Resource for Canadians buying property in DC Ranch, Grayhawk or any other Scottsdale community
Welcome to some great information to help you along in your search for property in Scottsdale, Arizona and what to expect. Here’s an index of information you can find on this website to help Canadian buyers purchase real estate in Scottsdale.
And if you’d like to snoop around at property….
Diane Brennan is Your Voice in Real Estate. She failed miserably at pursuing a career in Gold Digging and currently helps Canadians and other foreign investors purchases property in Scottsdale, AZ. She’s an expert in the beautiful communities of DC Ranch and Grayhawk and her team includes experts in all areas of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Read what her clients have to say about her. Rumor is she knows her stuff and can be quite enjoyable to be around for long periods of time. Her driving…not so much.
Cash Buyers Competing For Phoenix’s Bargain-Priced Existing Homes
by Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal
Date: Friday, April 22, 2011, 3:00am MST
Investors and second-home buyers are gobbling up bargain-priced properties across the Valley, and that’s prompting some intense bidding wars among those who have the cash to purchase homes — especially those less than $200,000.
It’s also in stark contrast to what others are experiencing in the local housing market.
Many Phoenix-area homeowners are stuck in their houses with underwater mortgages and can’t sell, move or refinance unless they want to walk away and go back to renting. Others can’t buy homes because of poor credit, they don’t earn enough money to qualify for a mortgage, or they can’t make the required 20 percent down payment.
That leaves the bargain hunting to those with cash.
“I’m seeing a lot of Canadian and out-of-state investors and second-home buyers,” said Diane Brennan, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Scottsdale. “With the Canadian dollar getting stronger and stronger, more and more are buying and looking at investing here — not only for second homes, but also as rental properties.”
Brennan, a former radio announcer who hails from Canada, said sellers prefer cash offers to financing, which gives investors and those with money in their pockets an advantage over other bids.
She said wealthier out-of-town buyers are flying into Phoenix with $80,000 or $100,000 ready to spend on retirement, vacation or investment homes.
Other Realtors report the same market dynamics.
“I am working with buyers and Canadian investors in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Prescott. There are bidding wars up to $350,000,” said broker Lisa Schofield, owner of Desert Pines Realty. She sells homes both in the Valley and in Prescott.
“I am working with Canadians as well. We called on two homes. Both had multiple offers; one had six offers,” she said. “My clients in Prescott wanted two homes on Wednesday of last week and both had multiple offers. Both were in the $200,000 range.”
The housing market collapse continues to provide plenty of bargain opportunities for buyers with cash.
The median price for existing homes sold in March was $125,000, according to Arizona State University — down from $142,500 in March 2010 and $193,550 from August 2008.
ASU also reports an upswing in the volume of existing-home sales. There were 11,000 such sales in March, up from 8,600 sales in February and 8,300 in January. Those totals include foreclosures, which accounted for 43 percent of local existing-home transactions in January and February, and 37 percent in March.
ASU economist and real estate professor Jay Butler said housing prices traditionally increase during the spring and summer; but because of tight mortgage underwriting standards that require higher down payments, it’s investors and buyers with cash in hand who are in the marketplace.
“Sales and median prices tend to increase as the traditional owner-occupant moves to lock in a purchase before the start of schools and holidays,” said Butler. “However, even though mortgage interest rates and prices are attractively low, tighter underwriting standards and a struggling economy and job market could continue to be obstacles.
“The dominant group will probably be investors scrambling to take advantage of the buying opportunities that might be slowly disappearing in many areas,” he said.
GETTING PERSONAL CANADA: Time Is Right To Buy U.S. Property
by Stuart Weinberg, Dow Jones Newswires
TORONTO – With the Canadian dollar at a 3 1/2-year high versus its U.S. counterpart, and the U.S. real estate market still in the doldrums, the opportunity to purchase U.S. properties at bargain prices may be unprecedented.
And Canadians are taking notice. According to a recent Bank of Montreal survey, 20% of Canadians would consider purchasing a home or property south of the border.
Wayne Levy, vice president of marketing at Florida Home Finders of Canada, is on the front lines of this trend. His firm holds bi-weekly seminars in Toronto to market Florida properties and regularly draws 600-700 people. “People are buying,” he said. “We’ve sold hundreds of units.”
Overall, housing prices in the U.S. have fallen 30% in the past four years, according to Bank of Montreal. However, prices are down even more in destinations favored by Canadians, such as Phoenix, Miami and Las Vegas, where prices have plummeted 54%, 49%, and 57%, respectively, BMO said.
“On average, what I’ve been seeing, and my best guess is, C$400,000 buys you a huge house, like a five-bedroom house in Arizona, with a swimming pool and a lot of yard,” said Laura Parsons, mortgage expert at BMO.
Florida Home Finders’ Levy said his firm focuses primarily on condominium sales, with prices ranging from US$60,000 for a one bedroom unit to US$125,000 for a three-bedroom unit. He said prices have fallen anywhere from 40%-65% from their June 2006 peak, but they have recently begun to inch higher.
BMO’s Parsons concurred, saying the window of opportunity may be narrowing. The U.S. economy is recovering and that translates into stronger home sales and higher prices, she said. As well, as the U.S. economy rebounds so too will the U.S. dollar, eliminating the arbitrage opportunity that currently favors the Canadian dollar.
Still, as enticing as the opportunity may be, Parsons advises people to think things through before taking the plunge. Questions people need to consider include: are they comfortable being an absentee owner or landlord; how far away is the property; what are the carrying costs? She also recommends people talk to an accountant to understand potential tax obligations. Finally, she said people need to know what the local laws are around renovations and mortgages, and whether it’s advisable to finance a purchase in Canada or the U.S.
