Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tax Credit Dollar for Dollar and Help Kids in Need

Together we can make a difference. During this season of thanksgiving and joy, we have an opportunity to give a gift to children in need in our community for which you will be able to claim a 100% tax credit, not just deduction. We have attached a letter explaining how you can do this.

Through the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit program for the Working Poor, state tax payers can support the Love House Kids Program and be eligible for an Arizona State tax credit. This is a 100% tax credit, not just a tax deduction .
We have also included the Eligibility list showing that we are on the list for tax purposes. We would appreciate being considered in your contributions this year. If you give up to $200.00 you receive a $200 tax credit. Up to $200.00 is what is eligible per person- $400.00 per married couple.
Thanks to each and everyone of you that have supported us this year with time, money,talents,prayers and the list goes on
You can make your check out to
Love House Kids Program
18212 N 8th Street
Phoenix AZ 85022
Remember it needs to be sent by December 31st to qualify.
We are all loving you
Maureen Karpinski
Love House Kids Program
Any questions please feel free to call me 602 980 0760 or 602 971 3331

Updated July 14, 2008 Page 12

Love House Kids Program 18212 N. 8th Street Phoenix, AZ 85022 (602) 980-0760
The list can be found at AZ State Working Poor Tax link

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Loan Modifications and Services

We had an office meeting last week and had a colleague come speak to us and introduce his new plan and business in modification. Avery is someone we have dealt with over the years for loans and I have relied on for investor advise in acquiring loans. One of the his assets is the ability to switch and adjust to make the transaction happen and this has followed him to his new venture.
He is not taking all loans but will look at everything. If he takes on the loan modification, he will guarantee it , You pay him 1900 dollars up front and if he can't get it done he refunds the entire amount and this is in writing. He has attorneys in his network if he has to act quickly to stop a foreclosure. Of interest too is that he is investigating and researching honest, successful credit repair companies to possible be part of his package or at least network. It makes so much sense. If you need a loan modification, you are probably needing a credit repair as well. You might want to visit him at

Monday, November 24, 2008

Real Estate Agents Looking for Alternative Offices

With the economic times, many agents are looking for alternatives. I would love to speak with you about our company. I promise you will not give up any integrity, support or professionalism. I have zero tolerance for anything but the utmost in integrity and professionalism from all agents.I am totally aware of the slow down of productivity with this marketplace and do not expect above average performance in a below any kind of average market in my 36 years in the business. Being the owner of the company, I can always customize a plan to meet your needs.
If you have been considering changing offices, I would love to chat with you about ours. I pride myself on our office being agent friendly first, not broker first and the agents second or last. I tried to implement all of the things I wanted and in some situations had as an agent when I created our office just over 7 years ago.
Don't worry about the cost of changing over- Basically it would cost you the price of your business cards approx 100 dollars for 2000 4 color cards- We will supply the signs- you supply your own rider- no admin fee to sign up up= no E&O reserve
Broker is personally available 7 days from 7 A.M.—9P.M.-She is your mentor!♦ We provide you with the professional platform to excel , Virtual Office - NO COST
* Marketing material –personal and client format-NO COST
♦ No franchise fee♦ No transaction fee♦ Outstanding commission splits
♦ Personal page on our web site-NO COST♦ Sales meetings focused on giving you the cutting edge in the market
♦ Ongoing training-NO COST♦ We are a company that gives back to community-we love America’s children
♦ Dedicated to Customer service and professionalism-Zero tolerance for less.
Please feel free to call me at 602 971 3331, email

"Expect A Sold Sign"
Maureen Karpinski
Cactus Country Property Professionals
Designated Broker/Owner
GRI-Mre Certified , CRIR & e-Pro
Licensed 36 years
602 971 3331

Christmas Toy Drive for Abused Kids


We have a special need for unwrapped toys for our homeless,group home and extremely poor kids, age 0-18. These toys are for the homeless and the poorest of poor children along with our kids that will spend Christmas in a group home. Please remember our teenagers, they too are kids. We are committed to giving Christmas to 700 children this year. Every single toy counts. Every one of us can make a difference. Please join our love train this Christmas

Thank You for caring about our kids.

