Monday, July 31, 2006

The presentation I attended...

Was not a presentation. It was an open meeting at the Arizona Corporation Commission. I even was allowed to speak in front of the panel. Yeah, I was a bit intimidated and nervous, but it was important to let the panel know of the benefits to the local community and county a master planned community could bring.

More on this later, maybe there will be something in the media on this and I'll share it with you all then.

Lear Jets are fast...

Left early this morning for Phoenix and I'm already back (been back for a few hours catching up with clients and other business). Riding on this jet has spoiled me I must say. To drive to Phoenix from Kingman you are looking at nearly 3 hours. I've done this drive many times now and it gets better with road improvements all the time.

But 35 minutes trumps 3 hours.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I have been invited

I'm headed to Phoenix on Monday morning for a presentation. I don't really know much about what is being presented, I was invited to be at the small Kingman airport at 8:00am in the morning and that the developer Jim Rhodes is putting the whole thing together and has invited local business leaders to the function.

I'll be happy to report on what happens when I get back. Heck, I'm not even sure when I'm supposed to get back. See you on Tuesady... I hope.

An emotional market

I haven't heard of such things in this local market yet, but I do have a client that is very anxious to sell their home and I know their emotions are walking on egg shells right now. Here is a good article in the Arizona Republic that speaks to pressure and threats in their market.

Yeah, this isn't 2004 and 2005, this is a different market. Please feel free to talk to your representative openly about what is happening locally for sales. Keep in mind that homes and properties are selling but at a slower pace than I think we all got accustomed to. Clear communication is what you should expect from your agent.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Support for a new interchange on I-40

Click on image for larger view

Today I saw a report that was mailed out to various so-called Kingman Leaders (I failed to get on this mailing list, however). One of the very interested participants in the Kingman Crossing subdivision seems to be butting heads with the new city council and mayor over building a new interchange (that is desperately needed) along Interstate 40 here in Kingman.

There has long been talk locally about some new commercial projects that are meant to come to this community. In the report I saw those commercial projects would include retail stores, office space, and even a multiplex theater (I've yet to see a movie in the existing theater in Kingman since I moved here in 2000). It's not real difficult to believe that we are in need of such projects. Kingman only collects sales tax for tax revenue (actually, they recently started collecting impact fees for new construction projects to add to various funds). Kingman, as it stands right now, is sort of tapped out of good locations for such projects.

What needs to happen in order to create more needed commercial space is an interchange and this is an ideal place for one. Our main commercial street right now is Stockton Hill. You will find grocery stores, hardware stores, car lots, Super Wal-Mart, dining, Home Depot, other retail shops, and business offices all up and down from north to south along this street. As a result, traffic can be difficult because Stockton Hill basically takes you to and from home as well. I'd say a majority of residents use Stockton Hill everyday. (You would also catch the Interstate via Stockton Hill so even folks passing through would likely be on this main road)

Kingman has open spaces to the east. We can't develop west because of mountains, going north will likely be fine SOME DAY but the further north you go the further you are away from access to I-40. The south has issues with mountains as well. But to the east? Lots of open space and heck, I-40 all the way out to the horizon.

Fellow citizens of this area we need to let our city council, mayor, and city manager know how important this interchange will be for the smarter growth patterns this city is in dire need of. The city can sell their piece south of the Interstate and fetch a pretty penny (or lease it, or be a partner, just so many possibilities). The ease of traffic problems along Stockton Hill should be enough reason to support such an endeavor. This would help tie the four quadrants of the community together nicely, plus add jobs and sales tax. The private sector has pledged half the costs associated with making this possible. This should be this current administrations number one priority for city planning this term.

Please support this, let our city government leaders know how you feel on this issue. It's time to make some noise here locally.

I have to admit...

I've been reading some bad news about the real estate markets from incredibly negative resources, such as bubble blogs. The folks who are discussing matters on those such sites really have it out for the real estate biz (including mortgage lenders, appraisers, and builders... not to mention realtors). Lot's of doom and gloom. Couple this with the lousy numbers from charts I've been posting has led me to a less than stellar attitude on occasion.

Lately I've made it a point to seek out other avenues of information to bring some balance in my outlook. Here is an article from the Realty Times that I found while visiting another great and informative blog (BloodhoundBlog).

Part of my poor attitude probably comes from the fact that I've only been in the business since 2001 and I've never been through any other kind of market than what appeard to be a strong one that led us into a rip roaring one over the 2004 to 2005 time frame. Also, my local Association's MLS service only has reliable information on sales going back to 2004. I remember 2001 through 2003 just fine but I can't put my memories into charts and present the information. This is one real slight I have against our Association is the poor managment of records. Even still to this day we do not report on sale information for historica perspective. I've only become interested in it recently myself (which led me to produce this blog to share the information I am mining). Oh I'm sure there are other ways to obtain this information but honestly I don't have the time with all of my other duties to clients and family.

I guess my point is that the current market feels like it did before 2004. I remember clearly going to listing clients and asking for extensions on their listing agreements because their property hadn't sold to that point. Still, as a newbie, I was still making sales and obtaining clients... just like today.

