There’s nothing easy about buying a home in the Valley these days.
The Arizona Association of Realtors says home values have shot up an average of over 30% in just one year, pricing people out and leading people to make knee-jerk, life-changing decisions.
ABC15 got an inside look at two homes on the east and west sides of the Valley on a mid-January day. Both homes had pending offers the day we toured them.
In the West Valley's Litchfield Park, Realtor Shelly Myers had been showing off a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home since October. The two-story was already under contract with a potential buyer at the list price of over $458,000. The 1,800-square-foot house was built in 2008.
“When you walk into this home, it’s really move-in ready, you don’t have to do any updates,” said Myers.
Believe it or not, the median home price in the Valley, according to Realtor.com, is around $431,000, trending up over 25% year-over-year.
Forty minutes east, in Mesa, a four-bedroom home that was partially flipped by Realtor Kendall Green received an offer on the January day we took a tour.
Green said he bought the home over the summer at $370,000 and was now selling it for $463,000 after flipping it with upgrades including new flooring and electrical, and new kitchen countertops and appliances.
The first-time homebuyers, who put in an offer on the day we toured the home for this story, reportedly decided to waive both the appraisal and the home inspection to stay competitive in the seller’s market.
Green admits waiving them was risky.
"(The home inspector) has 10 days to come in and figure out what they think is wrong with the house, and we'd have to fix it. Then (the buyers) have to request to fix it and in this market, we'd probably say no,” said Green.
Following up with both realtors about a month after we toured both homes, Myers said the Litchfield Park home in the West Valley ended up selling under the listed price. The home ended up closing at $435,000. However, she said the property sold $50,000 over the most recent comparable property.
Green said the first-time buyers did back out, but the East Valley house went under contract just days later for $470,000.
“It’s a feeding frenzy out there because there really are more buyers out there than there are more properties,” said Sindy Ready of the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR).
With demand greatly outweighing the supply of homes, buyers are left little time to think about putting in an offer. Many offers are made without ever stepping foot in the house.
“A lot of time people will say, ‘hey Sindy, FaceTime me and let’s look at the house,’” said Ready.
The AAR measures, in just the past year, home values have increased an average of over 33%. Ready gave the example of a home priced at $500,000 in January was at $650,000 in December.
National and local experts tell her the trend could continue for the next several years.
“We’re not in a bubble,” said Ready.
There are ways for buyers to get an edge on other bidders.
The AAR says it’s common for buyers to waive an appraisal but it’s risky to waive an inspection. Some buyers allow sellers to live in the home for a period of time after the closing date called post possession.