. 

Many buyers coming here from out of state are shocked by how active our real estate market is.  And when you look at a chart like this one, showing the decline in Median Home Listing Price for Phoenix over that past two years, you can see why the world has the impression that the Phoenix real estate market has tanked. 

Phoenix Home Prices 2 years

And in a sense it has.  Price are incredibly low right now. Sometimes lower than when the home was purchased 10 or more years ago.

Yet, buyers are buying, so there’s quite a bit of competition for homes that are priced well. Buyers don’t have to look at many homes to become educated on value.  And then when they do find the house they want, time is of the essence.

One of these days, and hopefully very soon, we will see home prices stabilize.

For now, buyers need to get their financing in order, and get educated on pricing, location and value. Then, be ready to roll, and know that it may take some time to get an accepted offer.

Related Posts for Home Buyers: