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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

"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
"Laurie and Greg are seasoned professionals! The made this a very easy transaction for me. They were patient while I was looking for just the "right" home. If I buy or sell another home in this area, I'll be calling Laurie and Greg." Kevin Gray
"Nice People" Charles Turner
"Very personable and knowledgeable. Really took their time understanding our needs and walk us through the entire home buying process." Sincerely, Jim Westmoreland
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Blog

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The Official Arizona Travel Website Just click on this link to check them all out and much more of Arizona.... http://www.visitarizona.com/ Enjoy all that Arizona has to offer you!!!... Read more

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Many prospective homebuyers face a big hurdle: the down payment. But coming up with that initial investment doesn't have to be a roadblock even if saving is difficult. These four options could make homeownership a reality sooner rather than later: ... Read more

Arizona Economic News

Whether you are searching for Arizona Featured Economics Articles, Business, Education, Politics or Technology... Click on the link below for all your current information. http://www.arizonaeconomicnews.com/ We hope you enjoy and are informed by the ar... Read more

What We Can Do For You!

WHAT WE OFFER OUR CLIENTS Whether you already live in the State of Arizona, or are planning to move to Arizona and want a home in the NW Phoenix Valley, we can help you with all your real estate needs! BUYERS: We Offer You ---- Experience since 199... Read more

55+ Active Adult Communities

Interested in 55+ Active Adult Communities? Please feel free to check out this link.... http://activeadultliving.com/AZ/arizona We hope you enjoy this site. We work with clients in all of the NW Phoenix Valley Active Adult Communities. We happen to l... Read more

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Here is a list of the Best Farmer's Markets near Surprise, AZ. The Peoria Farmers' Market and Sunday Art Stroll 623-848-1234 10510 North 83rd Avenue, Peoria, Maricopa County More Info • Directions Trilogy at Vistancia Country... Read more

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Farmers Markets Back Open For Business Now that the temperatures have dropped back down to the bearable to be outside range, local farmers markets are open for business. The display of the bounties that are provided by Arizona farmer, growers and arti... Read more

Arizona Relocation Guide

Thinking of moving or ready to move to Arizona? Here is a link to a RELOCATION GUIDE FOR ARIZONA. We hope you find it helpful. http://www.sunraydirect.com/Phoenix3/LawyersTitle/ We are here for ALL your REAL ESTATE NEEDS, whether searching listings, b... Read more

Buyers: How You Can Improve Your Credit

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Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

September 2018 Existing-Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this September was down 3.4 percent from last month, and dropped 4.1 percent from last year. September’s existing-home sales reached a 5.15 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, which was the lowest since November 2015 when the index reached 4.78 million.

  • The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $258,100 in September, up 4.2 percent from a year ago. This marks the 79th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

  • Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago, with the West and Northeast both having the biggest advance of 4.1 percent. The South had a gain of 3.0 percent. The Midwest had the smallest gain of 1.9 percent from September 2017.
  • September’s inventory figures are down from last month to 1.88 million homes for sale. Compared with September of 2017, there was a 1.1 percent increase in inventory levels. It will take 4.4 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 32 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 34 days a year ago.

  • From August 2018, three of the four regions experienced declines in sales. The South had the biggest decline of 5.4 percent followed by the West with a dip in sales of 3.6 percent. The Northeast had a dip of 2.9 percent. The Midwest region was flat showing no change in sales.
  • All four regions showed declines in sales from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in sales of 12.2 percent. The Northeast had a decline of 5.6 percent followed by the Midwest with a decline of 1.5 percent. The South had the smallest drop in sales of 0.5 percent. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 41.0 percent of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 13.2 percent.

  • In September, single-family and condominiums sales were both down 3.4 percent compared to last month. Single-family home sales fell 4.0 percent and condominium sales were down 5.0 compared to a year ago. Both single-family and condominiums had an increase in price with single-family up 4.6 percent at $260,500 and condominiums up 1.50 percent at $239,200 from September 2017.

How much of my income goes towards housing?

With rates rising and home price growth starting to slow, I started to consider how much income is used towards housing in this current economic climate. Mortgage rates are trending upwards to near the highs of 2011 at 4.98 percent, home prices are still rising but at a slower pace, and the median income has been steadily rising although an even more modest pace than house prices. These factors go into how much of a person’s income goes towards housing expenditures and whether housing is a burden for potential homebuyers. This blog will highlight some of the factors and show states and regions where housing is less of a financial burden.

