Some Valley Buyers Report Sticker Shock Over Home Prices

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Back in the mid-1980s, before there was gray hair on my head, my wife and I went to a car dealership to purchase a new car.

It was a small dealership in a town much like Payson.

The sales clerk was a friend and as we walked the lot, we were all surprised to see the high prices on the vehicle stickers.

“You know things have changed when the salesman gets sticker shock too,” the salesperson said.

When the price of homes ramped up during the boom, many of us in the real estate industry also had sticker shock.

Frankly, we could not believe how fast prices were rising.

It did not make sense to us, but buyers and sellers along with supply and demand set the prices.

Today, many Realtors have reverse sticker shock with the depressed home prices well below replacement value.

Even though home prices in the Rim Country have fallen, Realtors still hear from potential buyers from the Valley and other parts of the country that prices are high.

What out of town buyers do not realize is that Rim Country housing prices have consistently mirrored the prices of Scottsdale.

The three words that make the difference between areas are location, location and location.

Here is an example: A friend was looking for a home in south Scottsdale. Typically, these homes are 40 to 50 years old, have single pane windows, and may or may not have some level of remodeling.

A typical home there is selling today for $160,000 to $180,000 depending on the size and condition. If you drive just 15 miles to east Mesa, you can get a home that is 25 years younger, has dual paned windows and a comparable size for $60,000 to $75,000.

Supply and demand, coupled with location does make a difference in the price of a home.

Getting back to our region, real estate is based on the local economy.

National housing figures do little in the way of giving clarity to what is happening in a particular housing market. People relocate to the Rim Country for fresh air, tall pines, the mild climate, a different way of life and soon, an ample supply of water — all adding to the cost.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.

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