“Stay at Home” Improvement Projects

Last week, Governor Doug Ducey ordered all non-essential workers in Arizona to “Stay at Home” until 4/30/2020. While many people (like us) are still working from home, lots of people find themselves with extra time on their hands. With no sports to watch, no kids activities to attend and no where to go, we suggest taking advantage of this time period and catching up on some of those household projects you have put off in the past. Here is a quick list of easy projects that we think will bring the most value to your home. We also think they will give you a great sense of accomplishment as well!

Clean out closets (and drawers and cabinets as well): This is the easiest place to start, because you can start small if you want. Not much time? Pick one drawer to organize. Have a little more time, maybe choose a cabinet (I know my Tupperware cabinet could use some love!). We suggest removing all of the contents of the drawer or cabinet, getting rid of things that have expired or are of no use to you and only placing back the things you know you will use. If you are looking for a bigger chore, you might choose a closet in your home. Make sure items are clean and then bag them up to be donated once COVID-19 is over.

Deep Clean: Typically we are all pretty good at cleaning high traffic areas such as floors and countertops, but now would be a good time to go a little bit deeper! Think of this as Spring Cleaning on steroids! Move that furniture and clean underneath it. Scrub those hard to reach areas in your bathrooms and kitchens. Take some time to wipe down your ceiling fans, the tops of your cabinets, and both the top and bottom of your refrigerator.

Paint: Are there areas in your home that could use a little color (or a little less color) or maybe just a fresh touch? Painting is an easy way to improve your home without having to hire a professional. There are several areas of your home that you could choose to paint while you are stuck at home: 1. Walls – Choose the rooms that you can manage yourself. 2. Your front door. 3.Your cabinets.

All of these projects can be completed easily if you are willing to put in a little time and hard work! Be sure to use low or no VOC paint on walls if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the room you are painting. As for cabinet, there are kits available that will walk you through the process step by step. If you choose a project like this, however, be sure to work on the cabinet doors in a well-ventilated area.

Landscaping: The easiest place to start is just a quick clean up of your yard. You could opt to do things such as glean citrus, trim bushes or rake rocks. If you want to embark on a more long-term project, now would be a great time to plant a garden with veggies, herbs or flowers. You can order seeds online via Amazon or other vendors. To support food shortages during WWII, many of our ancestors planted “Victory Gardens”. You could plant your own “Victory Garden” to help feed your family during this pandemic and help the environment at the same time!

The Garage: We couldn’t really ask for better weather in the Phoenix Metro area than we are having right now! This helps make it the perfect time to organize your garage. You can order shelving and other organizational supplies from companies like The Container Store to help you wrangle those tools and sporting goods that may have been thrown around haphazardly in the past. Once things have been moved, a good sweep and possibly floor cleaning like mopping (if your garage floor is covered in epoxy) could help finish off the job.

Update bathroom and/or kitchen hardware: Sick of those old fixtures? Replace them with something more modern! This is the perfect time to do small improvements around your home. Adding pulls to kitchen cabinets and drawers or replacing bathroom hardware might seem like small changes, but they can make a big difference!

Luckily, many home improvement stores like Dunn Edwards, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s and Home Depot are still open at this time. Many of these stores will allow you to order online and pick up curbside. Be sure to wear a mask when you go out. If you must shop in the store, be sure to take a paper list instead of your phone. This way, you can throw the list away when you are done. We want to make sure you stay as healthy as possible!

Real Estate is considered an “Essential Service” in Arizona under the umbrella of Professional Services. We are still helping people buy and sell properties daily. If you want more ideas about things you can do to improve the value of your home or if you just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Calls us or email us at info@azarchitecture.comWe are here for you!

Maximizing Productivity While Working from Home

It’s a new, weird world! While most REALTORS® are used to working remotely, we understand that this might be new for the rest of you. Because of that, we thought it might be helpful to hear some of our best tips to ensure productivity while you are working from home.

The first thing we will address is space. Most people don’t need a lot of space when working from home; however, it is important when you are working from home to have some sort of “designated workspace”. We aren’t saying that you can’t work from the kitchen table. If you are limited on space and you need to work from a communal space, such as the kitchen island or table, do it. Just be sure to stay organized so that your workspace is easily moved when it is time for you or your family to use that space outside of your office hours.

If you have space to set up your own desk, we would highly recommend it. This way, you don’t have to worry about moving your office in order to eat dinner every night! If you are looking for super affordable office furniture, Ikea might be a good place to start. If you want something that will stand the test of time, we suggest looking at places like Copenhagen or Design Within Reach. All of these companies have great options for setting up a nice, workable space.

If you are looking to set up an office in a guest room, but still want to have a bed in the room, many companies including Wall Beds “n” More in Scottsdale and Chandler as well as Costco offer Murphy beds that have desks attached to them. This is a great way to maintain a guest bedroom when you need it, but have a fully functional office space the rest of the year.

If your children are at home while you are working, you may have even more obstacles to overcome than simply space! If your kids are school aged, they are probably attending school online while you are working from home. If this is the case, be sure to set them up with their own workspace as well. Companies such as Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen have some creative options for setting up work spaces for kids.

Depending on how much your child needs your help, it might take some trial and error to figure out whether you want your child’s workspace to be located close to your workspace or not. If your children are younger and require more direct supervision, it might be best to set up a play area near your workspace where your kids can play or watch television while you work. Finding time to make phone calls or set up video chats will be your greatest hurdle during this time. If you can have someone watch your children while you do these things, we suggest it; however, we know that is not always a possibility. We suggest talking with your children and setting some boundaries around appropriate conduct while you are on the phone or computer. Keep in mind, too, that lots of people are working from home at this point in time, and many will be more sympathetic to your situation than they might normally be. We are all in this boat together!

