There’s a lot of competition between potential homebuyers, and many first-time homebuyers are losing out to all-cash offers.
With that in mind, houses that people can buy a few years ago are not the same as the ones people can buy now, if they are lucky enough to not get outbid.
What can $425,000 get me?
The median sales price for Maricopa County is around $425,000, and we checked out three different areas in the Phoenix to see what that can get you.
We worked with realtors local to each community: Buckeye, central Phoenix and the southeast Valley on the homes that are available.
"Even though it’s the fastest city growing in the country, it still has that hometown feel to it," said Bill Rosene with Keller Williams Realty Elite. The former Buckeye math teacher knows numbers.
He calls himself the plaid dad, and now he’s making bank selling real estate.
Built in 2004, two stories, four beds and three bathrooms – this home on Solano Drive is in the Sundance neighborhood and recently was sold. It’s south of Verrado and the I-10 – a 30-minute drive to Sky Harbor airport without delays.
It's listed at $405,000 and the corner lot home has a little more than 2,200 square feet.
"Two years ago, you could probably get this home for $250,275 at the most," Rosene said.
The home could use some updates. "Appliances and updates in the kitchen could use a little bit of updating at this price point. But there’s room to do these improvements," he said.
Rosene said a pool in this price range is hard to find. The fruit trees are a bonus. A bedroom, full bathroom and laundry room are on the first floor.
"Upstairs we have a nice, great room. An area for maybe a home office, a play area if you have children," he said.
The master bedroom is connected to a full bath with dual sinks. The other two upstairs bedrooms share a bath.
"When homes are priced right in this neighborhood or anywhere on the westside, homes fly off the shelf in a weekend," he said.
A few months ago, Rosene sold a home nearby that got 62 offers. He knows how to price homes and this specific home sold in a few days and closed for the asking price of $405,000 at the end of December.
Now to central Phoenix, just south of the Biltmore.
Jenn Newman with The Brokery is showing a two bed, two bathroom, 1,300 square foot home on Montecito.
"We have the two beds, two baths on this side of the property, and here we have the kitchen, they’ve made some updates here. A decent sized kitchen and what could be a lovely separate living space here, fireplace and new paint, flooring throughout," Newman said.
It's listed at $455,000. It has a carport and is move-in ready.
"The likelihood of finding a single-family home in that price point is likely a home that’s in need of a significant amount of work or something like this, which is a patio home," Newman said. "What you may have been able to afford a few years ago looks vastly different than what that payment gets you today."
Built in 1975, the home backs up to Los Olivos Park and is just 10 minutes from Sky Harbor, downtown Phoenix, the Biltmore, and Camelback Mountain.
Outside of the home you have a small outdoor space.
"Very low maintenance, low upkeep, which is fabulous," Newman said. The master bedroom has its own bath and also has access to the outdoor space.
"This would function as the master, for sure. You have a nice walk-in closet and additional patio access," Newman said. The second bedroom and guests would use the upgraded hall bath.
This home sold quickly for $475,000 – $20,000 dollars over asking. It closed at the end of November.
Southeast Valley (Gilbert)
To the southeast Valley, we take a look at a home in Gilbert.
Shannon Gillette with the Gillette Group found a two-story townhome in Gilbert on south Catherine Drive. The home has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.
It's just under 1,500 square feet. The home was built in 2019 and sold for $288,000 dollars – the list price two years later is 435,000.
The home is in a gated community. The patio is just a short walk to the community playground and pool. It's right off Loop-202 and is a 25-minute drive to Sky Harbor.
"There are so many high-end finishes, great upgrades. You can really move right in and not worry about doing anything," Gillette said.
The kitchen is an open concept and has a large island. The living room is right off the entryway. All three bedrooms are upstairs, one is being used as a nursery.
The master bedroom is large and has an upgraded bathroom.
"The southeast valley is so desirable," Gillette said.
