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Old 09-20-2011, 12:51 PM
 
10 posts, read 17,730 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi there,

I am a looking to acquire a property in the Phoenix area. Preferably in

- Gilbert
- Surprise
- Peoria

or Low crime areas of

- Chandler
- Mesa
- Tempe
- NE Phoenix

My questions are

1. Is it possible to get something decent (not a fixer upper) for $65,000 (for a Condo) or $85,000 for Single Family House (with No HOA) in these areas?

2. If my investment amounts are too low. What other areas should I look at, if I want something

- Safe and in low crime area?
- Something that will be easily rented (good school district ?)?
- Something that will hold its value or appreciate over time

3. I am also looking for a company which does all (or most) of the following

- Realtor
- Lien and Title checking company
- Rental agency
- Insurance company
- Property management company
- Real estate lawyer

Please provide recommendations (someone with experience helping Canadian Investors will be ideal).

4. I will be in Phoenix for a week (or two) in late December or early January. What is the recommended steps I should take to make sure that I

- Find a place
- Put an offer on it
- Buy it
- Rent it

all within the time I have (1 - 2 weeks); is it even possible? How can I prepare?

Thanks in advance for all the answers!
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:57 PM
 
3,391 posts, read 6,636,934 times
Reputation: 3810
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksc72 View Post
3. I am also looking for a company which does all (or most) of the following

- Realtor
- Lien and Title checking company
- Rental agency
- Insurance company
- Property management company
- Real estate lawyer

Please provide recommendations (someone with experience helping Canadian Investors will be ideal).
Members are welcome to send you DMs with suggestions, but City-Data doesn't permit recommendations of real estate professionals in the forums.

Best wishes on your plans!
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:12 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,326,465 times
Reputation: 1174
If you buy, your case will be processed by an escrow company, and they will search the Title, and give you an insured Warranty Deed (rock solid). It takes a couple of weeks to complete an accepted offer, even for cash. The Light Rail is excellent, while the buses are horrible....Consider a non-HOA house near the LR. Rental cars are a rip-off here, so think how much you could save by flying in, and taking the LR to your house. It is extrememely difficult to get a loan on a condo right now, that is why they are so cheap for cash buyers. Rental returns are excellent, and you would have the least amount of maintenance. I bought a townhouse condo, with no one above or below, and that makes a huge difference compared with traditional apartment style. Seeing piles of Dog Sheet in common areas is a whole separate matter.....The newer homes are in the exurbs, and while they may be nice--there are gluts of rentals and the price per square foot is too low. I'm seeing quite a few (including Canadians) who are falling into that trap. I first moved here in 1995. IMO, the North Central Phoenix area offers the best of everything. Zips 85012, 85014, 85020, 85021, 85013.....not Downtown, but the nicer side and within a stones throw. Madison School District does a pretty good job of imitating the better East Coast Schools. Some will chime in on how wonderful their exurban neighborhoods are, but in reality they are deeply underwater and probably would leave--if only they could.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:04 PM
 
10 posts, read 17,730 times
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Thanks for the reply, khuntrevor.

So it takes a couple of weeks to complete and accepted offer....so I guess I would need to make at least 2 trips.

I am looking for investment/rental property....but something that I can use as a winter home after a few years. So safety is an important consideration.

A few follow-up questions about North Central Phoenix….

- How do you define North Central Phoenix (on a Map…from what street to what street)?
- Usually in other cities the high crime areas are near Metros/Light Rail...is that true for Phoenix as well? Or is North Central Phoenix...safe? (safe area being one where I can take a late evening stroll without worrying about getting mugged).
- I suppose being close to downtown means having easy access to Restaurants, Shopping, Cinemas, Libraries and Museums...is that correct for North Central Phoenix?
- You can usually tell if the area is going downhill year after year....is that happening with North Central Phoenix.

Any other areas which provide safety, convenience, value and a good rentals market?

Thanks again!
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:59 PM
 
Location: In the Deem Hills of NW Phoenix
800 posts, read 1,764,153 times
Reputation: 888
Count on escrow taking at least two weeks for a cash transaction. Most transactions here are on distressed properties (Short sales can take MONTHS, REO (bank repos) can take a month. If there is an HOA involved it can slow the process. You need not be present at close of escrow. Most of the transaction can usually be done electronically. If you have an agent or Property Manager you trust very well, you may have them do the final walk-through for you, although you should agree to hold them harmless.