Home Price vs Median Family Incomes

Home prices since 2000 started to outpace in comes but started to turn towards the end of 2007, until home prices plummeted during the Great Recession. In 2008, incomes grew making it favorable for potential homeowners to buy a home. It took home prices about 4 years to recover, beginning in 2012. Around 2014 home price growth began to bloom and once again, prices started to outpace incomes. This pace has continued until recently, as home price growth has slowed making owning a home affordable. As of the second quarter of 2018, family incomes have increased by 52 percent since 2000, while housing prices have increased by 95 percent, or nearly doubled the level in 2000.

Payment to Income and Mortgage Rates

Let us look at the amount of money homeowners had to commit from their income to be able to afford a home. In 2000, when interest rates were 7.90 percent, homeowners had to spend about 19.6 percent of their income to be able to afford a home. In 2006 when rates were around 6.50 percent, homeowners had to spend 22 and up to 24 percent of their income on a home. In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009-2010, mortgage rates started to fall, so the share of income that went to paying a mortgage declined. In 2013 when rates were down to 3.47 percent, the mortgage payment on a median priced home was 11 percent of the median family income, putting less pressure on household incomes. Since that time rates have continued to decline, much to the benefit of potential homeowners. Anything above 30 percent is considered burdensome on households, but below that range would be typically affordable. On a regional level, the West requires a higher portion of your income, which has eclipsed the 35 percent mark. The Midwest, being the most affordable region, requires the least percentage of median family incomes. The Midwest started around 15 percent and, at times, dipped below 10 percent and is currently hovering back around 15 percent.

House price to Income Ratio

A ratio between 2.5 and 4 is normal and healthy price to income ratio for the housing market. As of August 2018, the median price of existing homes sold was 3.5 times of the median family income. The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) produced a map showing the US home price to income ratios. The ratios range from under two to over eight. As the map below illustrates, costal markets have much higher ratios, indicating significantly higher home prices compared with incomes. The West Coast region has affordability issues, with several areas posting ratios above eight, including San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco metropolitan area. Small pockets in the Northeast reach above five, mostly clustered around New York City and Boston. The Miami/ South Florida Region also posts low affordability. In comparison, The Midwest region has ratios in the 2-3 range, in line with historical averages.

Jobs generated vs GDP Growth rate

The Gross domestic product (GDP) has hovered around 3 percent and has had to withstand the tech bubble, wars and several crises. In 2009, both jobs and GDP took a dive but rebounded the following year. GDP and jobs have grown solidly after the Great Recession. Unemployment has been below 6 percent ever since 2014, which is good for economic progress and potential homebuyers.

Even with rising rates and higher home prices, potential homebuyers have plenty of reason to join the market. Real Estate is still affordable in several states and regions. The job market is strong, GDP is at a healthy level and consumer confidence is high. New homes and existing inventory figures are now improving, although still modestly, but the increase in inventory is helping tame price growth.

August 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.78 percent this August, up 14.1 percent compared to 4.19 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in August moving the index down 8.3 percent from 153.9 to 141.2. The median sales price for a single family home sold in August in the US was $267,300 up 4.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 59 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).

  • The payment as a percentage of income was down to 17.7 percent this August but up from 16.2 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 24 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 17 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.5 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 14.2 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 5.2 percent. The Midwest had an increase of 4.2 percent while the South had a gain of 3.6 percent. The Northeast had the smallest growth in price of 0.1 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest drop in affordability of 7.8 percent. The West had a decline of 7.7 percent followed by the South that fell 7.0 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 5.5 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is up from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast had biggest gain of 6.2 percent. The South had an incline of 2.4 percent followed by the West with a slight increase of 0.1 percent. The Midwest had the only dip in affordability of 4.8 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 175.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 101.2. For comparison, the index was 146.7 in the South, and 151.2 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down. Mortgage rates are still rising along with rents. Foot traffic is up which shows there is interest from future homebuyers. Job creation remains steady and new homes sales are continuing to incline. Home prices are up 4.9 percent outpacing median family incomes that are growing 3.0 percent.
  • 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.

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