August 2014 - Phoenix Real Estate Newsletter

To our valued clients:


I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. Remember whether you are buying a new or resale home it is important to have a realtor to represent your interests. If you know of anyone who is thinking about buying or selling please let me know.  You can search the MLS from my website at www.greathouseaz.com.


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Do you have a rental property and need a property manager?  Is your Homeowner's Association is looking for a new management company?  Please call or email Karen Van Vugt at 602-316-7028 or ftr9558@cox.net. Karen manages many rental units and several Homeowner's Associations in the greater Phoenix area.


Sincerely,

Pat Hune

Broker

greathouseaz@gmail.com

1st Southwest Realty

www.greathouseaz.com

Search the real MLS from my website!

Cell 480-703-1976

Fax 480-304-9099

Tempe, AZ

Equal Housing Opportunity



Market Overview -  Once again I could just cut and past last month’s newsletter as not much has changed.  Prices are going up albeit slowly, inventory remains low and the sales are flat.  I disagree with some analysts who think the Phoenix housing market is in a slump.  Prices have gone up 11% from a year ago but the price increases have slowed down.  This is making my buyers very happy.  My sellers are also happy as the value of their homes is 11% higher than a year ago.  This is certainly better than an 11% decrease. There was more to celebrate as the new home builders saw their highest monthly total of new single-family construction permits in more than 2 years.  The number of new-home sales increased 5% from May 2014 to June 2014.  An example of a good news is bad news scenario is there is still a shortage of lower priced homes for the entry level buyers.  Foreclosures, which typically sell for less than a normal sale, have dropped 35% from a year ago which is good news.  But less distressed homes mean there are less bargains for the entry level buyer.


Mortgage Changes Motivate Buyers - Fannie Mae announced in July that effective August 16, 2014 the waiting period to purchase a home after a short sale would increase from two years to four years. The good news is these buyers will be able to follow standard Fannie Mae guidelines and put down as little as 5%.  If the short sale was due to the loss of a job or wages the waiting period may still be reduced to two years depending the strength of the buyer’s documentation of the hardship.  Buyers who were under contract by August 15 would still be able to buy.  This change caused a flurry of activity in mid-August as buyers who wanted to buy now raced to beat the deadline.  


USDA is changing the areas eligible for Section 502 loans effective October 1, 2014.  San Tan Valley, Queen Creek and Casa Grande are some of the cities in the Phoenix area that will no longer be eligible. USDA loans are geared towards buyers with low incomes and good credit who want to buy a principal residence in rural areas.   These loans are attractive because buyers can finance 100% of the purchase price, the mortgage insurance premiums are lower than FHA and the interest rates rates are often lower than FHA, VA and conventional loans.  I think this change will motivate buyers to write contracts in these cities before the USDA loans are no longer available.


We have enjoyed incredibly low mortgage interest rates for several years.  Rates started to increase in November 2013 and then fell back to 4.14% in May 2014.  The low rates are due to the Federal Reserve policy.  The Fed influences short term interest rates through the control of the federal funds rate.  They also influence long-term rates by buying Treasury and mortgage backed bonds. Industry analysts predict the Fed will stop their purchases and increase the federal funds rate in October 2014.  When this happens mortgage rates will go up meaning buyers will get less house for their money.   My crystal ball is a little cloudy but I think when the interest rates start going up buyers will get more aggressive about buying.


Articles

1)  STAT Newsletter, PPI and Rent Check Link 

2)  True Life and Renova Exercise Reata Ranch Option in Scottsdale

3)  Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa in top 10 for Working Parents

4)  Real Estate Briefs

     a)  CRE Lending by Banks Surpasses Pre-Recession Levels

     b)  Mesa Envisions Bigger Jobs Hub at Falcon Field  

     c)  Chandler Council set to vote on fate of ‘Elevation’  

     d)  How to Stop Some of Those Annoying Sales Calls

5)  Tales from the Real Estate Trenches


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1) STAT Newsletter Link - STAT is produced monthly  by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service - the database realtors use to list homes for sale and that have sold.   ARMLS® COPYRIGHT 2014


August STAT


STAT Newsletter Highlights

Commentary by Tom Ruff, Information Market


For the last year I’ve been faced with the challenge of seeking new ways to describe a real estate market that has been uninspiring but consistent. As we report data for July 2014, I’m faced with the same challenge, how to repackage boring. There were no surprises in July with the median sales price, average sales price or total sales volume. They all came in as expected. The ARMLS Pending Price index for July 2014 projected a 1% rise in the median sales price to $197,000, an average sales price of $249,200 with a projected sales volume around 6,600. The final numbers were $197,000, $249,700and 6,775 respectively. The reason I point out the accuracy of our projections is simply to say our market is and has been quite “dependable.”


The charts for July speak for themselves shouting more of the same with only a couple minor exceptions. The most interesting change comes under the heading of new inventory. For the second consecutive month, first in June and now July, we’ve seen the lowest total of new listings for each of these months respectively in the 14 years ARMLS has been reporting this data. This possible trend, if it continues, will have significant implications moving forward. One final point to consider when viewing the numbers this month — we are now through “our season.” History tells us sales volume will decline each month through November as was the case in July. Sale volume in July was 6.2% lower than June.