A great workspace isn’t the only thing that will help you make it through the day while working from home. Here are a few more tips on how to remain as productive as possible during this time period:

  1. Get up and get dressed as though you DO have somewhere to go! Not only will this make you feel as though you have something to do, you will never have to worry about having to turn down a last minute meeting! (science proving that when you get up and dress up, it makes you more productive…)
  2. Create a task list. This is something that many people do when they go info an office as well. Pilots and healthcare workers literally live by their checklists full of tasks. Task lists are great because they help you not forget about the little things you need to do. They can also help you prioritize your day. We recommend completing the tasks you like the least first thing in the morning. This way, they are out of the way and you don’t have to worry about them any longer. Your task list will be ever changing. You can cross things off as they are completed and even add to the task list as the day goes on if you want. If there are things left on your list at the end of the day, just pick it up first thing tomorrow!
  3. Don’t be afraid of technology! As REALTORS®, we are used to writing contracts and signing documents on the fly! Some of the best deals we have done have been done from our cars. While we were just as hesitant to change in the beginning as you are now, we promise you, it will be worth it! So, take some time to learn about the technology available to you in your business and make the most of it!
  4. Be sure to schedule drive time (or prep time) for meetings. If you need to be at a meeting at 10:30am, make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. Be sure to plan enough time between meetings to tasks for you to be able to run on time. If you are attending a virtual meeting, make sure you take a few minutes to set up your workspace so that it is as clean as possible. You’ll want to make sure you have minimized any distractions and make sure that people can see and hear you well in the camera you are using.
  5. If you are participating in online or “virtual” meetings such as Zoom meetings, FaceTime or Google Hangouts, be sure to set your self up for success by making sure your background is free from distractions and is lighted appropriately. If you have a window behind you, it might be hard for others to see your face. If there are people or animals moving around behind you, it might be distracting for your viewer. For the best video chats, make sure there is light on your face, not behind you, and that the background behind you is static. 

 

If you have questions for us about how you can thrive in a remote environment, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help! We have a team of remote working pro’s (i.e. our fabulous team of REALTORS®) on standby to help answer any questions you might have. Stay healthy!

Monthly Market Update March 2020

Let’s start with  the basics – the ARMLS numbers for March 1, 2020 compared with March 1, 2019 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB & CCBS): 11,003 versus 18,959 last year. Down 42.0% from last year and down 8.1% from 11,974 last month.
  • Active Listings (including UCB & CCBS): 15,776 versus 23,197 last year. Down 32.0% from last year and down 1.5% compared with 16,015 last month.
  • Pending Listings: 7,215 versus 6,119 last year. Up 17.9% from last year and up 20.9% from 5,969 last month.
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 11,988 versus 10,357 up 15.7% from last year and up 19.5% from 10,030 last month.
  • Monthly Sales: 7,450 versus 6,522 last year. Up 14.2% from last year and up 15.3% from 6,461 last month.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $185.11 versus $168.65 last year. Up 9.8% from last year and up 1.6% from $182.20 last month.
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $295,000 versus $264,000 last year. Up 11.7% from last year and up 1.8% from $289,900 last month.

So, what does this mean for you? Well, it depends on if you are a buyer or a seller. In a nutshell, the supply situation is even more extreme than last month. Rapidly rising prices have done little to dampen demand. If you are looking to sell, this is great news. If you are looking to sell, now is the time! If you are looking to buy, finding that perfect home might be a bit tough right now.

According to the Cromford Report, the supply of active listings without a contract is down 42%, making life extremely difficult for buyers. New listings are still arriving more slowly than normal and year-to-date we have experienced a shortfall of 10% compared to 2019. Supply continues to fall quickly across most of the market with only the 55+ areas and the very high end maintaining a steady supply of active listings, albeit still below normal. New homes are increasing their share of the market, but most of them are not listed on ARMLS so they are not a factor in the numbers listed above. Higher prices are supposed to suppress demand, but they have not risen nearly enough to have any effect so far. Rising demand and falling supply will inevitably lead to higher prices over the next few months.

We’ve said it once, but we will say it again: In this crazy market, it is imperative to have a seasoned professional on your side whether you are listing your home or looking to buy. If you are looking to buy, it is important that your real estate agent really knows what is out there for you. Make sure you are partnering with someone who is willing to scour the ends of the earth for you! Also, we have noticed that seller’s are reluctant to accept offers based on contingencies right now, so having an agent that knows how to write an exceptional offer is going to help you immensely.

If you are thinking about selling your property, having a trusted agent will help you know exactly how you should condition and price your home so that you can maximize your return. Lucky for you, we have a team full of awesome agents that are willing to work with you to make great things happen whether you are a buyer or a seller. A complete listing of our agents can be found here. Be sure to reach out to them if you have questions, they will be happy to help!

Irish Influence

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, we pause our search for that lucky four leaf clover to give a nod to a few famous Irish architects and their most acclaimed architectural works:

James Hoban (1758 – 1831)
At an early age, Hoban trained as a carpenter and a wheelwright. Hoban came to America from Ireland with high ambitions. In addition to being an architect, builder, and mason, Hoban was also a civic leader, captain of a militia company and a pillar of the Roman Catholic community in Washington, D.C.. Hoban designed and built many buildings, however, he is most famous for his design of the White House. The White House has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. Unfortunately, not much is known about Hoban because many of his important papers were lost in a fire in the late 1800’s.