Phoenix's light rail serves a VERY limited area. Most people that live in the Valley have a commute. Buses are also few and far between compared to other large cities. This is the land of the sprawl. It is highly recommended that you see the different neighbo(u)rhoods in person before deciding it is the right one for your investment, especially if you plan on spending time there in the future! In general, you get more for your investment money in the West Valley. EVERY area is hit by foreclosures, not just the burbs. But you get what you pay for. $85K will not buy you much in North Phoenix at all. You may be able (if you are lucky) to get a nice newer home in Surprise or Goodyear for that. Right now, though, competition is fierce, and all the good ones with potential cash flow are being scooped up quick.

North Central Phoenix has a wide variety of neighborhoods, in fact, you may see a mansion next to an apartment or mobile home park. It can vary a lot from one block to another. One area can be all pawn/gun shops & payday loans & strip clubs, less than a mile away will be hilltop mansions.

I do not recommend condos as an investment. With all the foreclosures, it is hard to find financing, making your resale value plummet. They may have huge condo fees, and you could be slapped with a special assessment at any time if they need to do work on the property. Condo managers can also be a headache, slapping you with fines at every opportunity they can. Some also have started imposing large fees every time you place a tenant. (actually I know of one single home family development that is also doing this. Be careful if you buy condo (or HOA for that matter). Condos are not necessarily all inclusive in the upkeep, either. We were responsible for repairing the roof and siding on our rental unit.

Why not focus on touring the different areas of the Valley when you come down, then focus on actually purchasing after doing your research?

Here's a crime map from the Phoenix Police Department. In general, hot spots are around large shopping malls such as metro center and Desert Sky Mall, down the I-17 corridor, and closer to downtown. All areas have crime of some sort at times, but in general the farther north you get from downtown the less crime. The I-17 corridor is notorious for car-theft. As a Real Estate Agent, I'm prevented by Federal Fair Housing Law from saying what a good area or bad area is. However, here's a link to the Arizona Buyer's Advisory which is a MUST read before you purchase in AZ.

I wish you the best. Good luck with your potential investment! P.S. from what part of Canada are you? I moved here from Calgary in '96.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:09 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,326,465 times
Reputation: 1174
Quote:
Originally Posted by S. Chris Webb View Post

Phoenix's light rail serves a VERY limited area. Most people that live in the Valley have a commute. Buses are also few and far between compared to other large cities. This is the land of the sprawl. It is highly recommended that you see the different neighbo(u)rhoods in person before deciding it is the right one for your investment, especially if you plan on spending time there in the future! In general, you get more for your investment money in the West Valley. EVERY area is hit by foreclosures, not just the burbs. But you get what you pay for. $85K will not buy you much in North Phoenix at all. You may be able (if you are lucky) to get a nice newer home in Surprise or Goodyear for that. Right now, though, competition is fierce, and all the good ones with potential cash flow are being scooped up quick.


I do not recommend condos as an investment. With all the foreclosures, it is hard to find financing, making your resale value plummet. They may have huge condo fees, and you could be slapped with a special assessment at any time if they need to do work on the property. Condo managers can also be a headache, slapping you with fines at every opportunity they can. Some also have started imposing large fees every time you place a tenant. (actually I know of one single home family development that is also doing this. Be careful if you buy condo (or HOA for that matter). Condos are not necessarily all inclusive in the upkeep, either. We were responsible for repairing the roof and siding on our rental unit.

Why not focus on touring the different areas of the Valley when you come down, then focus on actually purchasing after doing your research?

Here's a crime map from the Phoenix Police Department. In general, hot spots are around large shopping malls such as metro center and Desert Sky Mall, down the I-17 corridor, and closer to downtown. All areas have crime of some sort at times, but in general the farther north you get from downtown the less crime. The I-17 corridor is notorious for car-theft. As a Real Estate Agent, I'm prevented by Federal Fair Housing Law from saying what a good area or bad area is. However, here's a link to the Arizona Buyer's Advisory which is a MUST read before you purchase in AZ.

