My suggestion to you would be to purchase properties at the Trustee's Sales or hook up with a local wholesaler who buys at the trustee's sale and then turns them around for a small profit. These properties are still sold well below FMV. Check out http://www.PhoenixWholesaleHomes.com - good place to start.
Also, the agent needs to have phone skills. As an agent handling listings as well as buyers, it would probably amaze you how many offers come in without the agent even calling and speaking to me. Wouldn't it make the most sense for the agent to pick up the phone and see what my client is looking for? It isn't always price. Sometimes it is other factors such as needing to rent back for a month.
Chris & Michelle
That said....there are still nice profits to be made because we still have a long way to go to get back to a realistic, established market. Phoenix was one of the hardest hit areas of the country in the housing crisis. But we are also one of the first to come back. Historically, that's what we do.
Also, consider the growth potential for the city as a whole. The sunbelt states continue to get an infusion of folks moving from the colder climates. Phoenix has one of the lowest priced housing markets in the country. And business will continue to grow, bringing with it jobs with employees looking for housing.
My first question for you would be....are you looking to hold property a few years as a rental, or looking for a quick fix & flip? Each of these scenarios would be handled very differently.
My partner and I both have have over 30 years investor experience in the Phoenix area, not only for our personal portfolios but for clients both in the US and abroad as well. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way. Gathering solid information is your best way to move toward a good decision.
That being said, there still are good deals because of HOW FAR PRICING DROPPED OVER THE PAST 5-6 YEARS and the pricing trend is now upwards.
Additionally, many agents have pocket listings that are sold before they even hit the market. In other words, they are pre-selling them before they show up in the MLS to the general public.
Have an agent set up a portal for you along with auto emails that you would get on properties that fit your criteria so that you know the "minute" they are on the market and can move quickly.
In your price range $180-$350K, there are approximately:
4,602 active in the entire metro phx area as of today (299 are short sales, 4,304 are not).
1,116 are AWC status (pending transaction with contingencies) of which 798 are short sales and 318 are not.
2,393 are pending (accepted contracts) and 552 of those are short sales and 1,841 are not.
So you can see the short sales are down substantially.
A couple recent stories on where pricing has come in the past year:
I wouldn't put too much stock into Zillow's "zestimate". It's based on statistics only and compares a general area rather than specific "like" neighborhoods and home condition.
All the best!
You best bet it to work with an agent that is very familiar with the market. Remember that if you pay market today for a property and the values continue to climb, then you will still make money. We work with many investors and would love to assist you in your real estate needs.
Ron & Brenda Cunningham
West USA Realty
*** Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as "One of the Top 50 Realtors in the Valley" ***
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You are feeling the effects of our current market, which has changed dramatically from a year ago.
The best thing to do is allign yourself with an agent who can send you listings as soon as they are listed on MLS and also has access to homes going onto the market perhaps before they hit the MLS. On homes under 350K, it is not unusual for the there to be multiple offers on the home the first day it goes on the market. There you need the savvy of an agent who can write strong offers (I can tell you more about that). As a cash buyer, you have a strong advantage over a buyer needing to obtain a mortgage. And of course, timing is of the essence; I have had clients who ponder a listing for 3-4 days then want to go look at it...that doesn't work!
What part of the metro area are you considering? I have the skills and the resources; would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Call or email me!
Nextage Realty Professionals
You need an agent that will be able to right those offers as the properties are listed. They are indeed under contract the first day or so. You will need an MLS portal to monitor the listing and be engaged and ready to go DAILY. Short sales are probably the option for you if you have the patience. Let me know if you would like assistance. I can provide the results you desire. Best of luck.
Mike Cave 602-410-7660