After multiple showings, it was gone after a short weekend. It sold and closed at the end of December 2021 for $442,000.
You can see that homes that are priced right sell quickly, and even with mortgage rates already going up, monthly payments for those three properties are cheaper than renting a comparable property.
What can $625,000 get me?
Realtors also showed us what people can buy for $650,000 in the three parts of the Phoenix area that we visited.
In Buckeye, the Verrado development and the golf course are also selling points. Angel Ramos with Keller Williams Realty Elite gave us a tour of a four bedroom, three bathroom home with a three-car tandem garage.
The home is, in a sense, unique.
"There’s two doors, two separate entrances, and the reason for that is that this is a next-gen home," Ramos said.
A next-generation home means there's an apartment for an older family member, or an older kid who moves back home. That apartment has a kitchen, laundry area, separate patio, and the bedroom can fit a king bed.
The entire home is around 2,300 square feet, and it is located in the Sienna Hills neighborhood, by the Verrado golf course and north of the I-10. On a day without traffic, it takes about 30 minutes to get to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
In that home, one bedroom is being used as an office, and a full hallway bath has double sinks.
"The nice thing about this property is that you can bring the indoors to the outdoors," Ramos said.
The yard is low maintenance, with turf and some fruit trees. The master bedroom is on the other side of the house, and has an updated bathroom with double sinks and a sliding door to the outside.
Ramos relocated to the West Valley after a successful career as a special agent with the Federal government. So far, his second career as a real estate agent is going very well.
"People are coming to realize that this is the new frontier, I want a part of it," Ramos said.
However, not everyone wants an apartment attached to their house, which could be why the home didn't sell quickly. In September 2021, the home was listed at $620,000. The price dropped, then it was pending, but the deal fell through. Now, the home is pending again, at a list price of $594,000.
In central Phoenix, Newman found a unique home in the historic Coronado District on north 10th Street.
"This was one of the original two-stories built at that time, and you'll find in Coronado that you're ranging from 1920s bungalows to 1940s ranches," Newman said.
The home was built in 1926, and has been updated throughout the years.
"When you get into the historic districts, you find that there is nothing cookie-cutter about these properties," Newman said.
The home is a four-bed, 2.5-bath home with about 1,900 square feet. The second story has both a large front balcony and a back balcony that features incredible views for miles. The stunning large backyard also has a lovely pool, surrounded by cool cacti.
Inside the home, there is wood flooring throughout. The kitchen is open, and while it has been updated, the range looks retro.
The first floor has a bathroom, separate dining and living room. The master bedroom is upstairs and has its own bath.
"This has become a very desirable and sought-after place in and among the historic districts in central Phoenix," Newman said.
The home was originally listed for $700,000, but the square footage was off, which helped bring the price down. It still sold quickly for $635,000 at the end of November.
Southeast Valley (San Tan Valley)
In San Tan Valley, a home in a non-HOA community with a huge yard was on sale. Gillette showed us a home on Moon Dust Trail, right down from the high school. The home is a 45-mile drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
The home is on a dirt road out in the country and is listed for $660,000.
"People are moving to San Tan Valley, I really think, because of the value," Gillette said. "This same home closer into town would be double or triple the amount."
The five-bed, two-bath home is about 2,400 square feet, with an updated kitchen that is open to the living room. Wood floors are in most high traffic areas, and solar panels are already installed.
"This is such a beautiful area," Gillette said. "You've got great mountain views. So quiet and private."
The backyard with a fire pit is a blank canvas. A covered patio would be great for entertaining, and the property also has horse privileges.
Besides the attached garage, there is also a detached garage, where a buyer could park an RV and other toys.
The home, which was built in 2005, closed quickly at the end of 2021 for $670,000, $10,000 over asking.
Realtors say even with mortgage rates rising some now, demand is still sky high.
What can $1 million get me?
You might think that a million dollar budget would buy a mansion, and a few years ago it would have in Maricopa County. However, the market today looks very different than it did just a few years ago.
