From Our Blog

The Foreclosure Wave That Won’t Be

Yesterday Reuters published an article about Americans bracing for the next wave of foreclosures, again reminding us that we’re all doomed. Except… we’re not. I contacted Mike Orr with The Cromford Report who pointed out that Phoenix foreclosures peaked in 2009 and have been trending downward ever since. His research suggests the “wave of foreclosures” in metro Phoenix is actually 90 percent over. And across the country, delinquency rates are down and continuing to go down, according to information provided by LPS Applied Analytics. Managing nearly 40 million loans across the U.S., their aggregate data is especially helpful in recognizing national mortgage trends. The Reuters article even mentions LPS figures [...] read more

Impending Tax Change for Short Sellers

Homeowners considering a short sale later this year may want to get moving because a tax benefit for short sellers is set to expire at the end of 2012. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was established in an attempt to allow short sellers – presumably in a dire financial situation – to avoid a surprise income tax bill the following year.  Essentially, it exempts sellers from paying income tax on the difference in what is owed versus the short sale price of the home.  The link above will take you to the IRS page with specifics, and absolutely consult your accountant (and probably your attorney) to see if [...] read more

Arizona Visitor’s Guide

Check out the new State of Arizona Official Visitor’s Guide.  We just received a digital copy and it is too good not to share. Even longtime residents are sure to find something new and exciting to explore.  You can download your own copy by clicking on the photo.  Happy trails! Viewing on a smartphone or tablet?  Click here for a version optimized to display on your device. read more

Make the Skies Friendly Again – With A Flight From The Scottsdale Airport

One of the nation’s busiest single runway airports, the Scottsdale Airport has long been a Northeast Valley landmark. Within minutes of some of metro Phoenix’s most prominent businesses, nearby resorts, restaurants and recreation amenities, there’s no reason that the next time you fly, it can’t be for both business and pleasure. But it wasn’t always such an idyllic place. Rapidly constructed as an Army Air Corps training facility within months of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the school trained over 5,500 pilots before being shut down shortly before the Allied victory in Europe in 1945. By the time their graduates had finished winning the war, they had flown 26.5 million [...] read more

The Camelback Inn – Always At The Heart of Town

  In 1936, with the country mired in the depths of the Great Depression, an ambitious young hotel manager persuaded a group of investors to fund construction of a resort in the Sonoran Desert. Arizona had been a state for less than 30 years when hotel manager Jack Stewart proposed the idea of a resort destination in the desert.  His investor?  An Ohio businessman with a name familiar to modern Phoenicians, John C. Lincoln. Stewart and Lincoln’s partnership created a legacy.  The Inn was originally constructed with 75 rooms and for a cost of about $1.2 million in today’s dollars.  Removed from the hustle of city life, the Camelback Inn’s namesake [...] read more

From Sand to Sensation

“Golf is a game of risk and reward,” says Tom Weiskopf, one of the sport’s sages and award winning course architect, including the Valley’s most famous course at the Tournament Players Club. His Stadium Course at the TPC embodies just such a philosophy as it makes the Phoenix Open one of the most exciting tournaments on the PGA Tour. As the TPC gears up for the 76th Open, held this January 30th through February 5th, Tom took a break from designing courses in Asia and Argentina to share some stories about the original design of the Course, why he loves the Phoenix Open and his hopes for its future. For [...] read more

Arizona’s Vineyards and Locally Grown Wine

Anyone who has recently taken a trip to Sedona or the Verde Valley has likely noticed a growing number of tasting rooms featuring locally produced wines.  Often thought of as being the provenance of Provence or the fertile and foggy valleys of California, upstart Arizona has become the maverick in yet another well-established industry steeped in tradition.   Setting aside the general (and often incorrect) assumption that wines improve with age, industry experts are appreciating the youthful beauty and flavor of our products.  Respected wine reviewers with The Wall Street Journal, The Wine Advocate, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine have all toasted praises to Arizona’s wines.  The discriminating palates [...] read more

January 2012 Market Report

Uncertainty because it is difficult, if not impossible, to have a clear picture of the market. National and even regional news only report on the big picture. And while the big picture mat- ters to overall market confidence and conditions, to borrow from the old adage, all real estate is local. So what’s really going on in your neighborhood? In order to provide the most accurate data, Walt Danley Realty has partnered with The Cromford Report, a market research and analysis firm. We zeroed in specifically on luxury homes in the Northeast Valley to get a clear picture of what’s happening here in town. When looking at Cromford’s numbers it [...] read more

If A Realtor Were To Build On Spec…

A recent article in the Phoenix Business Journal profiled several real estate agents building “spec” homes (speculative, built without a specific buyer) – in the middle of the worst housing market in history.  While it sounds crazy given the national abundance of housing, it may be surprising to learn that there is actually an acute shortage of homes, especially new ones, in certain price ranges. Building on spec is a risky proposition for anyone, especially someone not accustomed to all the little details that can make or break a luxury home project.  Fortunately, Rusty’s spec referenced in the article hits the sweet spot and he knows the residential real estate [...] read more

Jumbo Mortgage Rates – what goes up must come down, and back up?

Yesterday Congress came closer to raising the jumbo loan limit back to its 2008 peak of $729,750 after letting it fall to $625,500 on October 1st.  Abundant press coverage suggested the drop would further harm a lifeless housing market, with the National Association of Home Builders announcing that more than 17 million homes could be affected.  Several clients have asked if this up-and-down affected potential buyers of their homes, and the short answer is no.   The jumbo loan limit climbed to $729,750 as part of the 2008 economic stimulus package.  However it is restricted to specific high-cost areas, most of which are bigger cities along the coasts.  In Maricopa [...] read more