Feel free to visit us at “”
Call Maureen 602 971 3331-

Current Real Estate Market Supply Phoenix AZ

Below are the stats for the past couple of weeks. It never ceases to amaze me why the newspapers and media can't tell this story. It is noteworthy considering what the state of affairs has been for the past couple of years. There are buyers out there and quite a few, we now need loans that make some sense for that consumer. We bail out the banks to get it moving and the bank hangs on to our money and does nothing perform as was the intention. Take a look at these stats supplied by Karl

Karl Stauffer's Weekly Market Update
Weekly Inventory Level Comparison
©2008 Karl Stauffer
As of Friday, November 14th, 2008

There was another 1% increase in inventory this week but a higher closing rate gave us a net result of 9 1/4 months of supply, an improvement over last week.

For the sake of comparison, let's go back one year to this same week in 2007. We had 47640 homes for sale compared to 45302 this year which means supply has stayed fairly constant and in fact has come down about 5%. Last year we had 2815 closes in the month previous compared to this years 4897, an improvement of almost 75%!

There was an inventory supply of 17 months, nearly double what it is today.

I feel that the long term trends show we are improving even though that is not what you read in the papers. We need to get the word out!!!!!

Give us some loans we can use and watch decrease this inventory that much more and put the real estate market where it needs to be to get to the starting gate.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

Monday, April 7, 2008

Views you can use

Provided to you Exclusively by Kevin Host

Kevin HostSales ManagerCountrywide Home LoansDirect: 480-314-7820Fax: 480-661-1825Email: Kevin_F_Host@Countrywide.ComWebsite:

For the Month of April 2008 --- Vol. 3, Issue 4


Spring is officially here! And with it comes warmer weather... longer days... and your Economic Stimulus Package tax rebate! Do you know when to expect yours? The tax rebate article below can help you figure out when you'll receive your money. And it provides you some insight into how you can help make sure you get it sooner rather than later!
While you may have to wait a bit for your rebate, the car wash tips below can help you save cash today. The article breaks down the best way to keep your car shining like new and preserving your resale value, while saving money by not paying for unnecessary car wash features.
Remember, this information may be of interest to your friends, family members, and coworkers. So feel free to pass it along to help make their spring a little brighter. And call or email me with any questions.


Timing Is Everything! We all know the deadline for filing your 2007 taxes is quickly approaching. But you may want to be ahead of the curve if you want your tax rebate sooner, rather than later. That's because tax rebates will start going out on May 2... but only to taxpayers who have their returns processed--not just sent--by April 15. The closer it gets to mid-April, the more the IRS gets backed up to process the flood of returns--sometimes taking a couple of weeks to complete. E-filers will get their rebates more quickly, since electronic returns can be processed faster. However, even e-filers should have their returns in by April 10 to be safe.
Would You Like Paper? Or Electronic? Tax rebate checks will start going out on May 2. But here's the deal... taxpayers who chose direct deposit will be first in line. According to the IRS, all direct deposit tax rebates will be wired between May 2 and May 16. Paper checks won't start going out until May 16, and aren't expected to be completed until mid-July.
What's Your Number? The IRS needs some way to determine the order of distributions - but they're not going alphabetically. Instead, tax rebates will be distributed in order of the last two digits of your Social Security number...the lower your number, the sooner you'll receive your payment. For a detailed breakdown of the order, take a look at the IRS's Stimulus Payment Schedule.
About seven to ten days before your rebate is sent, the IRS will send you a notice informing you how much it will be. If you signed up for direct deposit, however, you'll probably receive that information in the mail about the same time your rebate is deposited into your account, since direct deposit transactions are processed so quickly. But you don't have to wait that long to determine approximately how much you'll receive. To calculate your approximate rebate, visit the new online stimulus calculator on the IRS website.
Finally, it's important to remember that the rebate check will not be counted as taxable income and will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return. However, if you owe back taxes, the IRS will apply your rebate to that bill and send you whatever is left over.
For more information, visit the Economic Stimulus Package Information page on the IRS website. You can even read detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