I'm not thinking this market is crashing at all (not that I thought it ever really would), but instead it's turning into a more normal market. Kingman still has plenty of maturing to do while on it's growth spurt, and I still believe that this city will be the third largest city in the state of Arizona down the road (I consider all of the Phoenix area together including budding cities like Glendale and Chandler, no we may not have a larger population than those suburbian cities).

I'm chalking up the first half of this year as a valuable learning experience in my young career. It's going to help me be a better professional. The same is going to be said for other quality realtors who've come into this market since I have.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm meeting-ed out

Many of you may not know that besides my profession as a realtor, I'm also serving this year as Association president for the local Kingman/Golden Valley Association of REALTORS. This means that I am volunteering quite a bit of my time to the operation of the local Association.

Monday morning I attended a bylaws meeting to ask the committee to come up with some changes for a special election to alter our Association elections, and to do this change for this year. See locally we have agreed with the other regional Associations (of Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City) to merge our MLS's. Currently the Associaiton has an executive position called the MLS president, but when all goes well with the merger there won't be a need for the MLS president (the MLS president is also the Association vice president). So I've asked the committee to adapt a position of President Elect, like most other Associaitons have. I'm happy to say that committee Chairperson Yvonne Reil (a frequent reader of this site) worked hard and put this together in time for the monthly Board of Directors meeting today (more on that later). The committee also added some requirements to serve on the Board, and changed the petition rule to hopefully create more interest from the Members to perhaps run in the elections for the positions available. Okay, that was Monday.

Tuesday morning I held the introductory component of the Association orientation for new Members. Had roughly 40 newbies in the audience (and probably put 25 of them to sleep at times). I believe this is the eighth time I've conducted this portion of the orientation and as always I'm looking to improve the presentation each time. However, at some point another Member is going to have to take over this duty. The application process is easy, please contact me if interested.

Wednesday morning we hold the MLS meeting at our board office and usually the MLS president presides over the meeting. However she (Rita Zumwalt -- oh and Rita get a website that I can link to) is on vacation and I was asked to run the meeting. I wore a hawaiian shirt (I need to pick up dry cleaning like real soon) as it was going to be rather hot that day. Of course I'm the only one in attendance wearing such a shirt and opened my comments after the pledge of allegiance by saying, "Alright, who is the wise guy that emailed me to say that today was hawaiian day?" I love starting that meeting off with something silly to say just to break up the morning a bit. There are so many new faces at the MLS meetings now (our Association has 512 agent Members now, up from 112 when I started in 2001), so when I call on someone to speak of their new listings I don't always know their names and honestly haven't mastered the art of remembering their names. I'm losing touch with my constituency.

Finally this morning, the Board of Directors meeting. The MLS committee Chair, Wayne Wissenger, started it off (before I called the meeting to order) by showing us some great innovations with Mohave County's GIS mapping program. It's the simple things that I can't believe I miss out on, he did a couple of clicks and I realized that I've been making that mapping program alot harder to use than it actually is. I started the meeting after his presentation, it's nice to see faces in the audience, even it's mostly committee members who are there to give their reports. Serving on the Board since 2002, I've been begging other Members to attend these meetings and only a few times did we ever get people there. There have been a few exceptions (like when we are proposing what some think are drastic changes), but for the most part... no one but us volunteer Directors.

I'm happy to say that the Association has seen an obvious interest coming from the Members now and I hope it continues well into the future. The time is now to make our Association better than it ever has been and I believe there is enough talented Members to see to this goal.

While I'm indeed meeting-ed out this week, I'm incredibly proud of the Members that serve on the Board with me this year. It has been a total pleasure (and heck I still have 5 plus months to go as president. I'm also proud to see the committees stay as active as they have been. It was my number one goal this year to make committee involvement happen. There is still plenty of room for improvement but this current Board owes alot of gratitude to the committees.

Thanks for letting me ramble on. Looking at my calendar.. no meeting's for me on the schedule. Now maybe I can get some more clients to serve. Yeah, that'd be nice.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just saying...

For those of you who have stopped by this place for a look around, please be patient as I'm still trying to get a handle on how the whole 'blog' thing works. For the many years I've been reading blogs I've noticed many high quality sites and I'm sure it took time to get there. I'm really enjoying my blog so far for personal satisfaction and hope that I too will have a high quality site.

I'm a younger person (35) and can't believe how much stuff passes me by in regards to technology. Like this html stuff, I'm sure it's easy to figure out (and I will have to) but until recently I didn't need it. Now I'm sorta lost. Not just computer stuff either, I had to have one of my wifes son's come to the house and hook up the new stereo receiver to the TV and other components. I think there should be a class at the community college for this kind of stuff.

I did figure out my wifes new Ipod and made it work... but honestly that wasn't that tough.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What's the value of professional experience?

I've been busy checking out other real estate blogs for content idea's and ran across this article. The few articles that I have read have blown me away so far. I'll be adding this blog to my links. I hope you enjoy.

Update: Link to article should be fixed now. Thanks Troy.

