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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

"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
Greg and Laurie Hill were absolutely excellent real estate agents!  They went above and beyond assisting us with an out of state sale, by constantly monitoring the property and assisting us in getting some remodel work done to help to facilitate the sale.  I felt completely confident putting my trust in them to act on my behalf and make good recommendations.   We sold our property quickly and were very satisfied with their service.  They were very professional and they communicated with us frequently throughout the process, keeping us informed of progress and feedback along the way. I would highly recommend them to anybody buying or selling property in the Sun City - Phoenix area.     Mike Range - San Diego
"Outstanding service by a very professional, personable & knowledgeable team. They went above & beyond to help us find our dream home." Ken and Jeanette DeVogelaere
"Laurie and Greg went out of their way to make finding a home as easy as possible. They are very knowledgeable about the market and helped us focus our search. We would definitely use them again for future transactions." Sincerely, Brandon Myers
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Blog

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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

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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

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
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Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

A Ten-Year Analysis of the May 2018 Existing-Home Sales Figures

Every month NAR produces existing-home sales, median sales prices and inventory figures. The data is released with a one-month lag (so the May data is released in June) and is reported on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. We also provide a perspective of the market relative to the same month one year ago and relative to the previous month and comment on the potential direction of the housing market.

In this blog post, I look at how the  May 2018 data looks like in comparison to each of the last ten May months and the ten-year May average,  which is an average of the data from the past ten May months. I also compare the May 2018 data against the May 2008 figures.

Inventory trends. One noticeable factor that stands out in this ten-year period is the significant drop in inventory. Comparing figures from May 2008 through May 2018, inventories across the U.S. are down by a considerable 50.4 percent. The drop in inventory stands in sharp contrast when compared with population growth. The population in 2008 was at 304.1 million, while currently is up 328.1 million[1], an increase of 7.4 percent compared to ten years ago. Single-family inventory in May 2018 was down 48.3 percent and condominiums have fallen by a significant 63.4 percent.

Broadly, May inventory figures over the ten-year time period have declined substantially, having only modestly increased in a few instances. It was not until 2010 that the U.S. and single-family experienced gains even though condominium inventory was still down. In 2012, inventories had their biggest dip in both single-family and condominiums with condominiums having a decline of 30.9 percent. Also in 2012 total inventory declined 21.1 percent while single-family fell 19.6 percent. Inventories have continued to decline since 2015 and condominiums have reach double figures at 11.6 percent this year. There are also currently fewer homes available for sale in the U.S. this May than the ten-year May average.

Months’ Supply. In May 2018, the U.S. had the fastest pace of homes sold relative to the inventory when months’ supply was 4.1 months. In 2008, the U.S. had the slowest relative pace when it would have taken 10.8 months to sell the supply of homes on the market at the prevailing sales pace. This was also the case for the condominium market, which had the biggest challenge in 2008 when it would have taken 14.2 months. Similarly, for 2008 single-family properties, it would have taken 10.4 months to sell all available inventory at the prevailing sales pace. The ten-year national May average months’ supply is 6.6, with single-family at 6.5 months’ supply and condominiums at 7.7 months’ supply.

Existing-Home Sales. The total number of existing-homes sold (EHS) in the U.S. for May 2018 was higher than the ten-year May average. Regionally, the May 2018 sales in all four regions were above the ten-year May average, with the Midwest and South showing the highest percentage increase.

Comparing May of 2008 to May of 2018, there were 31.2 percent more homes sold in 2018 across the U.S. Regionally, the South led with the largest gain of 40.6 percent, followed by the Midwest with a gain of 31.3 percent. The West had an uptick in sales at 24.5 percent. The Northeast region’s sales advanced 15.3 percent over the ten-year period.

Along with noticeable increase in sales, the past ten years also registered steep increases in home prices, especially during the last five years. The trend is illustrated by the comparison between the latest median price and the 10-year average of median prices. The national May 2018 median home prices was $246,800, a 25.6 percent difference from the 10-year average. The comparison is reflected in similar fashion across all four regions, as well.

Median Home Prices. Comparing May of 2008 to May 2018, the median price of a home increased by 27.5 percent across the U.S., as well as in three of the four regions. The West led all regions with a gain of 38.7 percent followed by the South with 33.4 percent. The Midwest experienced a gain of 28.9 percent.  The Northeast was the only region to experience a price decline, of 1.1 percent.

The year-over-year percentage change in median prices is a reminder that home prices were down in 2008 following the aftermath of the bubble and economic recession. In May 2008, prices were down across the U.S., with the West region posting the biggest drop falling 16.4 percent. The trend accelerated in 2009, when prices for the U.S. and the four regions reached the lowest point during this ten-year period, as the West prices fell 27.8 percent.  The trend for median home prices began to turn upward in 2012, when all regions showed price gains, except the Northeast, which had a slight decline of 0.6 percent. The following year, 2013, price growth strengthened in the U.S. and the four regions with the West leading with a gain of 19.0 percent.  Price growth has remained strong across the U.S. in the ensuing years. In May of this year, prices continued on an upward trend across all regions, except the Northeast. The West had the highest year over year price change compared to the U.S., at 7.2 percent vs. 4.9 percent, respectively. The Midwest registered a 4.2 percent advance, while the South posted a 4.5 percent gain. The Northeast recorded a 1.8 percent year-over-year decline in May 2018.