"Those Cars Never Seem To Stop Coming... Keep Those Rags And Machines Humming!"~ Rose Royce
With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching, most people want to have their car looking good. Driving a nice clean car just feels good--and it can also help to preserve its appearance and resale value.
What's the Best Way to Clean Your Car... at the Car Wash or at Home?
Believe it or not, an automatic car wash is not only more convenient, but it can also be much safer for your car than washing the car at home. Why? If your car is washed by hand in direct sunlight, the drops of water turn into mini magnifying glasses, which can cause the sun's rays to burn spots into the paint--and this could cost you big when going to resell the vehicle. Additionally, many people use harsh household soap products, which remove protective wax and leave a chalky residue on the surface. Taking this into consideration makes the $8 to $15 automatic car wash fee look pretty reasonable.
Of course, the car wash has a number of "extras" that can add up fast and quickly double the cost of a quick car wash! Before you agree to the "works" package, find out what is included and decide if it is really worth the extra money to have a fresh scent sprayed in the interior, or a spray-on wax applied to the exterior.
Consider These Tips the Next Time Your Car Needs a Shine.
Rust Proof Spoof? Undercarriage rust proofing may be one of the extras you can do without. That's because most new cars were already rust proofed at the factory, and adding a car wash proofing adds little to nothing in terms of true protection.
Wax On, Wax Off. Many automatic car wash machines offer a spray-on wax feature. But, truth be told, spray-on waxes offer little more than a surface-level shine. A hand-applied wax, on the other hand, may be worth the investment because it helps restore precious oils and provides a UV-protective film.
Wash That Grease Away? In most cases, you'll want to avoid having your engine cleaned. The high-pressure water used to perform the engine cleaning can cause serious engine problems in new vehicles.
Undercarriage Cleaning. Rust proofing your car's undercarriage may not be necessary, but you should consider adding an undercarriage cleaning. It washes away residue from the winder and helps prevent buildup that a regular car wash can't reach.
Ring Around Your Tire? Tire dressings are a better investment and more important than they may seem at first. That's because they actually provide a strong cleaning that removes dirt and brake dust that may cause problems if left unchecked.
To Brush or Not To Brush. When it comes to automatic car wash machines, you should always opt for a brushless car wash. Older car wash facilities may still use brushes, which tend to leave light scratches in the paint. They can also remove the clear coat that was applied by the factory to protect the paint.

Market Report-Credit Card Rates-

Thanks for this Kevin

Provided to you Exclusively By Kevin Host
Kevin HostSales ManagerCountrywide Home LoansDirect: 480-314-7820Fax: 480-661-1825Email: Kevin_F_Host@Countrywide.ComWebsite:

For the week of Apr 07, 2008 --- Vol. 6, Issue 15

Last Week in Review

"I KNEW THE RECORD WOULD STAND UNTIL IT WAS BROKEN." ~ Yogi Berra A record was broken on the job front last Friday as the Labor Department reported a much worse than expected loss of 80,000 jobs in March - the greatest jobs loss reported in five years. In addition, revisions to both January and February's Jobs Report delivered an additional loss of 67,000 jobs - that's on top of the previously reported loss of 85,000 jobs for that two-month period.
And...the story might be even a bit gloomier than it already appears. The Labor Department uses a lot of averaging to help it come up with its numbers more quickly, but this practice can skew the current picture significantly. Think of it this way - and because it's now baseball season, here's a Baseball analogy - let's say that mid-way through the season, a red-hot hitter with a batting average of 340 declines into a bad slump for several weeks. While he now can't even hit a basketball thrown underhand to him, his average - while lower to 300 - is still very strong due to his previous hot performance. So someone looking at just the statistics may think that this batter is still absolutely terrific, but he is really someone the fans are booing as he approaches the plate. This is not very different from current numbers being reported by the Labor Department - previous averaging is likely causing an understating of the ACTUAL number of job losses...which somewhat masks how b ad the job market really is.
This bleak Jobs Report greatly boosts the odds of not only a first-quarter recession, but perhaps a worse economic downturn than many economists fear. The Federal Reserve may respond to this increasing trend in job losses with additional interest rate cuts when they next meet to determine monetary policy on April 30 and June 25. As we've seen in the past though, such rate cuts do not translate into lower long-term rates for mortgages, so there is no better time than right now to refinance an existing mortgage or to structure a new one. Let's work together to make sure your current financing is a home run!