Interesting article

I just recently found this blog and wanted to share this article from it. Maybe you find yourself in one of these situations and this article expresses some options you have.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monthly Numbers Report

Eh... Not so good this month.

At the beginning of the month there were 701 single family homes listed on the MLS in the data search area I report on. That is an amazing number for this growing community. 255 of those listings were of the new/never lived in variety, i.e. new home construction. The remaining 446 were existing homes for resale.

Inventory continues to go up and sales have slowed. The news isn't all that great for next month either I'm affraid as there were only 54 homes under contract in the month of June. I still say that the price point is too high on the asking side. I believe there are buyers in the area, but these buyers are not the investors... they left the party late last year. Buyers are being careful as to not buy today at higher prices only to watch the value of their new home go down in the coming months.

If you are thinking of selling the price point is the biggest factor you have to consider. Apparently the many people who continue to list at even higher prices haven't caught on as of yet.

This chart looks at the monthly numbers of new listings and sold homes for the months during 2006. Click on the chart for a larger view.

The chart below looks at the average asking price vs. the average sales price per unit. Once again click for a larger view.

The numbers lead us to think that this is not the very best time to be buying property. Buyers are faced with a double edged sword with interest rates moving upward. Yes be aggressive and try for a better deal in price when entering negotiations, but keep in mind that with rising rates that at whatever price you land on the mortgage payment factor is rising.

Buy a home today if you are in the market for a place to reside in. Don't buy today if you are investing unless you come across a great deal. I suspect the market will continue to be like this at least through the end of the year. Hopefully prices reduce a bit after investors who were 'flipping' properties are out of the market.

Buyers... be aggresive at the bargaining table. Sellers... be forward thinking, research your market and price accordingly.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

Spoke to Group In Golden Valley on Saturday

I was invited to speak to a group in Golden Valley, it was a meeting for the Western States Alliance. They wanted me to speak in regards to the proposed land split matrix that I have been posting about for a few weeks now.

I want to thank Val Starr and Lou Tranka for allowing me to participate, and to Donna Crouse for getting me involved.

There are plenty of issues that face the residents of Golden Valley and sometimes they questioned me on some things that did not pertain to the subject I was there for. All in all though it was a great experience for me and I hoped that I helped put things into better perspective. County Supervisor Tom Sockwell was also in attendance and was peppered with some things outside of the matrix.

Board of Supervisors Meeting Today...

Well, I was told that the 'marix' would be taken off the agenda -- but it wasn't. I had to scramble down to the meeting and there were plenty of people there for and against the 'matrix' to my surprise.

I think we are in for a fight on this one. I saw many of the same anti-growth people in attendance who spoke in favor of the 'matrix' that I've seen speak out against new developments all over Mohave County. I don't think these people get it, if they get the new matrix passed the threat of more people moving into the area will increase because the matrix, as written, favors large developers who will file public reports with the state of Arizona and go to the county supervisors and get their developments passed.

Allowing land splits the way they are handled today would mean that value of property would continue to rise and if a developer wanted to buy property to develop, they'd have to acquire those properties from many more private holders of property that is increasing in value.

I'll just use the simple example of an owner with 40 acres in an area that is zoned for 10 acre minimum lots. If the matrix is passed and the 40 acre owner cannot split his property into 10 acres because his/her property doesn't have electric service or an agreement with a utility company to provide service at their expense, then chances are that the only entity that would be able to would be large developers. Large developers would then rezone the land for a higher density of residences. Allowing the 40 acre owner to split the property into four parcels and sell them would create four land owners, and the probablility of increased value of property. Now if a developer wants the property in that location they'd have to negotiate with not one owner, but four and would have to shell out more investment.

The choice is clear for those anti growth folks, do you want to see 4 landowners or would you rather see the prospect of 60 to 100 homes being built in the area (or more)??

I've said in the media that this 'matrix' isn't about realtors, it's about private land owners and their rights. This isn't about making money for realtors, it's about the right for a land owner to buy and sell property. During the comments in front of the Supervisors one person said that those people who are against the proposed 'matrix' are only opposed to it because of money. Nope. Opposed to it for private property rights.

The anti-growth faction of this community is unstable and in error on this issue. Many seem as if they want no one else to move into this area. If that is so, they need to buy more property to buffer them from the growth that is coming to Mohave County.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back From Lake Tahoe

A few photo's I took while away. Had fun, didn't get to play golf, but did plenty of walking around (plenty for me, my wife can walk and hike all day long -- I just can't keep up).

I promised numbers when I got back. Being that the first few days of this month was a holiday, I'm sure the sold data will continue to trickle in late, so I'll post charts and numbers early next week in hopes for more accurate data. So far though, the numbers do not look promising. I will report that there are 701 listings for single family residences on the market found in my data search area. That's up from 617 last month. You have plenty to choose from if you are looking to buy in this market. Now if only the sellers will make you a deal...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Posting will be light

I'm heading to Lake Tahoe for the long weekend. I'll be posting numbers from last month when I return.

Have a safe 4th of July weekend. Thanks for stopping by.