I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to some folks who help get the word out about the Get Your PHX monthly mixers.
The ladies at www.NetworkingPhoenix.com are really great about posting Get Your PHX. I like to think of the event as more of a downtown civic support group than straight “here’s my card, where’s yours?” networking. But there is also more to www.NetworkingPhoenix.com than just that. So, have a look.
Also check out www.eventification.com. This one is more specifically tailored to CenPho. If you are looking for a good list of industry-related networking events, this is a good rolling list. Thanks to Brian Shaler for this one.
The City of Phoenix today announced that Entrepreneur.com named out little town as one of the top ten best places in America to start a new business.
Like Las Vegas, some of this has to do with the very cheap rents that resulted from the commercial real estate market crash and the very low home ownership costs right now. See the article here.
But in poking around on that article, they had a very nice series on how to start your own business. This would have come in handy! Why didn’t anybody tell me that I should have done a logo first, before I started selling homes?
You might recall last week’s post about new FHA guidelines, which could undermine the condo market.
A mortgage broker in Chicago, Illinois views these new FHA condo project approval rules as positive for Chicago. He predicts an uptick in FHA condo financing after October 1st. Check out his blog post.
Leif Swanson and I were talking about this over the weekend. Here in Phoenix, Arizona, we have a different opinion. We’re seeing these new FHA condo approval rules as a death toll to condo sales:
1. Many of the smaller condo projects cannot afford the estimated $10,000+ FHA project approval fee (it’s not worth it to them just to be nice and expand financing options for buyers) so they are not seeking FHA approval. This is where Spot Approvals came in handy. But after October 1st, no more spot approvals. This means it is highly unlikely buyers can get FHA financing for smaller condo projects. Under 100 units? And how many of the larger projects can afford the application fee? Or have the staff to fill out the application?
2. There were a lot of condo conversions in the Phoenix area in the past 4 years. Many of those did not sell out 100% so they are renting the remaining unsold units. The new FHA guidelines will prevent these complexes from getting approval if more than 10% of the units are being leased.
3. These same condo conversions were purchased mainly from investors. This tips the balance toward rental units versus owner-occupied units, thus preventing FHA condo project approval.
4. There are a lot of foreclosure & bank-owned condos in the Phoenix area. That means HOA dues are not being paid. The new FHA guidelines will prohibit approval of a condo complex if 15% of the units are behind in HOA payments.
5. After October 1st, 2009, all condo projects (unless approved since October 1, 2008) must be approved from scratch. This means the condo project’s HOA reserves and budget must be reviewed by an FHA employee. How many condo projects are there across the country? How long will that take? Months? Years? In the meantime, buyers cannot use FHA financing until approval. And then the condo project must re-apply for approval every two years henceforth.
There is little to get excited about these new regulations.
Check out this handy one-pager that gives you seven reasons to buy today. This is valuable information, from tax implications to interest rate increases. Click here.
Also, have a look at this article about the family that had to make 15 offers on homes before they were able to get just the one they wanted in the Phoenix market!
The Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health is accepting applications for the 2009 Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health.
The Training can help you broaden your skills in the area of behavioral health advocacy. There are 6 training days starting in September.
Learn more at the Foundation’s Website.
FHA financing for condominium projects is about to come to a complete standstill on October 1, 2009. That’s when HUD and FHA will apply new federal guidelines as announced in the HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-19.
But what does that mean? Basically, you cannot get an FHA loan on a condominium after October 1 unless FHA approved the condominium project within the past year. FHA approves condo projects for financing if they meet certain conditions (e.g., livable conditions, HOA solvency, low % of investors, high % of owner-occupied units).
October 1 is the big deadline.
All current condominium project approvals will be invalid on that date and all projects must be re-approved under the new options available. Going forward, all projects will also require recertification every two years.
A one-time “spot approval” process for previously unapproved condominium projects is also eliminated.
Getting projects back on the approved list will be a long and slow process. And until a project is approved, FHA financing is not an option.
If you want more nitty-gritty details, please download this two-page document that my colleague Leif Swanson put together.
So, what does this mean if you are selling a condo? Basically, if you want a chance to sell to FHA buyers, you need to sell right now, before October 1st.
So, what does this mean if you are buying a condo? You can still purchase before October 1st. But you just need to be certain the condo you buy is currently approved by FHA or can qualify for a spot approval. Does it have a high number of rentals? Was it a condo conversion after about 2005? Is it now renting out unsold units?
If so, you’ll need to get an offer accepted by late August. If no, you’ll need to consider conventional financing. Well, at least you have the $8,000 tax credit on your side!
Talk with your REALTOR® and mortgage broker about your options.
1916 E. Camelback Road
I admit it. I have a crush on The Parlor. I’ve been three times since it opened early last month.
You know, The Parlor proves that you can put almost anything on pizza and have a hit if the crust is good. I had the Yukon Gold once, which was pizza with potatoes and an egg right in the middle. I also tried the truffle oil and mushroom pizza and the sausage pizza. All incredible.
Perhaps my review is not complete. I never tried their salads or other nosh. But I’m a pizza snob. So sue me.
Still, the ambiance is fantastic and the service was good, with the exception of one waiter who seemed to forget we were there once. I look forward to cooler days when I can sit out on the patio area among the fresh growing vegetables that they actually use in the restaurant.
Much of the internal décor came from reclaimed wood and metal from the short-lived Bahama Breeze, which was torn down across the street. Kudos for the re-use. However, I do respect the criticism that The Parlor looks way too much like The Vig, just with pizza.
The Good: Sitting at the bar, watching the pizza being made in the stone oven.
The Bad: The Parking
The Ugly: None
My broker, John Hall & Associates helps its agents, like me, get the broadest reach possible on your listings.
I just uploaded Internet Marketing Sites that shows most of the places where your property will show, if listed with me.
This way, people thinking of moving to AZ can go to their local television affiliate site, for instance, in some other state to see your property.
Yeah. It’s a perk of working with me.
My colleague Leif Swanson sent me this.
You would be surprised how many people take almost no action whatsoever to get ready to sell their home.
This is a cute video that lays out the most important things to do to get ready to get the most money out of your home sale.