Forecast for the Week

Another classic Yogi Berra-ism is, "I never said most of the things I said." Luckily, the Fed can't make the same claim. This coming Tuesday, the "Meeting Minutes" or open commentary of the Fed's last monetary policy meeting will be released to the public. If there are inflammatory comments, the market could respond quickly.
Remember, when Bond prices move higher, home loan rates move lower. And as you can see in the chart below, Bonds have rebounded higher off of their key 50-day moving average support level, and are moving back toward the upper portion of their current trading range. This means if Bond prices continue to move toward the upper boundary of the range, we could see home loan rates improve slightly.
Chart: Fannie Mae 5.5%% Mortgage Bond (Friday Apr 04, 2008)

The Mortgage Market View...

Credit cards are one of the most pervasive forms of your financial picture. On a daily basis, they provide the flexibility and freedom to reserve a hotel room, travel without carrying cash, and purchase just about anything at anytime.
As such, your credit cards can have a major impact on your financial wellbeing and even your credit score. But did you know that your credit score can also impact your credit cards...specifically your interest rates? Although some companies have abandoned the practice, many won't hesitate to raise your interest rate if your credit score declines - even if you are paying them on time! By following these tips, you can help avoid inflated interest rates on your credit cards...and perhaps even enjoy more trips to the ballpark:
Understand the terms. The best way to protect yourself from high interest rates and hikes is to read and understand your credit cards policy terms. Pay particular attention to the interest rate, how long that rate is in effect, and what actions can lead to a hike - such as a late payment on your card, a declining credit score, or even a late payment on a completely unrelated bill.
Don't be late. Making a late payment can lead to increased interest rates on all your cards. In addition, they can lower your credit score, causing you even more problems down the road. So make a schedule and always pay on time.
Watch the mail. We all get junk mail, but some of it may not be junk after all. Whenever you receive any information in the mail from your credit card, read it carefully in case any policies or interest rates are changing.
Make a call. If your rate does change, call the company. If you've made your payments on time consistently, you may be able to get your original rate restored. If the company seems hesitant, you may want to threaten to transfer your balances to another card - customers in good standing may find they have more bargaining power than they realize. And don't just threaten to make a change...actually do it if it makes sense. You may find the grass actually is greener on the other side.
Be careful what you close. Closing a card that has a current balance will likely send your interest rate soaring. In addition, closing your oldest credit cards can have a negative impact on your overall credit score. So make sure you check and double check which cards are best to close

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charity Event April 19th

Love House Kids Program Update for April

EASTER- Thank you Curves members at 7th Ave and Union Hills and Kelly owner who put beautiful baskets together for all our kids. Curves did this last year too and what a nice memory for these kids to have. These members donate money and stuff but they get specific- they have the ages and make the baskets according to age. Kelly decorates these baskets with the greatest of care and they are just a masterpiece. What a special time for special kids.

Next our night at the Road Runners Game for the kids was a success.
We sponsored 70 kids and 12 mom’s – We had 35 sponsored by our own donors which really helped the budget and allows us to spend that money on the next need.
A good time was had by all. We put out the call at a very late stage of the game for volunteers to help us sell Chuck A Pucks which we would be the beneficiary of half the funds. First thing I needed was posters and signs. Peggi Waldell who is our board secretary got her family involved and the signs arrived on the door and they were outstanding signs- thanks Peggi and all your family- then the busy people jumped in. Everyone of them worked all day and still found time to come and sell tickets and sell tickets they did.
Tim Lee from the Perfectionist and on our board was all over everybody. Fredi Stillman 2-10 Home warranty and on our board with her Husband stood at the front of concession lines where they were paying and got them there. Noah Wallington- a friend and a tenant was throwing pucks at people and getting them to pay and his friend who knew nothing about us joined him to do the same. Michelle Korhonen from Bourget's Bike works- worked the table with me and as always right there for the kids. Thank you each and everyone of you for being such faithful servants to God's Kids. The Love House Kids Program is so blessed to have people like this on board.
Thanks to everyone that worked it land thank you to all of you that helped sponsor this night for the kids
Next Event is our Comedy event April 19th- Catch 22 Sports Bar. 32nd street & Union Hills - 15 dollar tickets- must be bought in advance- Should be a fun time 4PM-7PM call 602 971 3331
I want to insert feed back that Amy Sue received from one of her moms for that night. This mom is fighting her way back into the work force and society- that takes courage and anytime you can encourage them, it is so worthwhile. They love to do things for their kids and it makes them feel like they are accomplishing something when they can. Their funds certainly doesn’t allow it. They just want to be good moms and doing it on their own from a history of horror is beyond words tough and takes guts. Reinforcing moms efforts and letting her know she is not alone and so respected by all of us for her courage has got to be one of the best ways of preventing child abuse and the child gets to have a great memory of time being with mom.
“Hi Amy,
Could you please let the powers to be know, that My son and I had a very good time at the game last night. The seats were great and the vouchers for the food was very helpful. Being able to share something like this with him, gives us a chance to talk one on one in a positive atmosphere.

