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Laurie & Greg Hill
Broker/Owners
Desert Gem Real Estate
Surprise, AZ 85387
Phone: 623-334-1366
Email: desertgemre@cox.net

Welcome To...

DESERT GEM REAL ESTATE 
Discount Real Estate in Surprise, AZ

Professional, with Personalized Service!
 

SELLERS: Discounted Commission for Listings
2.5% to List and 3% to Buyers Agent = 5.5% Total Commission.

Disclaimer: Some restrictions apply. This offer is NOT valid if seller is referred to us by:  Another Agent, Referral Company, Brokerage, or on homes or condos under $100,000. 

We list and sell real estate throughout the entire West Phoenix Valley, such as Surprise, El Mirage, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Buckeye, Glendale and Peoria.... AND....   including  55+ Active Adult Communities like; Sun City Grand (45+), Sun City, Sun City West, Sun Village, Arizona Traditions, Trilogy, Pebble Creek, Corte Bella, Westbrook Village (40+) and more in the NW Phoenix Valley. We specialize in Arizona residential real estate.  We offer a wide variety of Homes, Adult Communities, Condos, Patio Homes, Townhomes and Multi-Family properties for sale.                         

We are linked directly to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  This website covers the Phoenix Valley. Just click  on our "Search for Homes" for a Quick Search with Pre-set searches or Map Search or Advanced Search.  These searches will pull up any listed home on the MLS. We are experienced at selling Foreclosures, REO's and Bank/Lender Owned Properties, as well as completing BPO's for Lender's or Asset Companies. Whether you already live in the State of Arizona, or are planning to move to Arizona and want a home in the West Phoenix Valley, we can help you with all your real estate needs!             
We would also appreciate any referrals you send our way, who are looking to sell or buy a house, in the Northwest Phoenix Valley. We enjoy saving our sellers money and feel that our discount listing service, will help accomplish that for everyone.  Thank you and please enjoy our real estate site.


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Testimonials Page

"Loved working with Laurie and Greg!! Would definitely recommend them."
 

Peggy Morgan

"Very nice people to do business with. Answered all my questions and replied back to me almost instantly. Made buying very easy & painless. I would recommend them to anybody looking to buy."
 

