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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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Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

Property Values By State from 2005-2018

Home price appreciation is an important topic in today’s economy. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS), we can analyze the gains and losses of property values over time. I estimated the median property values by state in 2018 using the FHFA index and the median property values from the (ACS). I then calculated the growth rate from 2005 -2018. [1]

The states with the highest estimated median property values in 2018 are The District of Columbia ($677,473), Hawaii ($649,272), California ($566,311), Massachusetts ($428,161) and Washington ($384,740).

The states with the lowest estimated median property values in 2018 are Alabama ($148,827), Oklahoma ($139,385), Arkansas ($135,733), Mississippi ($123,586) and West Virginia ($120,720).

On a regional level, the estimated price growth appears to be the strongest in the South, West, and Midwest. Price growth is weakest in the Northeast states. Overall, all regions are displaying strong to moderate growth in property values. Below is a breakdown of the Census four regions by state.

 

  • In the South, which typically leads all regions in sales, The District of Columbia led the region with 76 percent estimated price growth from 2005 to 2018. Maryland experienced 1 percent annual price growth and since 2005, home prices have grown 21 percent.

  • In the West, the least affordable region[2], Montana led all states with 88 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Despite the strong price growth in California since 2012, prices have only increased by 19 percent since 2005. Nevada shows a 9 percent price change over this time turning around any previous loss in value.

  • In the Midwest where affordability is most favorable, North Dakota led all states with 115 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Illinois, while having the smallest growth in the region had an estimated 12 percent price growth over this time.

  • In the Northeast where sales and price growth is typically slow, Pennsylvania lead the region with a 48 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Rhode Island, while having the smallest gain of all states, increased 6 percent price change over this time. Rhode Island is one of two states that turned around a negative property value over this time compared to 2017.


[1] I used the FHFA expanded data set not seasonally adjusted data.

[2] Based on NAR housing affordability index

Can Homeowners Cope with Lower Home Prices?

With interest rates on the rise, home prices have started cooling off.[1] On the one hand, the cooling of home prices in high-priced metro areas makes a home purchase more affordable, saving households nearly $50/month on a median-priced home.[2] On the other hand, falling prices also erodes the wealth (home equity gains) of current homeowners and can drive homeowners in a negative equity position (when the value of the home is lower than the remaining loan balance). How will declining home prices affect current homeowners and how does the current decline in home prices in some areas compare with the home equity gains?

The table below shows the home equity gains for homeowners who purchased a home in 2012 Q1 as of 2018 Q3. The home equity gained is the difference between the estimated value of the property purchased in 2012 Q1 in 2018 Q3 less the outstanding loan balance as of 2018 Q3.[3] Nationally, over the period 2012 Q1 through 2018 Q3, a homeowner who purchased a median-priced home in 2012 Q1 has gained $96,187 in home equity, which is equivalent to 41 percent of the estimated value of the home in 2018 Q3, at $235,119.

Of the 160 metro areas for which NAR calculates the median sales price, the metro areas where homeowners accumulated the largest home equity gains during 2012 Q1 – 2018 Q3 based on the purchase of a median-priced home in 2012 Q1 were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara ($591,576;56% of the estimated home value of $1.06 million as of 2018 Q3); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($527,610; 57% of the current home value of $920,715); Urban Honolulu, HI ($337,013; 35% of current home value of $990,009); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale ($374,565;49% of current home value of $768,634); and Boulder, CO ($329,608; 50% of current home value of $657,692).

The metro areas with the lowest home equity gains during 2012 Q1- 2018 Q3 based on the purchase of a median-priced home in 2012 Q1 were Cumberland, MD ($4,847; 6% of current home value of $79,343); Decatur, IL ($10,753; 12% of current home value of $86,302); Fayetteville, NC ($15,431; 11% of current home value of $138,627); Montgomery, AL ($17,641; or 15% of $119,252); and Peoria, IL ($17,679; or 14% of current home value of $128,818).

 

How do these equity gains compare with the price declines in high-cost metro areas thus far?  

We use the median list price in October 2018 on Realtor.com and look at the year-over-year change and compare these changes to the equity gains as a share of the current home values. In October 2018, median list prices declined in several high-priced metro areas compared to one year ago, but these declines are modest compared to the equity gains measured as a percent of the current home value: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara (-0.1%); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (0%); Sta. Maria-Sta. Barbara (-7.8%); Salinas ( -6%); Sta. Rosa ( -7.1%); Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura ( -2.1%). Among the 500 metros tracked by Realtor.com, the steepest decline in the median list price in October from one year ago was Denver-Aurora-Lakewood (10%).

In 301 of the 500 metro areas tracked by Realtor.com (60 percent), the median list price of homes for sale on Realtor.com were still up in October 2018 compared to one year ago.  List prices rose in areas such as Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue where prices are more affordable than in California ($555,050; 12.1%); Boise City, ID ($330.048; 15%); Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN ($241,450; 15%); Greensboro-High Point, NC ($223,625; 14.5%);Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise ($325,000; 14.5%), and Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($216,760; 14%).

 

In summary, homeowners have built up a sizable equity since 2012 that is larger relative to the price declines that have occurred thus far in several high-priced metro areas. Moreover, home prices are still appreciating in lower-priced metro areas. Given the strong underlying economic fundamentals in 2018— strong employment growth, the demographic boost from the 25-44 age group which includes the millennials, and safer underwriting standards and level of household debt—it does not yet appear likely that home prices will crash to a level that will wipe out this home equity gain. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun forecasts no recession ahead that could cause a collapse in job growth which will impact the demand for housing.

 


[1] The earliest indicator of the direction of home prices—NAR’s median home prices— rose 4.3 percent in 2018 Q3, the slowest average rate for the quarter since 2012 Q1. The home price indices of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, and the U.S. Census Bureau for new 1-family homes also show a slower price appreciation in 2018 Q3 (FHFA, 6.3%; S &P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, 5.7%; U.S. Census Bureau 1-family homes, 2.3%) compared to the pace of appreciation in 2018 Q1.In 500 metro areas tracked by Realtor.com, the median list price of homes for sale declined in 199 metro areas (40 percent), with the largest declines occurring in high-priced metro areas.

[2] At the current 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.83 percent with a 10 percent down payment, every $10,000 decline in home prices results in a saving of $47/month.

[3] I estimated home equity by subtracting the loan balance as of 2018 Q3 to the current home value as of 2018 Q3. I estimated the current home value by applying a home price appreciation factor using FHFA House Price Index (FHFA HPI 2018 Q3/ FHFA HIP 2012 Q1). I assumed that a homeowner purchased a median-priced home in 2012 Q1 at the average median price in 2012 Q1 of $158,333 financed by a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of 3.6 percent (2012 Q1 average) and a 10 percent down payment.

October 2018 Pending Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that October’s pending home sales pace was down 2.6 percent last month and fell 6.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
  • All four regions showed declines from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in sales of 15.3 percent. The Midwest fell 4.9 percent followed by the South with a decline of 4.6 percent. The Northeast had the smallest dip in sales of 2.9 percent.
  • From last month, three of the four regions showed declines in sales. The West region had the biggest drop of 8.9 percent. The Midwest fell 1.8 percent followed by the South with a dip of 1.1 percent. The only region with an incline in sales was the Northeast, which had a modest gain of 0.7 percent.
  • The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 102.1. September’s data was revised up to 104.8.

  • In spite of the decline, this is the pending index’s 54th consecutive month over the 100 level.
  • The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with a healthy market and existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.

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