Thanks again, Rita
Want to know more about the “Love House Kids Program”? Visit us at

Real Estate Inventory Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Weekly Inventory Level comparison
©2008 Karl Stauffer

As of Friday, 3/28/08
Since February 1st, less than 2 months ago, the Valley wide supply of homes has gone from a 19 1/4 month supply to a 12 1/2 month supply. This has been driven by an over 50% increase in closed sales in that short time. Depspite what we are being told by the media, things are getting much better. I expect this trend of improvement to continue.

Closes in the previous month continue to improve and were up to 3663, moving us a to a supply Valley wide of 12 1/2 months, another improvement over the previous week. Total listings were unchanged at 46172.

All areas of the Valley continue to improve. In the battle for the best markets in the Valley, the SE Valley stays the clear leader at a 10 1/4 month supply. Scottsdale under $1M is at 12 1/2 months in second.
Luxury Markets continue to improve at 25 3/4 months of supply in Scottsdale $1M+, and 29 1/4 months in Paradise Valley

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Comedy Event for Kids Charity

Weekly Housing Inventory AZ

I always look forward to Karl's reporting and the report below shows activity that we haven't seen in awhile and it was so encouraging. Everyone was feeling enthusiasm and a thread of excitement that just maybe we had turned the corner and then for some unknown reason with lots of speculation as to why, it just stopped three weeks ago. Some say it is tax time, some the rates went back up and the list goes on but it certainly did a number on deflating the balloon. Hopefully this is only temporary and we get a zip in our step again.

Weekly Inventory Level comparison
©2008 Karl Stauffer

As of Friday, 2/22/08

Current rate of closings has jumped by over 8% in the last week! Closes in the previous month were up to 2668, which gives us a supply of 17 /4 months, a substantial improvement over the previous week
Current Pendings also continue to increase dramatically. They have increased over 50% in the last 6 weeks from 3323 on 1/11/08 to 5309 this week. They are at the highest level that I have seen since early July 2007, PM (Pre-Meltdown). This will translate in to more closings in the next month. Total Listings remain unchanged at 46069.

Best markets in the Valley continue to be Scottsdale under $1M at a 13 1/2 month supply, followed by the SE Valley at 14 1/4 months supply.
Luxury Markets, by contrast, are at 42 1/4 months of supply in Scottsdale $1M+, and 40 1/2 months in Paradise Valley.

The comparison of current active listing change is based on the previous week’s inventory. Supply numbers are based on the number of closings in the previous month, divided in to the total number of active listings. This data is for Single Family Detached homes only and does not include patio homes, condos, or town homes.
Entire MLS (Maricopa and Northern Pinal county), listing inventories are unchanged from last week. Total of 46069 active listings. Based on current rate of closings, about a 17 1/4 month supply.
200’s area (Central Phoenix). Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 6539 active listings. About a 19 1/4 month supply.

300’s area (West Valley). Listing inventories are unchanged from last week. Total of 15125 active listings. About an 18 month supply.

400’s area (NE Valley), Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 7792 active listings. About an 18 3/4 month supply.

500’s area (SE Valley), Listing inventories are unchanged from last week. Total of 11549 active listings. About a 14 1/4 month supply.

Scottsdale over $1m. Listings inventories are up 1% from last week.
Total of 1645 active listings. About a 42 1/4 month supply.

Scottsdale under $1m. Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 2628 active listings. About a 13 1/2 month supply.

Paradise Valley. Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 446 active listings. About a 40 1/2 month supply.

I hope this information is useful to you.