Steve Buttitta
"Laurie and Greg were most helpful and professional with our home purchase in Sun City Grand. They are owners in the community and were able to answer every question and concern. We were on a time crunch and they worked together as a team to help us find our house in the limited time we had to spend in Phoenix. We are out of state purchasers and they volunteered to do our final walk through and hold our keys until we are able to come into town again. They are a great team and went above and beyond to care for our every need. We were very happy with the professionalism and knowledge they have in the real estate business." Delore & Rich Shwartz
"This is a wonderful end to a wonderful trip! You guys are great hosts and great agents. You and your husband are the best realtors I have ever been associated with in 6 house transactions. Knowledge, service and most of all your patience are unmatched. I especially appreciate you helping me "unlearn" a bunch of bad habits when trying to buy a home in a sellers market. I feel like we executed with precision today, and that is a testimate to you and Greg. In particular, the high esteem that others in your business hold you in. Looking forward to closing and returning with Lynn in September." Take care, and best wishes. Wellington Davies
"I live out of state. Laurie is soo kind. Talked with me on the phone for over 45 minutes. Found a great condo. Highly recommend." Tim Cronin
"Laurie and Greg make you feel like you are a family member. They are very easy to talk with. They will find time and make time to help you. When looking at homes they let you look they don't walk you through the house they wait for you to ask questions. Well if you think about it I'm buying the house not them." ~Brian Teeter
"The confidence Greg and Laurie have as Real Estate Agents made us feel so much more comfortable about buying a home. We have already recommended them to our friends. Through the home buying process we knew they had our back!!!" Leslie & Rich Rhodes
"It does not get any better than Desert Gem Real Estate when looking for an astute Real Estate business with heart and soul." Gina Worch
"Laurie and Greg made our home buying experience a very pleasant and stress free event." Monte and Tracy Giles
"They are so informative about the area of Sun City, never leaves you alone during the process. Would use to sell our home if we were leave the Az. area." Hi Laurie and Greg, Just wanted to drop another note regarding a big thank you for all of your help down there in the process of getting our new home there in Sun City. After 4 nights on a air bed :( We not only love our new home (WE ARE IN LOVE WITH OUR NEW HOME :) Lets keep in touch, Have a good week!!! Laurie Nevills William & Laurie Nevills
"Laurie and Greg were great to work with!! They helped us through the mountains of paperwork and legal jargon when we became overwhelmed. They went to bat for us when the house was appraised for less than we offered. They went out of their way to open the house when my brother and later our kids came to visit before we had closed. They calmed us down when we panicked, and were always accommodating and available. We would highly recommend them." Sincerely, Therese and Mike Regner
"I live out of state and I depended on Laurie and Greg during the purchasing process. A few issues arose and Laurie and Greg handled them efficiently and successfully, all the while keeping me informed via email. What could have been a very stressful time for me was a lot less stressful due to the efforts of Laurie and Greg. Escrow even closed a week early. Thanks Laurie and Greg" Sincerely, Mike Schatz
"Laurie and Greg provided the responsiveness I needed and expected and guided us through every step of the buying process! As out of town buyers, we were very fortunate to be in such good hands to help us successfully find and close on our new house." Mike & Kris Lundeen
"These are can do people who see everything as an opportunity instead of a problem." Randy & Wendy Murray
"It was a pleasure working with Laurie and Greg Hill. I needed to close as quickly as possible and they saw to it that I did close as I wanted." Sincerely, Sam Latorre
"Excellent! Professional! Helpful!" John Bruther
"If we could give them a score of 20, we would. Excellent agents-quick to respond and excellent follow through." Mary Jo Merten
"They're the best agents I've ever worked with I would refer them to any one buying or selling a home.they are great." Ellen & Carl Kempf
"Very nice people! They were response, professional, and very helpful. I was happy with the negotiation process with the seller and they offered up very good contacts to assist with the financing, home inspection, and needed remodel requirements post close. Great job Laurie and Greg" John Bognanno
"We are very pleased with the Hill's, they were open, honest, and witty, the kind of people we like. They are knowledgeable, experienced and most of all ethical. If you are looking for a home or thinking about selling yours please give the Hill's a call. We downsized and were blessed to have them sell our home and help us find a new one. They were with us every step of the way." Charles & Theresa Teague
"They were fabulous in that they made themselves available to us, keeping us informed all along the way!" Barbie Poole
"Very helpful with lots of suggestions that aided me with this purchase. A real estate agent that actually listened to the client, refreshing." Sincerely, Denis Lueders
"Laurie and Greg took a whole day and drove us around to see 10 different houses. They were very professional and answered our questions and if they didn't know they found the answer for us. Would highly recommend them to anyone house hunting." Doug Frank
"Laurie and Greg did a great job helping us find a home in Sun City. We viewed nearly 20 houses in less than two days before making an offer. Laurie and Greg provided good advice throughout the process, demonstrating their experience and willingness to see the purchase through to its conclusion. I recommend them highly!!" Sincerely, John & Tanya Lemma
"Laurie and Greg were extremely efficient and kind. They were right on the money in terms of the value of my father's house. They went out of their way to accommodate his needs as he transitioned into Assisted Living. Great resource and I wouldn't think of using anyone else!" Sincerely, Chris Milligan
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Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

