In our last article, Deciding Where to Live in Phoenix – Part 1, I suggested five questions home buyers should ask themselves before they decide where to live in Phoenix. It wasn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but I think it’s a good start for anyone thinking of buying in the Phoenix area, especially if he/she has never lived here before. If you missed it, click on the article title above and give it a read. We’ll wait here for you until you return.
Now, today I’d like to continue with that same topic and give you one more idea. This suggestion will be particularly helpful to three types of home buyers.
1. Home buyers who have never lived in or visited Arizona before
2. Investors who want to know which parts of the Phoenix area are the most popular
3. Home buyers who want to live in vibrant communities where lots of other people are buying
What does the map above have to do with all of this?
A lot of people come to us every year and ask us where the best places to live in Phoenix are. While this map (nor ANY map, for that matter) can’t tell you if it’s the best place for you, it can tell you where the majority of buyers are looking at homes. More specifically, it is a map published by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) of how many lock boxes were opened in the Phoenix area each week, and in which zip codes. The bigger and hotter the circle is, the more lock boxes were opened in that zip code last week.
I realize that just because a lock box was opened doesn’t always mean it was opened to let a prospective home buyer in to see the house it’s on. It could have been opened by the listing agent so he or she could check on the house, it could have been opened by a home inspector, or it could have been opened by an appraiser, among several other reasons.
Most of the other methods used to gauge the strength of the real estate market (e.g. reporting the number of purchase contracts written last month, reporting the number of home sales closed last year, etc.) can only help us look back and see what has already happened. The map above helps us detect the popularity of certain zip codes versus others and estimate which of those zip codes will see more home sales in the next few months to come.
**END OF DISCLAIMER**
I can also appreciate the fact that not everyone will care where other buyers are looking right now. Instead, many home buyers will focus on asking themselves the questions I posed in Part 1 of this series. If you think about it, though, there are several reasons why you might want to have access to a map like this before you settle on your next home. Can you name any of the reasons? Post one of them in a comment below!
And, if you would like a copy of the latest Lockbox Activity Report, please contact us.
“Deciding Where to Live in Phoenix” is an ongoing series of articles, so if you’d like to read on, click over to “Deciding Where to Live in Phoenix – Part 3.”
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