I wish you the best. Good luck with your potential investment! P.S. from what part of Canada are you? I moved here from Calgary in '96.
Moderator cut: RUDE The LR is 20 miles long.....
soon to be longer. Difficulty obtaining condo loans has already been factored into the prices. Mine is rented for 3.8 annual rent--who would even want to sell? You are allowed to back out of a condo deal if you don't find their financial statements satisfactory. I'll give you more info. later, but I have to get to work--walking of course, from my 18,500 Dollar cottage on 7200 square feet. I have great neighbors, also.

Last edited by Kimballette; 09-20-2011 at 05:10 PM.. Reason: RUDE
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:43 PM
 
Location: In the Deem Hills of NW Phoenix
800 posts, read 1,764,153 times
Reputation: 888
Moderator cut: snip

The LR is 20 miles long....."

And Phoenix is HOW big? Here is a link to the Phoenix Light Rail Page. As you can see, it doesn't even go into North Phoenix. It goes currently goes from West Bethany Home to Mesa. However, North Phoenix has several Park and Rides if you drive part way. I am not aware of any future developments into North Phoenix. From what I can see online, it is expected to go up to Metro Center by 2026. (I'm not sure Metro Center will still be around then). My own North Phoenix home is 19.5 miles from the nearest light rail stop. I don't think there's a bus route within 5 miles.

The condo association for our rental (first condo we bought, won't do it again) now charges $75 every time we place a tenant, and the condo fees are $165/month. Does not cover roof insurance. My father's condo also just slapped him with a huge assessment because the pool and fence required repairs. These aren't uncommon. If you have not had a special assessment, consider yourself lucky. Even if the financial affairs are in order when you buy, who knows what can happen years from now. I'm not saying this to scare you, it's just my personal experience.

Last edited by Kimballette; 09-20-2011 at 05:11 PM.. Reason: removed deleted comment
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:45 PM
 
205 posts, read 277,002 times
Reputation: 106
you should have no problem getting into a condo at that price but a SFH would be tough and in the areas you mentioned almost impossible without HOA fees. Why not finance? You can get into a way nicer house that way. As mentioned in this thread already competition for <100k houses are fierce. The really good deals in that range have been picked over. If you could go up to even 120k it makes a world of difference.

Btw the way you do not need to make two trips. You don't even have to make 1 if you don't want to. You can have the offer signed when you go down. Then the rest can be down via fax and email. When you sign the final escrow documents they will courier them out to you. You just need a lawyer to notarize the documents (for about $75 CAD) and then courier them back.

If you want more details about the process as a Canadian let me know. Also, my friend just found a really good handyman. His property manager tried to charge him $1100 in misc repairs and the handyman quote $250. Then he ended up only charging him $150 after the work was done. How is that for honesty!!! I am not the expert when it comes to all the areas in Phoenix but I am very good with the process as a Canadian when it comes to all the legal work and how to apply for things as a Canadian as I am one. PM me if you want more info. if you do let me know which city you are in.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 13,927,199 times
Reputation: 3862
Quote:
4. I will be in Phoenix for a week (or two) in late December or early January. What is the recommended steps I should take to make sure that I

- Find a place
- Put an offer on it
- Buy it
- Rent it

all within the time I have (1 - 2 weeks); is it even possible? How can I prepare?
  • Decide if you'll buy a condo or single family home
  • Determine your maximum price
  • Decide if you wish to buy in a high return high risk area, or a lower return, low risk area, safe area, and one more likely to appreciate with the rest of the valley
  • Decide if you will pay cash or get a mortgage
  • Open a US bank account
  • If mortgage, begin working with a mtg company that can work with Canadians
  • Narrow the general area down to either the city of Phoenix, west valley, or east valley
  • Further narrow down to a city, or two adjacent cities
  • Find one Realtor who has worked with Canadian investors, and who works in the area you choose, and work with that Realtor. S/he will guide you through the rest of the process.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:42 PM
 
10 posts, read 17,730 times
Reputation: 10
khuntrevor, S Chris Webb, Wodhiman, Captain Bill thank you!

Lots of information and things for me to ponder. Appreciate all the help so far.

What do you (and others) think about

- Mesa
- Surprise
- Goodyear
- Avondale
- El Mirage

for a Single Family Home as a Rental property (costing...about $75,000 - $90,000 Cash).

- What are the Pros and Cons of getting a SFH in that area for my price range?

- Most of the Single Family properties in that price range still have HOA. Is that normal for that area? Do the non HOA ones cost more? Or are they just rare and don't show up on my searches on realtor dot com ?

Thanks again !
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