From Our Blog

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

Impending Legislation Regarding the 3.8% Tax

If you’ve been keeping up with the news you may have heard about a new 3.8% sales tax on real estate transactions. It’s said to “only affect a very small number of Americans,” however most of my clients fall into that category and so I wanted to make you aware of it. It was included in the new federal health care legislation. I’ve researched the details of this provision and it’s not as simple as a straight 3.8% tax on the sale of a property. There are several contingencies and I’d suggest consulting your accountant to see how its specifics might affect you. How it Applies: The tax only applies [...] read more

Short Sale Strategies – Part 2

In our previous article I explained short sales and why they’re becoming more popular. This issue, I wanted to get a little deeper into what lenders want to see before approving a short sale. The biggest one is a true hardship. A costly medical disaster is often given as an example, or a loss of a job. What lenders want to believe is that you would be just as happy staying in your home, but your inability to make the mortgage payments due to unforeseen circumstances is forcing you to sell. Normally, the housing market appreciation prevents unfortunate situations like these from becoming a short sale and it’s not a [...] read more

Short Sale Strategies – Part 1

Just about everyone has heard of short sales by now but our office still fields questions about them regularly. If you’ve been facing financial difficulties and are unable to continue paying your mortgage, a short sale may salvage your credit by keeping your home out of foreclosure. Put simply, a short sale is when a house sells for less than is owed to the lender. The seller can no longer afford the payments and thus, cannot afford to pay the difference between what they owe and a lesser sales price. The lender must agree to this loss, reports the loan as “satisfied” to the credit bureaus and releases its lien [...] read more

Pricing Your Home For A Fast Sale

Since the housing market crash and decline on Wall Street, Paradise Valley average home values have plummeted approximately 40% from their high. Scottsdale averages have seen a 34% decline over the same time period. Our office has quite a few listings that came to us after languishing on the market for a year or two, hoping to attract a buyer willing to pay the prices of yesteryear. Sadly, if you know home sellers that price their property while saying things like “I need to get…” or “But I paid…” and their home still hasn’t sold, these sellers are likely ignoring the reality of the market. The biggest danger of not [...] read more