Kevin Roche (1922-2019)
Roche is an Irish-American architect who was born in Dublin, Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin. After graduation, Roche was accepted at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the United States where he studied for one semester under Mies van de Rohe. Roche found his place after leaving Mies’s tutelage when he joined the firm of Eliel and Eero Saarinen. The firm would eventually become Roche’s own (Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates) after Saarinen’s death. In 1982 Roche became the fourth recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize which is essentially considered the equivalent of architecture’s Nobel Prize. KRJDA has designed many important buildings such as the Convention Centre Dublin, the Shiodome City Center, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Ford Foundation, John Deere’s World Headquarters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum of Art.

David Collins (1955 – 2013)
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Collins an Irish architect who studied at the Bolton Street School or Architecture in Dublin. Collins specialized in the interior design of high-end bars and restaurants in London such as La Tante Claire in Chelsea, Harvey’s, The Wolseley, the Delaunay Hotel, Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road and Nobu Berkeley St.. Collins established his design firm, the David Collins Studio, in London in 1985. He also designed many interior spaces for retail stores such as Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen and Harrods.

Andrew Devane (1917 – 2000)
Born in Limerick, Ireland, Andrew Devane studied architecture at University College Dublin under Rudolf Maximilian Butler. 5 years after graduation, Devane was awarded the Taliesin Fellowship and traveled to the US to study under Frank Lloyd Wright. Upon returning to Ireland, Devane partnered with two other architects, Paddy Robinson and Cyril Keefe to found Robinson Keefe & Devane, an architectural and interior design firm specializing in the commercial, industrial, educational, and health care. He also designed a number of churches. His most recognized works were the Irish Life Centre and the Allied Irish Bank‘s Headquarters, both in Dublin, as well as the Irish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. He also designed the chapel at St. Patrick’s College in Dublin as well as St. Fintan’s Church in Sutton.

Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976)
Born in County Wexford, Ireland as Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith, Gray actually spent much of her childhood in London where she learned to paint and interned in a lacquer workshop. Gray was a pioneer of the modern movement in architecture. She was an architect, furniture maker and interior designer. Gray’s most famous work is the house she designed in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France know as E-1027. Gray not only designed the home, but she also designed the furniture for E-1027. E-1027 was meant to be a holiday home for Gray and her then love-interest Romanian architect and writer Jean Badovici. Unfortunately, this pioneering Irish las’s most acclaimed piece of work is also mired in controversy as it is told that Swiss-French architect and friend of Badovici, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, painted murals on the white walls of E-1027 after Gray and Badovici parted ways. This infuriated Gray who viewed Le Corbusier’s murals not as a gift, but a form of vandalism.

Yvonne Farrell (1951-present) and Shelley McNamara (1952-present)

The founders of Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara both hail from the country of Ireland. Yvonne was born in Offaly, Ireland and Shelley was born in Lisdoonvarna, Ireland. They both attended University College Dublin which is where they met. They founded their firm in 1978 and have have practiced together for 40 years and have designed spaces in places such as Ireland, Italy, France, and Peru. In discussing their approach to designing a space during a telephone interview with The New York Times, the two were quoted as saying, “We think about a heroic space and at the same time think about how a human being feels in our space. We think about our agenda as being a humanist agenda, and that’s at the forefront.” The collaboration of these two women has paid off well. In 2020 the duo won the highest honor in architecture, the Pritzger Architecture Prize. They are the first two women to share this prestigious award. A link to the New York Times article referenced in this paragraph can be found here.

Now that you know a little bit about how the Irish have influenced architecture around the world, back to the celebration! Erin go bragh!

Home Improvement: Ideas to Consider When Planning Your Next Patio Design

Planning a patio remodel or construction can be overwhelming and even a little stressful, there are a lot of things to keep in mind and things to consider. However, planning your next patio design can also be extremely exciting and enjoyable as well. If you aren’t familiar with patio designs or don’t have any idea of what you want to do with your next patio, below are a few ideas to consider as you plan for your new addition to your yard.

Creative Patio Inspiration
Creating a patio that is different from the standard, mundane patio can be extremely thrilling. As homeowners are becoming more dependent on social media and apps like Pinterest and Instagram, people are beginning to become more creative with their home designs, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, patio designs are beginning to become more creative as people are posting their creatively designed patio online for others to see. Here are some creative patio ideas to inspire you as you plan:

Install a Firepit
Installing a firepit can instantly make your patio a more enjoyable place to be and look at. Firepits can add a layer of luxury to your otherwise simple patio by adding something else besides a table and chairs. Firepits come in a variety of styles and designs, ranging from high end to very inexpensive. installing a firepit can be done on your own with the right materials, making it a fairly easy process as you re-design the rest of your patio. A deck builder in Cherry Hill pointed out the increasing popularity of fire pits on decks and patios, adding some of the recent popular design trends, “Depending on the firepit design you select you can give your deck a variety of different looks, such as classic, eclectic, modern, or rustic. They [firepits] also can give your deck or patio a certain feel when turned on at night; perhaps a feeling of ease and comfort.” Firepits are also practical additions to a patio because they are usable all year round, adding an attractive aesthetic to your space no matter the season.

Invest in a Pool or Hot Tub
If you enjoy entertaining or simply being in your yard, installing a pool or hot tub could be a great addition to your patio design. Pools and hot tubs can make your patio an even more enjoyable place to be in the warm months. Pools and hot tubs should be installed professionally in order to avoid any leaks and water damage to your patio or home during the installation process. Pools and hot tubs are increasing in popularity because of the creative freedom they allow on a patio. Putting outdoor furniture on the perimeter of the pool or building a bench around the hot tub are some added ways to make your patio and pool/hot tub design even more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

Create a Roof Garden
Roof gardens are exactly what they sound like. By creating a roof garden, small or large, you are making your outdoor design more attractive visually. Roof gardens are great decorative benefits to add to a yard, and creating one in close proximity to your patio will make your patio stand out. Roof gardens can be small, featuring a few lush green plants; or, they can be large, covering an entire side of a roof/growing up the side of a roof, with colorful and vibrant flowers. Both options will make your patio a beautiful asset to your yard.