In Buckeye, homebuilders are trying to keep up.
"As you look around here in Verrado you have that suburban utopia," said Chris Barker with Keller Williams Realty Elite. "That’s really attractive to people."
In the West Valley city that is known for the Verrado development, a million dollars will get you a brand-new home with all the upgrades in the golf course community.
"You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with a million dollars, and hopefully a million dollar view to come with it," Brett Drefs with Keller Williams Realty Elite said.
Drefs showed us a 2,800 square foot home in the Highlands District of Verrado. It is a gated section, with a higher homeowner’s association. The single story has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and a three-car garage.
The kitchen, with upgraded appliances, is open to the great room, while double sliding doors open to the backyard, where you have mountain views and a large area for entertaining.
A few years ago, Drefs says this home would've been around $650,000. While this home is a model, lots are available to build on, and in some areas of Verrado, there is no waiting list.
However, supply chain issues could keep driving up the cost of materials, so buyers are encouraged to lock in a price.
Near Camelback Mountain, Newman showed us a two-story townhome.
"You can’t argue with where we are," Newman said.
The home is located at the Village at Camelback Mountain. 44th Street and Camelback has a lot going on. You can walk to the gym, the bank, AJ’s, or even Steak 44.
"You’re surrounded by all the amenities on Camelback and Arcadia, and Arcadia Lite," Newman said. "Being close to Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and you have Camelback Mountain right out your door."
The three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home has 2,800 square feet. It was built in 1978, and has a two-car garage.
"Yes we’re at a million dollars in this lovely townhome, but if we were to pick it up and put it in another large city, it would be substantially more," Newman said.
Newman said single family homes in this area under a million dollars do not exist. On the first floor, there are wood floors throughout. A large great room with high ceilings and a fireplace near the kitchen.
The kitchen could use some updating, but there is a nice wet bar and wine room nearby. A patio with large trees is out back.
The bedrooms are all on the second floor. The master bedroom has views of Camelback Mountain, a large bathroom with dual sinks and a walk-in closet. Another bedroom has a balcony that overlooks the patio. It also has an updated bathroom.
The townhome was listed back in September 2021 for $949,000, with a non-negotiable homeowners association payment of $520 a month. That covers a guarded, gated entrance, yard work and community amenities.
"This property is an ideal lock and leave," Newman said. "This is a low maintenance property where you’re not dealing with a large yard, not dealing with a lot of maintenance."
The home sat for a few months. A price cut happened in November 2021. It eventually sold and closed in the middle of January for $915,000.
Southeast Valley (Queen Creek)
Queen Creek is another city that is experiencing record growth.
"Everybody loves Queen Creek because you get a small town feel and you do get a lot of home for your money," Gillette said.
Gillette, who lives in Queen Creek with her family, showed us an estate in the Orchard Ranch neighborhood that was built in 2004. The home is 40 miles away to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
The lot is nearly an acre on East Excelsior Avenue, and the planned community allows you to have a horse in your backyard. Besides a place for your horse, the backyard is large and perfect for entertaining. The custom home has mature landscaping, and a four-car garage. There are also views of the San Tan Mountain range.
Inside, Gillette says the custom home has over 3,300 square feet. It is a five bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home.
"It’s such an open floor plan," Gillette said. "Hard to find a home with tall ceilings like this. It’s a split floor plan, so the master has its own wing."
The master bathroom is large with dual sinks. It could use come cosmetic updating.
"The home also has a private office, which is really important to buyers right now," Gillette said.
The remaining bedrooms are on the other wing of the house.
When we toured the home, it was priced at $1.2 million. However, back in September 2021, it was first listed at $1.425 million. Many potential buyers want a pool in this price range, or don’t need an area for a horse, so the home sat. Eventually the listing was pulled at the end of December. The latest Zillow estimate says the home is worth a million dollars.
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