Karl Stauffer, Associate Broker
480-515-2202 (office)

The market place is terrific for those wanting to buy- prices that we haven't seen in a very long time and multi family units with equity built in

Sunday, February 17, 2008



Happy Sunday

Just had to share with everyone what happened this week. As I mentioned in a previous email, we are trying to provide a full night out for 50 kids at the Road Runner's game in April. We have the tickets and now we need to feed them and just make it a nice memory for all. We heard from Harry and Sharron Hummell at KM Coatings MFG ( you might know) and they are sponsoring 5 kids and Chuck Westerlund who works everyday of his life for these kids already, sponsored 3. Every single one counts, whether you do it as a group or individual. 20 dollars sponsors a child and we are happy to do one child at a time. Only need to it 42 more times and we are there. When we first started we had one child and after doing that 500 more times, guess what! We know the power of one at a time and we know how God works the math. Please let us know if you can help.

This was just a week of heartfelt blessings for us. Pat,a gal that works at Curves presented me with $5.00. Her church had asked their people to tithe for a charity that they wanted blessed and they felt was worthwhile. How humbling was that!

I'm not done yet. Ellen, a neighbor of mine had donated $100.00 for our kids at Christmas time. she then got our tax id number and paperwork, took it to her company that matches donations of their employees, if the charity qualifies. I received a check this week for $200.00. Thank you Ellen for taking the time to go the extra mile and present the paperwork to your company.

Thank you to Scott Miller, one of our Realtors at Cactus Country Property Professionals. Scott is also on our board. As most know our bracelet project really fell short, no it didn't fall short- it barely got off the ground. Scott works with special needs kids and he is trying to raise money for sports equipment for his football and track kids so he came by and picked up about 7000 bracelets and working with other coaches trying to get these bracelets out and make some money for his kids. We had bought these bracelets to sponsor our therapy program and it just wasn't suppose to be. Wouldn't it be so fitting if this is who they were suppose to help. If you have a fund raising need, we have the bracelets and we will split the profits with you. Call me at 602 971 3331, 602 980 0760 or email me;

Thank you everyone for being part of our network for kids. We can not do this without you and wouldn't want to try.

We are a 501 C charity. The math is easy-

100% of all money goes to the kids-

0% for saleries

Love House Kids Program, (602) 980 0760, Fax: (480) 275 3406

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kath's Rate News

I thought you might find this of interest and remember “It is a great time to buy!”
Mortgage Bonds have traded wildly up and down over the past six days. So if you like volatility, this market is for you. Mortgage Bonds are now trading lower after this morning's Durable Goods release, which was reported well above expectations. It is known that, the Durable Goods Report is a volatile one, but the 5.2% reading was far above expectations of 1.2% and could signal that business capital investment is picking up or paint the picture that the economy is not as bad as previously thought. This translates to even more guessing about the Fed's decision tomorrow. Will it be a cut of a quarter or a half percent?
The consumer is still feeling pretty confident as Consumer Confidence for January was reported at 87.5, which was stronger than expectations of 87.0. Adding further strength to the report is an upward revision to December's reading from a previously reported 88.6 to 90.6. This morning's stronger than expected report has to raise some eyebrows at the Fed, which starts their two-day meeting today.
The Fed’s interest rate decision and Policy Statement is set for release tomorrow afternoon at 2:15pm ET. At least two former voting Fed members see a half point cut to keep the markets from going back into the sharp decline we had seen just last week. And the futures contract, which is not so good at predicting longer term Fed moves, but very good at the near term move, is pricing in an 86% chance of a 50bp or half percent cut...we see this scenario playing out as well.
If the Fed does cut by 50bp - the long term picture may not be so good for Mortgage Bonds. The Fed has already cut 175bp since September 18th, bringing the Fed Funds Rate down to 3.5% from 5.25%. And don't forget the 50bp cut in just the Discount Rate back in August. Add in the President's Stimulus Package and another 50bp cut tomorrow and you have a whole lot of ammunition to juice the economy. Remember that it takes 6 to 9 months for the effects of a Fed Move to be realized. And we are barely 4 months past the initial Fed cut. If inflation flames arise, bond prices will suffer later, as the fixed rate of return they generate must yield a number to compensate for higher inflation.
And in watching many so called experts parade in front of the news cameras this morning, it was funny to hear some of the comments. An economist from S&P said that most mortgages are priced off the 10-year Note...scary. Another said the Fed's recent cut (exactly one week ago) has had no effect on housing. Again, this shows how little understanding these individuals have about the way our business works. Do they really think that people see the Fed cut, get in their car, buy a home, get a mortgage, and close within a week?
Note the Floating Bias today - this does not mean to take your eye off the ball as we are already seeing a decline in MBS prices. Watch the windows; I will alert you if things get nasty. This is a good time to get the message out to your clients, who may be waiting on rates to drop further. As always, loan applications never peak at the lowest point for rates...they do so when rates start moving up and clients get off the fence before the train leaves the station. Warn your clients of this common error. It is wise to have your clients in queue, especially those above $417k, but below $625K. This way they can pounce on the lower rates once the conforming limit is raised.