And while it seems like common sense, Parsons also advised visiting the property at least twice before deciding to buy. “It seems to be almost an emotional attachment before all of this is thought through,” she said.
Company websites: http://www.bmo.com; http://www.floridahomefinders.ca
-Stuart Weinberg, Dow Jones Newswires; 416-306-2026; email@example.com
Canadians Flocking To Buy Homes In Southeast Valley
by Art Thomason, The Arizona Republic
Date: Apr. 19, 2011 11:36 AM
Virtually every week during the past two years, a Valley home was sold for at least $1 million to a Canadian buyer.
The majority of the homes are in Scottsdale, but Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek are also on the luxury list, with individual sales between $1.3 million and nearly $3.8 million.
The transactions, totaling nearly $300 million, are an indication that Canada’s preference for Arizona as the No. 1 place to invest is growing, said Glenn Williamson, founder and CEO of the Canada Arizona Business Council, a non-profit that promotes bilateral trade.
The Canadian purchases represent at least 6 percent of the 1,742 homes sold in Maricopa County for $1 million, or more, since Jan. 1, 2009, according to Ben Toma, broker for Toma Partners, a Phoenix real estate firm that specializes in sales of luxury homes.Toma and other agents called the transactions a significant chunk of the high-end housing market and said there are probably more such sales to Canadians that have not yet been identified in surveys.
A recent report by Valley real-estate analyst R.L. Brown identified nearly 500 Valley home sales to Canadians in 2010. The report said the homes were bought from more than builders.
Many of the sales in Mesa – 96 of them in communities developed by builder Jeff Blandford – indicated that Canadians were influencing other Canadians to buy homes in the same communities. Other sales were in Gilbert, Chandler and Queen Creek.
“What perhaps is the most surprising is the number of homebuilders that failed to capture substantive numbers of Canadian new homebuyers over the data period, begging the question of what marketing strategies or product positioning was used by the builders with the highest capture of these buyers,” Brown said in his report.
Williamson said the Business Council obtained records of the sales from the Canadian government to compile a more complete Arizona/Canada trade and investment picture.
Canada is Arizona’s largest foreign investor, a statistic reflected by the state’s $2.3 billion bilateral trade with Canada, excluding tourism, Williamson said.
The Business Council is bringing industrial leaders from Canada and Arizona together to try to increase bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona to $5 billion U.S. by 2012.
Williamson said Canadians have been purchasing homes in the Valley for years, but the more recent trend seems to be increasing.
The momentum, he said, has been influenced by many factors, including the prices of homes and the current pro-Canadian, currency exchange rate that turns their $20 into 21 U.S. dollars.
“First it was people coming down here on their own, now dozens of Arizona residential and commercial brokers are making trips all across Canada and promoting the concept of buying homes and commercial buildings as well as land in Arizona,” he said.
Williamson said the Business Council has also noticed that more and more eastern Canadians, a demographic that traditionally purchased winter homes in Florida, are now choosing the Valley.
“We’re seeing this trend for the first time,” he said. “Taxation was one reason. If you’re a second-home purchaser in Florida, odds are you pay more taxes. Hurricane insurance also is expensive.”
Fulton Homes CEO Doug Fulton said US Airways flights to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to the city of Toronto and the province of Quebec, are also an indication of the growing eastern Canadian interest in the Valley.
Fulton, Beazer Homes, Shea Homes and Robson Resort Communities are marketing aggressively to reach more Canadian buyers in Canada and Arizona, and US Airways has three salespeople dedicated to the Canadian market, Williamson said.
“The Canadians are looking at Arizona as if our homes were half price,” said Terence Murnin, a spokesman for Fulton Homes. “It’s been great, and it is such a neat relationship with our neighbors to the north.”
Fulton said it comes as no surprise that Canadians are big players in the high-end home market and that they appear to be responding to promotions tailored to meet their tastes.
“We have an aquatics center in one of our developments because when they come in winter they want to go swimming,” he said. “Another thing we noticed is that they love west-facing backyards, which is perceived as a negative here. They have brought a different flavor to the market.”
A Million Dollar (Plus) Home Sold Every Week for Last 2 Years in Phoenix, Arizona to a Canadian Buyer (Mostly for Cash)
PHOENIX (EON: Enhanced Online News) – For nearly two years, there has been a one-million dollar luxury home sold to a Canadian buyer every week in Arizona and the statistic does not reflect the total residential and commercial real estate categories where Canadians have been some of the most dominant investors and/or buyers.
“We’ve had a significant amount of Canadians purchasing our homes in the past twelve months and I believe they’ve responded to the tremendous values offered by our quality-built homes in communities featuring resort-style amenities”
“Not only are the Canadians buying luxury residential real estate in Arizona, the majority are cash buyers and the trend is increasing in all industry segments due directly to the 84 non-stop flights a week ‘in season’; there are over 600,000 Canadians coming to Arizona and this increased connectivity is having a direct impact on Arizona’s economic development, which now includes Canada as a major bilateral trade partner on the state and municipality levels,” said Canadian-born Glenn Williamson, Founder and CEO of the Canada Arizona Business Council.
“We’ve had a significant amount of Canadians purchasing our homes in the past twelve months and I believe they’ve responded to the tremendous values offered by our quality-built homes in communities featuring resort-style amenities,” notes Douglas Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “Our esteemed neighbors to the north have helped to shore up the local housing market and we welcome them to our unmatched lifestyle and unbeatable investment opportunities.”
The Canada Arizona Business Council was formed to promote a single mandate: To increase bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona to $5 billion U.S. by 2012. CABC brings together senior players in every industry on both sides of the border. Their networking capability assures ‘1 degree of separation’ from the decision-makers in any field. These business leaders are the CEOs, Presidents, entrepreneurs, and professionals who will achieve that 5 billion dollar trade number.