Pick a Theme
This is an idea to consider before you begin building your new patio. Choosing a theme that is appropriate for your landscape and home is important. It’s a good idea to consider what kind of climate you live in, whether or not you have/want children and the location/size of your patio on your landscape. If you live in a climate that gets very little rain, it would be a good idea to install a roof garden near your patio that features plants that don’t need a lot of water. Or, if you have children, it’s advisable to make your patio child-friendly, like planning for a pool fence if you opt to install a pool.

If you are struggling to decide on a theme for your patio design, here are some up and coming patio trends popping up online:
●     Glass Walls- glass walls surround a part of your patio, allowing you to sit outside on your patio no matter the weather
●     Sun-Blocking- adding an architectural dimension to your patio with a full-width pergola that will provide shade to your patio; this is ideal for warm climate patios
●     Green Atmosphere- a patio that features a copious amount of plants and is surrounded by green roofs
●     Mediterranean Patio- Inspired by patios and outdoor bungalows in the Mediterranean, this patio style features sand-colored furniture, and tile/cement, as well as walls made of different colors and shapes of stone. This trend is most popular in warm climates that receive a lot of sun.

Install Tile
Installing tile is a popular trend in patio design. Tiles add an eclectic flair to patios because of the various designs, colors, and shapes that they come in. It’s important to choose a tile that features a slip-resistant surface and is suitable for outdoor use; a popular tile choice for patios is porcelain because it is durable and is non-porous.

Installing tile can instantly enhance the look of your patio; somethings to consider when installing tile on your new patio are:
●     How will this space be used? Will it be used for entertainment purposes?
●     What kind of climate am I installing this tile in?
●     How much of my patio/ yard do I want to be covered in tile?
●      What kind of theme/decor style am I trying to create?

Make Your Patio Your Outdoor Living Space
Personalizing your outdoor living space is important, and creating your dream patio can be a part of that. Staying up to date on new patio designs can be easy by looking at trends online and seeing what is popular. To start, keep these ideas in mind as you move forward in your new patio remodel design.

Photo Courtesy of Guest Blogger, Jennifer Bell.

Beadlemania!

1963 was a BIG year! It was the year that The Beatle’s released the first of eleven albums to reach #1 in the UK and effectively kicked off the frenzy that would come to be known around the world as “Beatlemania”. However, that very same year, the city of Phoenix was experiencing it’s own frenzy of sorts. While the rest of the world was reveling in “Beatlemania”, Phoenix was experiencing “Beadlemania”! The words may sound the same, but their origins are vastly different. While “Beatlemania” was caused by the British rock band whose sound would soon takeover most of the free world, “Beadlemania” was the result of the hard work of one local, architectural icon, Al Beadle. Amazingly, Beadle designed and/or built some of his most memorable work right here in the city of Phoenix over the span of one year – 1963!

Often considered to be Beadle’s most prolific year, 1963 brought about amazing spaces such as Three Fountains, The Boardwalk apartments, and Executive Towers. In addition, the initial marketing brochure for another Beadle project, Roman Roads, was released to the public. Even though the space wasn’t realized until 1964, the concept was indeed born during Beadlemania! Ironically, much like Roman Roads, the Beatle’s didn’t arrive in the US until 1964 either.

In addition to designing Roman Roads, and opening Three Fountains, The Boardwalk and Executive Towers, Beadle was also busy working on his own new home for his family of seven near 44th St and Camelback as well as a commercial property at 801 W Indian School Rd. during this time period. It is safe to say that he and John, Paul, George and Ringo were all very busy guys in 1963. Everyone knows how it turned out for The Beatle’s after 1963, so let’s take a look at how Beadle’s work from 1963 has faired over the years.

1963 Three Fountains Apartments, Phoenix  – Located at 4401 N. 40th St. in Phoenix, Three Fountains is a 59 unit complex with two-level, two bedroom spaces built in Al Beadle’s distinctive style. Each unit has it’s own “garden room”, and residents have two community pools to choose from on site. Three Fountains is still in high demand. In fact, azarchitecture/Jarson&Jarson Real Estate recently closed one of these units for the highest price ever obtained in this complex after being on the market for only one weekend!

 

1963 The Boardwalk Apartments, Phoenix – A total of 32, two bedroom units make up the Boardwalk which is located at 4225 N. 36th Street in Phoenix. Residents enter their homes through common spaces. Unlike Three Fountains, the patio’s at the back of the units are shared spaces and not private “garden rooms”. The front and back walls of each unit are glass. This leads to a rather fishbowl-like quality within the space. Much like Three Fountains, however, these units are still in high demand. They do not stay on the market long!

 

1963 Executive Towers, Phoenix  – At 22 stories high, Executive Towers was the tallest building in Phoenix when it was originally built. Located at 207 W Clarendon in Phoenix, these units were originally built as apartments, but were converted to condos in the early 70’s. In 2017, Executive Towers was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Once again, Executive Towers is still a bustling condominium with 2 and 3 bedroom units being bought and sold regularly. These are among the most affordable of the current Beadle properties on the market today.

 

1963 The Triad Apartments, Phoenix – Located at 4402 N. 28th Street in Phoenix, this is the only Arts & Architecture Case Study program project built outside of California. These superb apartment homes stand as the Case Study program’s most extensively realized multiple housing designs. “Triad Apartments,” recognized as one of architect Al Beadle’s best, is the complex that broke the mold of the conventional apartment. This unit provides two bedrooms along with a living room, kitchen and bath as well as a private outdoor patio. There are three units that share a central courtyard with a floating wood boardwalk. Per the Arts and Architecture case study program, it was thought that apartment vacancy would decrease if the apartments were designed well. It definitely worked for this particular property. These three units are regularly filled to capacity. If you happen to see one come up for lease, you better get your application in quickly!