Kathleen ReinertHome Mortgage ConsultantWells Fargo Home MortgageMAC S4153-02020369 N 59th AveGlendale, AZ 85308623.445.2297 Tel602.620.3105 Cell866.254.1668 Fax866.207.6731 ext2297 Toll

Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekly House Inventory Level in Phoenix AZ and area

Weekly Inventory Level comparison

As of Friday, 2/8/08

Total homes available for sale increased by 369, or about 1% over last week. Current rate of closings remains low due to the fact that it is reflecting activity from the end of the year. Closes in the previous month were 2405 which gives us a supply of 19 months, a slight improvement over last week
Current Pendings continue to increase. The good news is these are at the highest level that I have seen since last August PM (Pre-Meltdown). This should translate in to more closings in the next month.

Best market in the Valley continues to be the SE area at 16 months supply and next is Scottsdale under $1M at 16 3/4 months.

The comparison of current active listing change is based on the previous week’s inventory. Supply numbers are based on the number of closings in the previous month, divided in to the total number of active listings. This data is for Single Family Detached homes only and does not include patio homes, condos, or town homes.
Entire MLS (Maricopa and Northern Pinal county), listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 45783 active listings. Based on current rate of closings, about a 19 month supply.
200’s area (Central Phoenix). Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 6446 active listings. About a 20 1/2 month supply.

300’s area (West Valley). Listing inventories are unchanged from last week. Total of 15156 active listings. About a 20 1/4 month supply.

400’s area (NE Valley), Listing inventories are up 2% from last week. Total of 7708 active listings. About a 20 3/4 month supply.

500’s area (SE Valley), Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 11447 active listings. About a 16 month supply.

Scottsdale over $1m. Listings inventories are up 1% from last week.
Total of 1622 active listings. About a 40 1/2 month supply.

Scottsdale under $1m. Listing inventories are up 2% from last week. Total of 2613 active listings. About a 16 3/4 month supply.

Paradise Valley. Listing inventories are up 1% from last week. Total of 426 active listings. About a 38 3/4 month supply.

I hope this information is useful to you.