November 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.99 percent this November, up 19.1 percent compared to 4.19 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in November moving the index down 10.6 percent from 161.0 to 144.0. The median sales price for a single family home sold in November in the US was $260,500 up 5.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 80 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
  • The payment as a percentage of income was up from last month at 17.4 percent this November and up from 15.5 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.8 percent of income. The Northeast had the second highest payment at 17.1 percent followed by the South at 16.8 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the Northeast recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 8.2 percent. The South had an increase of 3.8 percent while the West had a gain of 2.4 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 1.6 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in affordability of 14.4 percent. The South had a decline of 9.3 percent followed by the Midwest that fell 9.2 percent. The West had the smallest drop of 7.2 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all of the four regions. The Northeast region had the decline of 5.5 percent. The South had a decline of 2.0 percent followed by the Midwest with a dip of 1.8 percent. The West had the smallest dip in affordability of 0.7 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 181.9. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.0. For comparison, the index was 148.8 in the South, and 146.4 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently up while credit availability is down. Rates are higher this month but are still historically low. Home prices are up 5.0 percent while median family incomes that are growing 3.0 percent. The job market is steady. More inventory is welcome on the lower end of the market whereas there is more supply of inventory for high priced homes.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Throwback Thursday: First-Time Homebuyers Then and Now

In 1981 when NAR first started tracking the data, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 29.  They made up 44 percent of all homebuyers.  Sixty-eight percent of first-time buyers were married couples, 12 percent were single female and 13 percent were single male (seven percent were other).

In contrast, in 2018, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 46 and they accounted for 33 percent of all homebuyers.  Fifty-four percent were married couples, 18 percent were single female, 10 percent were single male, and 16 percent were unmarried couples (two percent were other).

In 1989, first-time buyers largely rented an apartment before they bought their home at 80 percent, and 15 percent lived with parents, relatives, or friends.  In 2018, the share of first-time buyers that lived in an apartment before they bought their home slipped to 71 percent while the share of those that had been living with parents, relatives, or friends previous to buying rose to 23 percent.

Planning to Buy a Home in 2019?

Mortgage rates are starting off 2019 at very good levels. In fact, mortgage rates declined, starting the new year with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipping to 4.5 percent last week from 5 percent a month ago, according to mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac[1]. After a year of gradual increases, mortgage rates are declining. Stock market volatility, global trade worries and the government shutdown are pushing rates down to their lowest levels since August.

But how do mortgage rates affect homebuyers? Fixed-rate mortgages are amortized over the life of the loan. That means that at the beginning of the loan term, most of the mortgage payment goes toward paying off interest. Over time, a larger percentage of the monthly payment is applied to the loan’s principal balance. Thus, when interest rates are low, homeownership is more affordable. If less is spent on interest, homebuyers may be able to afford a larger loan. However, higher rates increase the long-term cost of owning a house.

NAR calculated the monthly payment based on the mortgage rate in the first week of January (4.5 percent) and the rate (5.0 percent) that was previously expected. Nationwide, it is estimated that the monthly payment at 4.5 percent rate is $1,208, while a higher rate of 5.0 percent increases the monthly payments by $72 to $1,280.

The effect of the mortgage rates varies from location to location. In high-end areas, homebuyers are expected to benefit more from lower rates than homebuyers in other areas. For instance, in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA metro area, comparing the monthly payment at 4.5 percent and 5 percent rates, homebuyers pay $353 less every month for their payment at a 4.5 percent rate. However, at the low-end areas, in Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA, the monthly payment at 4.5 percent rate is $26 less compared to the payment at 5 percent rate.

The visualization below allows you to see how much the monthly payment changes at 4.5 and 5.0 percent rates for 178 metro areas:

We also calculated the monthly mortgage payment for 3,119 counties and county-equivalents in the United States. Please visit the following web page to see the monthly mortgage payment at the county level.

Thus, homebuyers can still benefit from lower rates. Although the average rate on the 30-year fixed rate sat just below 4 percent for a year in 2016, homebuyers should bear in mind that, back in 1982, the rate was over 17 percent for more than a year. Moreover, historically[2], the average mortgage rate is 8 percent. Therefore, rates are still historically low. Looking ahead, NAR is forecasting the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to average 4.9 percent for 2019 and 5.2 percent for 2020, respectively.

See below how the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been trending since 1971:


[1] Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac.

[2] Between 1971 and 2019.

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