 

1963 Roman Roads / Multi-Family Concept –  Located at 1613 E Maryland Avenue in Phoenix, these spaces were designed in the International Style Beadle for which Beadle is known. Each of the 2-3 bedroom residences boasts a small private swimming pool in it’s own 1200 square foot “atrium”. The marketing brochure for Roman Roads read, “Cleopatra herself, could be jealous of a Roman Roads resident”. Roman Roads was billed as a home that offered “comfort, conveniences, and elegance. Homeownership with the ability to travel the world.” (www.modernphoenix.net). And, of course, these condos are still considered the pinnacle of cool and are in high demand today!

We think this goes to show that while The Beatle’s remain popular today, so does Al Beadle! Be it “Beatlemania” or “Beadlemania”, the popularity of the characters that instigated the frenzy remains alive and well today. If you happen to live in a Beadle, we would love to hear your story and see your special home. Because, we agree that, much like that iconic band of the 60’s with a similar moniker, not much is cooler than a Beadle!

All photographs in the body of this blog were taken from azarchitecture/Jarson&Jarson Real Estate previous listings. Thumbnail photo of the beadle architecture logo courtesy of https://albeadlearchitect.com/gallery.

Monthly Market Update February 2020

Monthly Market Update February 2020

Here are the basics – the ARMLS numbers for February 1, 2020 compared with February 1, 2019 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB & CCBS): 11,974 versus 19,040 last year – down 35.1% from last year and down 1.4% from 12,141 last month.
  • Active Listings (including UCB & CCBS): 16,015 versus 22,655 last year – down 29.2% from last year but up 6.8% compared with 15,018 last month.
  • Pending Listings: 5,969 versus 5,012 last year – up 19.1% from last year and up 28.0% from 4,662 last month.
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 10,030 versus 8,627 last year – up 16.3% from last year and up 33.0% from 7,539 last month.
  • Monthly Sales: 6,403 versus 5,467 last year – up 17.1% from last year but down 17.8% from 7,789 last month.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $182.20 versus $167.79 last year – up 8.6% from last year and up 1.3% from $179.85 last month.
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $289,900 versus $262,000 last year – up 10.6% from last year and up 0.1% from $289,500 last month.

Interpreting the Numbers:

In last month’s report, its was suggested that buyers needed to hope for a big surge in new listings. Not only did they not get anything close to a big surge, they didn’t even get a tiny up-tick. In fact, unexpectedly, there are far fewer new listings than normal at this point in the year. This lack of supply was described as shocking at the start of 2020. It appears that was an understatement at this point! It is almost (but not quite) unheard of to see supply drop between January 1 and February 1, but active listings without a contract are down 1.4% for the month. They are down a colossal 35% compared to a year ago!

Meanwhile, demand has been picking up! Monthly sales are up 17% compared with last year and listings under contract are up 16%. Given that there are so few homes to buy, this is impressive. Economics 101 teaches us that lower supply and higher demand is the perfect recipe for higher prices. So far, the reaction of pricing has been muted. However, no one should expect it to stay that way. The spring selling season has just started and, by the time we get to June, a significant upward adjustment in pricing is likely. In addition, mortgages are becoming easier to qualify for in many different ways, so demand is likely to increase even more so; however, there is no sign of more supply coming along to satisfy it. In this situation the market is likely to become both frenzied and frustrating for many people.

One way to make sure you stay sane in this crazy market is to team up with a seasoned professional! Our agents know the market! They can help you get the most for your home, and because they do their research and regularly network within the community, they are well equipped to help you find a new place to call home. If you are interested in knowing the current value of your home, or if you are looking for an agent who really knows the inventory and can help you find a home in the Phoenix Metro area, contact us at 480-425-9300 or info@azarchitecture.com. Despite these crazy market conditions, we are confident we can help you!

Field(s) of Dreams: If you build it, they will come… in the spring!

America’s favorite past-time kicked off it’s Spring Training schedule on Friday. Major League Baseball’s Arizona Based Spring Training program, known affectionately as the Cactus League, brings a lot of life and visitors to the Valley this time of year, so we thought we would take a look at the history of the Cactus League as well as some of the the local business owners, architects and builders that that made it all possible!

1909 – The Chicago White Sox were the first big league team to play a game in Arizona in 1909 as they headed back east after holding training camp in California. For the next 3 decades, exhibition games are played in Arizona, but no Spring camps are held here.

1929 – The Detroit Tigers became the first club to actually hold their spring training in Arizona. They move spring camp back to California in 1930.

1946 – Bill Veeck, who owned a ranch near Tucson, purchased the Cleveland Indians and started holding spring camp in Tucson. They played their games at Randolph Municipal Baseball Park which was later renamed Hi Corbett Field, currently home to the University of Arizona Wildcat Baseball team.

1947 – Veeck convinces San Francisco Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move the Giant’s spring camp to Phoenix. The Arizona air must have held some magic, because the Cleveland Indians became the first Cactus League team to win the World Series in 1947.

1951 – New York Yankees co-owner Del Webb convinced the Yankees to swap spring camp sites with the San Francisco Giants in order to show off his team to his beloved hometown crowd. That year the Giant’s trained in St. Petersburg, Florida while the Yankees trained in Phoenix. Because of this trade, Phoenicians, not Floridians were able to witness the first spring season Mickey Mantle ever played as well Joe DiMaggio’s last spring season. Ironically, the Giants and the Yankees met in the World Series later that year.