Multi Family 101

Thinking of upgrading rental properties, perhaps moving from single-family homes to multi-family buildings? Have no fear. While managing these complexes, whether they have six apartments or 60, can sometimes feel more like running a business than managing a real estate investment, many of the tax, landlord and general real estate investing rules that apply to single-family housing also apply to multi-family investments.
Purchasing: Obviously, the overall cost of a multi-family building or apartment complex is much higher than a single unit. Small buildings with say, six units can range anywhere from several hundred thousand on up into the millions of dollars depending on the market, so you’ll probably need to have more cash available up front than if you’re buying a single-family home. The cost “per door” varies widely from market to market but is typically lower in larger properties, a result of various economies of scale.
An ideal building has a good mix of two-and three-bedroom apartments, the larger of which provides an opportunity to rent to families. Complexes with all one-bedroom or studio units tend to stay empty longer since they significantly narrow the pool of tenants they can attract. Of course, this all depends on the location of the property. A building near a college campus, for instance, might very well find plenty of tenants looking for one-bedroom apartments. In most scenarios, though, buildings with a good mix of unit sizes will outperform those packed with studios or one-bedrooms.
Location matters, so if you can, choose a property near the bus lines, local shopping centers, recreation facilities and other local attractions. Well located buildings command better sale prices and higher rents because they will be more desired and sought out by landlords and tenants alike.
Financing: Generally, a residential loan is all that is needed for buildings with one to four units, while a commercial loan is necessary for buildings with five or more units. Typical financing for one to four units will require 20 percent cash down, and loan fees vary, but usually average around 3.5 percent of the purchase price. In order to add larger properties to your portfolio you need to apply for a commercial loan, which has different underwriting and approval processes. For smaller residential loans, the banks generally look at the investment potential of the real estate and then fall back on the borrower’s personal financial and credit history. That’s not strictly the case with commercial loans where lenders are much more interested in profit and loss histories for the project itself. That can make convincing your bank to give you the money based on forward-looking projections more difficult. If possible, you should provide at least a three-year (five is optimum) historical report of income and expense data with your application package.
You may also run into trouble finding a bank that wants a commercial loan for less than $500,000. That means you’ll either have to think bigger and spend more upfront or shop around until you find a bank willing to finance smaller deals. Overall, lenders tend to look at all cash flow considerations including the amount of money you have in reserve to cover unforeseen expenses. They’ll also look at other costs you’ll incur besides the mortgage; these will include taxes, regular maintenance management fees and vacancy rates. Remember, banks need to see an ability to make repayments on a monthly basis in order to approve a loan. Many banks will have a set income to debt ratio, called debt service coverage ratio or DSCR that you will be required to maintain. A DSCR of 1.0 means for ever dollar of income there is a dollar of debt repayment. Expect most lending institutions to require a DSCR of at least 1.25 — one dollar and twenty five cents net income for each dollar of debt repayment — before they consider a loan viable.
Cash Flow: One big advantage of a multi-unit complex is that you will get payments from multiple tenants each month, making both vacancy rate hiccups and deadbeat tenants easier to absorb. If a single-family home is empty, vacancy is instantly 100 percent and cash flow plummets to zero. In a building with six units, if one or two of the apartments are empty there is still income flowing to help pay the bills. Compare that with a single-family house where just a few months without rent can quickly put a landlord in a cash flow crunch.
Because valuations of multi-family properties are tied more to cash flow and net income than single-family units, they tend to be less prone to wild speculative swings in value during both rising and falling markets. These values are often stated in the form of a “cap rate”, which is the ratio between the net income and capital cost. For example, a building purchased for $1 million that generates $100,000 in net operating income has a cap rate of 10 percent. When valuing properties, it is useful to think of the cap rate the same way you would look at a rate of return for any other investment. The higher the cap rate, the higher the rate of return on the investment, but also the higher the perceived risk. Cap rates vary depending on the location, size and history of the property. A fully tenanted apartment complex in a rapidly developing area will command a lower cap rate than an older building in a questionable part of town which is perceived to be a higher risk proposition.
Maintenance: This might be the first tangible difference many investors feel after the purchase process is completed. Even if purchasing and financing your first complex was easy, chances are you’ll soon feel pressure from the extra tenants you’ve taken on. Managing your first multi-unit project can feel like a full-time job. Real estate professionals will advise you to be prepared for the worst, and you should plan accordingly. Instead of that one perfect family you rented a house to with little fanfare, you’ll have several tenants with their leaky pipes, noisy neighbors and lost rent checks to deal with at any given time. Also, keep in mind that the same commonsense rental rules apply to apartments as homes. That means the more units you have, the more you will have to repaint, clean and inspect before a new tenant moves in.
However, if you currently manage several single-family units in different locations, buying a single larger complex could provide an advantage for you. Instead of six families living in six separate homes, your tenants will now share a single roof, lawn, and parking lot, leaving you only one area to maintain instead of six.
It may be advantageous to hire a property maintenance company to supervise, maintain and field calls for you. This will cut into your profit, but if you are a serious investor who wants to spend your time vetting new projects, it may well be to your advantage hiring someone else to take care of broken toilets and overgrown lawns on a day to day basis.
The Right Bet
Investing in apartment complexes should be considered a longer-term and possibly deeper commitment than owning and renting out single-family homes. It takes longer to sell a building or large complex than a home and it may take some time to get the hang of managing such a large property. However, if it’s done right, owning a multifamily complex can provide a constant source of income for years to come with considerable upside along the way. Any investment is a balance of risk, work and reward, but if you’re ready to take on a bigger challenge and move to the next level of investing, then a multifamily project might be the right bet.

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