The Phoenix, Arizona market has seen some unique challenges over the past few months. Now, before you e-mail me and say “what are you talking about? The last few months?!” I know. I know. We’ve been experiencing challenges since 2007. But what I mean when I say the last few months is this.
There is now and always is a pool of first time home buyers in any market. With severely depressed prices there is no middle market here. Those who are not forced to sell are sitting tight and not moving. So there really have become only three viable buyers in this market, the first time home buyer, the relocation buyer and the investor. (One could also include the government in this discussion but we’ll leave that for another day).
The first time home buyer and the relocation buyer are competing against cash paying investors for the best properties on the market. One year ago these investors were doing “fix and flips’. That is, buying the property for a deep discount at foreclosure auction, and fixing them up and selling to first time home buyers at fair market prices. The home buyer was getting a newly remodeled house and it was good business for everyone. But then the “buy and rent” crowd moved in. The “buy and rent” investor is willing to pay a higher price for the house then the “fix and flip” investor because they don’t have to worry about reselling the house right away. Demand for rentals has risen and with it so have rental rates. The fix and flip investor is now being squeezed out of the market. There is less inventory available for fix and flip investor and the first time home buyer to buy. What is the answer then?
Many home buyers are now going back to new builder homes. Although the new builder home prices are seemingly still a bit too high in most parts of town.. Another idea is to buy the bank REO that is in disrepair and use the 203(k) program to remodel the house.
Consider this example using simple math. Let’s say a home is priced at $80,000 but it needs $20,000 worth of work. If that home were completely fixed up and on the market today it could be sold for $100,000. The fix and flip investor does not want to buy this house. There is no immediate profit in it. The buy and rent investor is also going to be hesitant because even though rents are high they are still not wanting to buy a house at 100% of market value. Cash buyers want a discount. Enter the first time home buyer and the 203(k) program. The home buyer can buy the house, use the money to do all the renovation work and have a home that cost them exactly what is worth today.
If a Buyer’s Agent wants to dramatically increase the pool of available homes for their client to look at then consider the fixer-upper house and utilize the 203(k) loan. If a Listing Agent wants to increase the pool of buyers and command a higher price for the listing then he/she should also employ this strategy. First hire a HUD qualified 203(k) consultant to examine the home and make recommendations for repairs. Then hire a General Contractor that is HUD trained and knows how to work with the product. The end result is a remodeled house with all the appointments picked out by the home buyer and a happy customer.
For more information on how to qualify for the FHA 203(k) program and how this loan can work for you contact Duckworth Lending Group at (480) 359-5682. We are ready to guide you through this process.