1952- the Chicago Cubs move their Spring training base from the more remote Catalina Island in California to Mesa’s Rendezvous Park. Rendezvous Park in Mesa was more than just a ballpark though. It was an entire recreational facility that featured pools, a dance hall and roller rinks! Rendezvous Park had a rich, eight decade long history of baseball under it’s belt by the time it was razed in 1977.

1953 – After relocating from St. Louis to Baltimore, the Baltimore Orioles reluctantly move their Spring camp to Municipal Stadium in Yuma, Arizona.

1956 – The Baltimore Orioles return to the Valley and play their Spring games in the brand new Scottsdale Stadium until 1958.

1959 – The Boston Red Sox move their Spring camp to the Scottsdale Stadium and remain there until 1965.

1961 – Major League Baseball expands and the Los Angeles Angels begin splitting their spring training between Palm Springs and Arizona.

1962 – The Houston Colt 45’s, who later became the Houston Astro’s, played their 1962 and 63 Spring seasons in the newly constructed Geronimo Park in Apache Junction and helped grow the Cactus League to six teams. No other team ever played at Geronimo Park after the Colt 45’s, and it was dismantled in 1969.

1964 – A new Phoenix Municipal Stadium, designed by architect Fred Guirey was built by local contractor Del Webb. The San Francisco Giants moved their Spring Camp to the new stadium, and Willie Mays hit the stadium’s first home run.

1966 – The Cactus League was down to only the two teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Cleveland Indians, after the Chicago Cubs left to train in California and the Boston Red Sox left for Florida.

1967 – The Chicago Cubs return to the Valley and begin to play in the Scottsdale Stadium where they will stay until 1978.

1969 – The Seattle Pilots, whose franchise was sold and became the Milwaukee Brewers prior to leaving spring camp, and The Oakland Athletics also decide to move their spring camp to Mesa, Arizona. The A’s would go on to win the World Series three years in a row (1972-1974) while training in Mesa.

1970 – Desert Sun Stadium is built as the home for spring camp of the the San Diego Padres to the Cactus League.

1973 – The Milwaukee Brewers move to Sun City Stadium which was demolished shortly after the Brewers left in 1985.

1977 – The Seattle Mariners move to Tempe and play in Tempe Diablo Stadium until 1992 when Hohokam Park opens to serve as the new home of the Oakland A’s Spring camp.

1979 – Two teams trade places! The Chicago Cubs move their spring camp to Hohokam Park and the Oakland A’s move to the Scottsdale Stadium.

1984 – The San Francisco Giants move to Scottsdale Stadium and the Oakland A’s move to Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

1986 – The Milwaukee Brewers make the move to the newly built Compradre Stadium which was later demolished in 2014.

1991 – Scottsdale Stadium is razed and replaced by a new ballpark with the same name by famed architects HOK (later becoming the global sports venue design icon, Populous) who also also designed Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

1993 – The Cleveland Indians are lured away by a new stadium in Florida and leave Tucson. The Colorado Rockies take the Indians place at Hi-Corbett Field. The Los Angeles Angels also leave Palm Springs for the newly renovated Tempe Diablo Stadium.

1994 – The San Diego Padres relocate from Yuma to Peoria after the brand new, $32 million Peoria Sports Complex, designed by Populous, opens. The Padres share this facility with the Seattle Mariners. This new idea of shared facilities sparks a movement that continues to grow over the years.

1997 – A brand new Hohokam Park is built in place of the original. This park is also designed by global icon Populous and HOK Sport. The Chicago Cubs held their spring camp here from 1997-2013.

1998 – The Arizona Diamondbacks are born as was a new-shared complex with the Chicago White Sox in Tucson. Brand new and costing $32 million to build, Electric Park, designed by Populous, opens in the spring giving Tucson three teams and increasing the Cactus League membership to ten. The Milwaukee Brewers also move to a new $23 million complex in Maryvale called Maryvale Baseball Park.

2003 – The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers relocate their spring camp from Florida to a brand new, $48 million shared complex in Surprise also built by global sports complex designer Populous. The Cactus League membership grows to 12 teams.

2006 – The Chicago White Sox moved their Spring camp from Tucson and Los Angeles Dodgers moved their Spring camp from Vero Beach the newly built Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Camelback Ranch was designed by international architectural firm HKS. The Cleveland Indians also return to the Valley and set up their Spring camp in Goodyear, again built by Populous.

2010 – The Cincinnati Reds join the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear and the Cactus League’s membership grows to a whopping 15 teams! At this point in time, half of all of the Major League teams train in Arizona and the Cactus League is equal in size to Florida’s Grapefruit League.

2011 – The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies move their Spring camps to a shared, newly build facility known as Salt River Fields designed by HKS, Inc. and built by Mortenson Construction. The Rockies move to Scottsdale in 2011 left Tucson without spring training baseball for the first time since 1947, and it made the Phoenix Metro area host to all 15 Cactus League teams.

2014 – Mesa opens a new ballpark known as Sloan Park for the Chicago Cubs. This venue was designed and built by, you guessed it, Populous! DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. also had a hand in the design and building of Sloan Park.

2015 – The Oakland A’s move our of Phoenix Municipal Stadium to Hohokam Park. Because of this move, Phoenix Municipal Stadium is turned over to the Arizona State University Sun Devils Baseball program.

At this point in time, even with its renovation in 2006, Tempe Diablo Stadium, which opened in 1969, is the oldest park still hosting spring training today.

So, if it feels like everyone who is anyone in baseball has spent time in the Valley of the Sun, it’s because they probably have! Although it took some time to become the baseball mecca that it is today, the Phoenix Metro area, and their beloved Cactus League, is now giving the Grapefruit League a run for its money, We don’t know about you, but we’ll take warm and dry over humid and sticky any day!