Median Family Incomes. Median family incomes continued to rise over the ten-year period and have risen to $75,312 as of May 2018. However, the increase in family incomes came at a slower pace than home prices. Median incomes grew 18.5 percent during the May 2008 – May 2018 period, compared to median prices which rose 32.1 percent.

Mortgage Rates. Home sales have grown strongly over the past decade also due to a low interest rates environment. May mortgage rates have dropped favorably over the last ten May months. In 2008 rates had risen to 6.10 percent but fell to 4.95 percent by 2009. The ten-year average mortgage rate has been 4.48 percent and the rates are down 22.8 percent from ten years ago.

In summary the May housing market over the last ten years has seen home sales increase along with prices while inventory levels have been trending downward. The West has been leading all regions in prices while the South has been leading in home sales. The housing market has bounced back since the recession, job growth and the economy had recovered. Mortgage rates are on the rise while the pace of incomes are not keeping up with home prices.  Population and job growth will need a steady supply of new and existing housing to assure that the dream of being a home owner can still come true.


[1] Based on the United Nations estimate as of July 12, 2018. https://www.census.gov/popclock/

May 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 4.71 percent this May, up 17.5 percent compared to 4.01 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in May moving the index down 10.2 percent from 157.2 to 141.2. The median sales price for a single family home sold in May in the US was $267,500 up 5.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 70 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 7.0 percent. The South had an increase of 5.8 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 3.2 percent. The Northeast was the only region with a drop in price of 3.0 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 11.2 percent. The South had a decline of 10.2 percent followed by the Midwest that fell 9.9 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 2.2 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast had a modest gain of 0.6 percent. The South had a decline of 3.0 percent followed by the West with a dip of 2.1 percent. The Midwest, which had the biggest dip in affordability of 5.7 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 175.5. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 100.2. For comparison, the index was 143.8 in the South, and 161.1 in the Northeast.

  • The economy is doing well and job creation is solid. Mortgage applications are currently down 8.8 percent and mortgage rates are continuing to rise. The price for building a home is increasing combined with a shortage in labor is contributing to higher home prices. New homes are currently increasing and this trend will ease the lack of inventory. Home prices are up 5.2 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.7 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.

Selling Your Home Solo to Save Money? You’ll Actually Make Less Than You Think

Some homeowners opt to sell their residence without a real estate agent to get around paying a commission and make more of the profit. Forty-three percent of people (down from 48 percent last year) who sell without a real estate agent think that if they sell themselves, they’ll end up doing a little extra work in exchange for not paying a commission or closing fee. According to the research, however, what they actually get is a lot of time spent hustling to make the sale and a final selling price that is less than what the market can bear.

Do you have a lot of extra time to market your home and do all the work to meet and greet properly? Are you versed in local trends on the housing market and know the latest regulations for closing a sale? Do you have a list of potential buyers ready to view your home? Eighty-nine percent of all homes sold in 2017 were sold with the assistance of an experienced real estate professional, according to the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Most leave it to the professionals, yet there is still a small group of people who prefer to do it themselves. Eight percent of home sellers chose to list themselves, known as For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO) home sales. That number has steadily declined since 2004 where only 82 percent of all home sales were agent-assisted and 14 percent of homes were listed FSBO. FSBO sales are currently at an all-time low since data collection began in 1981.

Picture This: are you a single female seller, early sixties, selling a single-family home or mobile in a suburban or rural area? If so, you might want to consider working with a real estate agent.

Let’s break it down further. Thirty-eight percent of all FSBOs—that’s only three percent of the total home sales in 2017—were homes sold to people where the buyer knew the seller selling to a friend, neighbor, or family member. However, 62 percent of FSBO home sales—five percent of total homes sold—were sold by the owner to someone they didn’t know. According to the 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile report, sellers cited creating yard signs, listing their homes online on multiple websites, spreading the news through word of mouth, putting out classified ads, displaying on social media, hosting an open house, and registering with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. That’s a lot of work just on marketing and finding potential buyers.

The time it takes to sell a home on the market was a median of two weeks for FSBO sellers and three weeks for agent-assisted homes, but again many of the sales are arms-length transactions. Forty percent of all homes were sold in less than two weeks last year. Most FSBO homes sales were located rural areas (22 percent), urban area or central cities (19 percent), or small towns (16 percent). Sixty-six percent of FSBO sales were detached single-family homes, compared to 81 percent of all homes sold. Thirteen percent were mobile or manufactured homes, compared to three percent of all homes sold. FSBO sellers typically had lower incomes than those who worked with an agent. The median income of all FSBO sellers was $86,500 and for those who sold only through an agent was $102,900. Those who sell themselves have the perception that they have less money to pay for assistance when selling their home and opt to go it alone.

As it turns out, FSBO make less money on their home sales than buyers who work with a real estate agent. According to the report, the median selling price for all FSBO homes was $190,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number plunges to the median selling price of $160,300. For homes sold with the assistance of an agent, the median selling price was $250,000 ̶ that’s $60,000-90,000 more for the typical home sale. According to NAR’s 2017 Member Profile, seventy-five percent of all real estate agents get paid by a percentage commission split between two agents representing the buyer and seller.

Talk to an agent and find out what they suggest for the commission and then do the math yourself. The closing price for the agent-assisted seller is likely going to be way above an FSBO. In reality, homes sold by the owner make less money overall. Based on these closing numbers, why not save yourself time and make more money by working with a real estate agent that is excited to sell your home?

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