Let’s PLAY BALL! The Cactus League kicks off on Friday, February 21st at 1:05pm in the Surprise Stadium where the Texas Rangers will take on the Kansas City Royals. Click here to check out the Cactus League website for a complete schedule and ticket information.

Historical data for this blog post was taken from the following sites:

  • https://www.hksinc.com/what-we-do/case-studies/salt-river-field-at-talking-stick/
  • https://sabraz.org/the-cactus-league-a-brief-history/
  • https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/scottsdale-stadium/History
  • https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/204

Kindness is Our Way

Did you know that World Kindness Day is 2/17/2020? In honor of such a momentous day, and because we at azArchitecture love being kind, we thought it would be neat to shine a spotlight on a foundation that is built on spreading kindness around the world – The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation. RAK is a small non-profit that invests their time and resources into making kindness the norm. RAK’s website states, “We are rooted in the belief that all people can connect through kindness and that kindness can be taught. We follow a simple framework for everything we do. Inspire -> Empower -> Act -> Reflect -> Share. Our evidence-based Kindness in the Classroom® curriculum gives students the social and emotional skills needed to live more successful lives. Our workplace kindness calendar shows companies how easy it is to change workplace culture through simple kind gestures. We create a common language between schools, work and home with all of our resources.”

According to Mr. Fred Rogers, “There are three ways to ultimate success. The first ways is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” Mr. Roger’s isn’t the only one, however, to note the benefits of being kind. Did you know there are scientifically proven benefits of being kind? According to the experts on RAK’s website, it has been scientifically proven that kindness actually increases: the love hormone, energy, happiness, lifespan, pleasure, and serotonin. Inversely, it has also been scientifically proven that kindness decreases: pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure.

A couple of other interesting facts to note are that science has shown that kindness is not only teachable, but it is also contagious. This is great news in a world that can seem to be very cruel at times!

Because we are in a very competitive, sales based business and a currently CRAZY real estate market, we understand how ugly things can get when kindness is lacking. We also believe that Fred Rogers was right. We have built a very successful business on a foundation of kindness. In fact, it is one of our goals to make sure that everyone on our team is doing their best to spread kindness all over the Valley. As real estate agents, we come from a place of living to serve others. So, if kindness is important to you, and you are looking to partner with a real estate firm that feels the same, look no further. Whether you are a vendor, an agent, or a client, we promise to share the gift of kindness with you on February 17th and all the other days of the year too!

If you would like more information about RAK, visit their website at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org. They have lots of tips, tricks and tools to infuse more kindness into your own life and into the lives of the people around you.

Have a beautiful day, neighbor!

Want Your Home Sold Fast?

Whether or not your home is architecturally unique, there are some unwritten rules that should be followed when listing your home for sale. Follow these 10 tips to learn how to be “THE PERFECT SELLER” and you’ll have a better chance of moving on sooner rather than later.

#1: Understand that the market will dictate your home value not the memories you made in it. As unfortunate as it is, a new buyer doesn’t care about your memories. They want to make their own. So, wrap them up and take them with you to your new place!

#2: Understand that the market is constantly changing. Your listing price could be perfect one month and too high the next simply because of a shift in the market.

#3: Understand that lots of people don’t want a project (unless they are investors and then they REALLY don’t care about those memories of yours). If you can visibly see an issue in your home, buyers can too. Fix it ASAP, or don’t be surprised when people ask for concessions regarding those items.

#4: Treat your agent as the market expert because that is what they are! They have more up to date information and can see more about the current status of a property than you can on Zillow. Communicate with them clearly and trust them to do their jobs.

#5: Make your pets disappear. Get rid of the cat condo, and put away the food/water bowls and beds. If you have a cat or dog, there is a good chance buyers can smell it whether you can or not. Many people are allergic to animals and can’t imagine ever living in a home where a pet has lived. It’s best to try to erase all traces of your pet during showings.

#6: Clean up your mess!! Toys, clutter, packed closets, etc. can turn off buyers. You want your home to look as clean and spacious as possible.

#7: Lock off anything valuable – medications, cash, jewelry. While we will do our best to protect you and your things, but thieves are crafty. Some are good enough to steal things from right under someone’s nose.

#8: Reduce or eliminate the amount of personal photos in your home. Of course your family is cute, but a buyer would rather picture themselves in your home instead of you!

#9: Make yourself scarce for showings. Buyers typically don’t want to come see your house while you are there. If you would feel more comfortable, you can request that your agent (or someone from their team) be present for showings.

#10: Invest in professional photos of your home. We cannot stress this enough! While the newest iPhone is impressive, it is still no substitute for a pro. A professional photographer will know exactly how to showcase the best angles of your home. Believe us when we tell you, it is worth the minimal charge. We think that this tip is so important that we actually have an amazing photographer on staff! Our photographer, Andrew Jarson, has an uncanny ability to photograph homes in a way that best captures the hearts and minds of our unique home buyers. Check out the listings on our website to see Andrews amazing work.

All in all, a little common sense goes a long way when listing your home. Just try to put yourself if the buyer’s shoes as you walk through your home and decide what to change and what to leave as is. You may just see things a bit differently when viewing if from someone else’s perspective. Good luck!

Monthly Market Update January 2020

Let’s start with the basics: The ARMLS numbers for January 1, 2020 compared with January 1, 2019 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB & CCBS): 12,141 versus 17,339 last year – down 30.0% from last year and down 12.5% from 13,869 last month.
  • Active Listings (including UCB & CCBS): 15,018 versus 19,900 last year – down 24.5% from last year and down 14.6% from 17,577 last month.
  • Pending Listings: 4,662 versus 3,740 last year – up 24.7% from last year but down 20.5% from 5,864 last month.
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 7,539 versus 6,301 last year – up 19.6% from last year but down 21.2% from 9,572 last month.
  • Monthly Sales: 7,764 versus 6,457 last year – up 20.2% from last year, and up 8.7% from 7,142 last month.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $179.92 versus $165.21 last year – up 8.9% from last year but almost unchanged from $179.90 last month.
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $289,500 versus $260,500 last year – up 11.1% from last year and up 3.0% from $281,000 last month

Interpreting the Numbers:

WOW! In a nutshell, these numbers are telling us that demand remains high while inventory remains remarkably low. Truthfully, we find the current lack of supply to be quite shocking. There has been a 30% decline since this time last year to reach the lowest level since August 2005. Keep in mind that the population in our area has grown more than 20% since 2005!

It is our opinion that this severe shortage is likely to cause a significant rise in prices. Currently, the median sales price is already up 11% over the last 12 months, and the average price per square foot is up almost 9%. We suspect this statistic is also headed for a double figure appreciation rate. Buyers can only hope for a surge in new listings arriving over the next 12 weeks which could happen if sellers are tempted by the higher pricing they could possibly achieve; however, if the sellers are planning to stay in or around Phoenix, they will have to pay more for their new home too. Phoenix is currently the strongest large-city housing market in the USA. This is fueled by inter-state population movements by both retirees as well as people moving here from California and other Western states for work and a lower cost of living. We think demand is likely to remain healthy despite the rising prices.

The primary question is whether we will see any change in the meager supply of homes for sale. If there is a rise in available listings, it is likely to take place over the next few weeks. There was no sign of an improvement in new listing flows over the last several weeks of 2019, but 2020 is a new year! So, we will be watching closely for signs of change, and keeping you up to date on the latest happenings in the real estate market for the Phoenix Metro area.

If you are interested to know the value of your home in this hot market, contact us at 480-425-9300 or info@azarchitecture.com. We would love to help you list your home or find a new one. With years of expertise backing us, we are confident we can help you!

Welcome to 2020!

How the Phoenix Open became “The Greatest Show on Grass”

From its quiet beginnings in 1932, the iconic Phoenix Open stood the test of time. 87 years later, the golf tournament now fondly known as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” is still steadily growing year after year. We dug up a bit of history to fill you in on how this tournament started and how it became the spectacle it is today!

The original Phoenix Open was played at the Phoenix Country Club in 1932, but was discontinued in 1935 due to lack of local support. Fortunately, Bob Goldwater, Sr. had the wherewithal, energy and vision to bring the tournament back to the Valley in 1939. He even convinced a few of his friends, the Thunderbirds to help him bring this vision back to life. In order to help others see his vision, in invited a few of his famous friends to tee it up at the tournament. Those friends were none other than Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Ben Hogan. Byron Nelson was the talented young up-and-comer that took the win and the $700 first place prize at the 1939 Phoenix Open with Hogan finishing 12 shots back of Nelson in second place. The Thunderbirds have sponsored the event ever since with the exception of 1943 when wartime travel restrictions forced a hiatus.

in 1955, the Phoenix Open was moved to the Arizona Country Club and then was played on an alternating schedule with the Phoenix Country Club every other year. In 1975, the Phoenix Country Club took Arizona Country Clubs turn to host and the event remained at the Phoenix Country Club until 1987.

By 1986, the tournament had outgrown its roots at the Phoenix Country Club and needed a more spacious course for spectators. After examining many courses and discussing possible revisions to courses like Papago, Scottsdale Mayor Herb Drinkwater suggested that a course be built where the The Players Club of Scottsdale stands today. Despite the fact that many people thought the location was “in the boonies”, all parties agreed that the land would be the perfect place for a stadium type course to be built where every spectator would have a perfect view of the tournament. Construction on The Players Club of Scottsdale (TPC Scottsdale) began in January of 1986 and the Phoenix Open was held there the following year. TPC Scottsdale has been the home of the Phoenix Open ever since.

Over the years the Phoenix Open has grown from a fledgling little golf tournament championed by Bob Goldwater to a massive event bringing in over 700,000 people per week. There were 186,000 people in attendance for the last Phoenix Open held at the Phoenix Country Club.

Prior to 1971, the Phoenix Open was a seemingly another no-name tournament stop on the West Coast swing of the PGA Tour. Run by a group of guys known as the Thunderbirds and boasting no big named players, the Phoenix Open was not the event it is today. In 1971, the chairman of the Phoenix Open convinced Arnold Palmer to come and play. Arnold’s request back to the chairman? To play in the ProAm with Dell Webb, Bob Goldwater and Bob Hope. Luckily, they were able to make that happen. With current big name players such as Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele and Bubba Watson on the docket for 2020, it’s hard to conceive of a time when this tournament had to beg big name players to attend.

Now you might be wondering just how the 16th hole became so popular. That, my friends, is thanks to one man: Tiger Woods. When Woods made a hole in one at the 16th in 1997, there were a few tents around the hole, but no bleachers or stadium seating. As the hole drew more and more attention, organizers realized that they could capitalize on this popularity by adding stadium seating. Currently, the 16th hole can hold at least 15,000 spectators around one tiny par three.

Add in “energy” also known as alcohol and live music performed by some of the most popular acts in the country at the evening entertainment known as the Birds Nest and you have a recipe for success my friends! If you haven’t experienced “The Greatest Show on Grass,” we urge you to attend at least once. It is definitely an experience you won’t soon forget!

The 2020 Waste Mgmt Phoenix Open will be held at the TPC Scottsdale 1/27/20-2/2/20. Click here for more information on tee times as well as ticket information. 

Share your favorite memories from the Phoenix Open with us in the comments below!