Real estate is a cyclical business, and our current phase just turned one year old this past week. A cycle by its very definition is a repeated sequence of events. The characteristics of our present phase include flat prices, tepid demand, and typical supply. Sales volume figures and sales price data receive the bulk of media attention each month, while very few pundits discuss the dramatic improvement we’ve seen in the composition of our sales. There has been a measurable shift away from a market once dominated by distressed sales and investor purchases to a much healthier more traditional market.


While I’ve struggled with new ways to describe this maturing phase where sales volume is less than desirable but where the quality of these sales is improving, our journalistic friends this month had no such problems. In July I saw several reports where the mundane numbers of the past few months were packaged into something truly astonishing.


July 19, 2014, CNBC - “Phoenix is a lesson in housing abuse. From boom to bust, to recovery to relapse, Phoenix housing is forever rising and falling, and now it is falling again. The rest of the nation should take notice.”  “The numbers in Phoenix now paint an ugly picture: Regular resales are down 2 percent from a year  ago. Sales of newly built homes are down 4 percent. Short sales and preforeclosure sales are down  73 percent and sales of bank-owned homes are down 20 percent, all according to Arizona State University.  Meanwhile the number of active listings is up 69 percent from a year ago.”


August 14, 2014, Phoenix Business Journal - Headlines: “Why Phoenix is in a housing slump (again)”  “…..couldn’t have picked a worse time to try to sell.”


The amazing aspect of each of these stories is the data referenced is correct and the expert quoted is spot on. The only thing inaccurate about these stories is the message conveyed by the reporters. Whenever I see a story where the data is correct and the expert’s analysis is perfect, but somehow the tone and direction are skewed 180 degrees, I can only draw one conclusion. The composer must live in an alternative universe where up is down and down is up.


Rent Check - Rent Check is an ARMLS's  publication tracking single family home rentals.  Click on the link for the statistics.


Rent Stats


Commercial Real Estate Trends


Current Phoenix market trends data indicates an increase of +7.4% in the median asking price per unit for Multifamily properties compared to the prior 3 months, with an increase of +10.7% compared to last year's prices. County-wide, asking prices for Multifamily properties are 6.0% higher at $52,245 per unit compared to the current median price of $52,318 per unit for Multifamily properties in Phoenix, AZ.


Loopnet Commercial Trends


(The areas and property types  included in the MLS  statistics are:  The figures shown are for the entire Arizona Regional area as defined by ARMLS. All residential resale transactions recorded by ARMLS are  included. Geographically, this includes Maricopa county, the majority  of Pinal county and a small part of Yavapai county. In addition, "out  of area" listings recorded in ARMLS are included, although these constitute a very small percentage (typically less than 1%) of total  sales and have very little effect on the statistics.  All dwelling types are included. For-sale-by-owner, trustee auctions  and other non-MLS transactions are not included. Land, commercial units, and multiple dwelling units are also excluded.  In addition very few new new home builders list their new homes in the MLS so these numbers are tracked separately in the RL Brown Reports.)


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2) True Life and Renova Exercise Reata Ranch Option in Scottsdale

Paul Dionne, Vizzda, Vizzda, August 2014


Just days before it was set to expire, local developer Taber Anderson’s True Life Companies—with backing from Russian Conglomerate, Renova Group—has exercised its option to purchase more than 160 acres of vacant land previously platted for residential development in Scottsdale. The $10.5m purchase price was fully financed by YAM Management—the real estate investment vehicle for founder and former chairman of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons. Parsons has made several acquisitions in the area recently and has financed the acquisition of distressed property by others in both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.


Anderson took the site—located at the southeast corner of 132nd Street and Dynamite—through the entitlement process in 2007 and final plat of Desert Estates at Pinnacle Peak was approved in December of that year. Located within the 220-acre Reata Ranch assemblage, Desert Estates is 160.045 gross acres platted for 73 custom home lots for an overall density of 0.45 density units per acre. Plans changed in 2012, however, when plans to develop the property as a 330 room ranch lodging featuring thirty-five lodge units, seventy five cabins, 120 casitas and 100 villas.


The seller in the transaction was Paul and Pamela Austin of Toronto, Canada, in care of local real estate broker, Saul Moretsky. The Austins previously acquired this parcel in two transactions in 1985 and had also taken the property through entitlement prior to selling to Anderson for $19m in July of 2007 and carrying back $15.75m in purchase money debt. Anderson and Renova ended up returning the land to the Austins, but retained an option to purchase the property. This option was previously set to expire in 2011 but was modified to extend the deadline until August 31st of this year. The prior seller carry debt with the Austins was released with the current sale.


The planned lodging use—as well as Parsons’ financing of the deal—recall the recent settlement between Jerry Ayoub and iStar over the site of the planned Ritz Carlton in Paradise Valley. In that case, Parsons issued a $55m deed of trust secured by the Ritz Carlton site in June which allowed Ayoub to retain control of the troubled project. While it is unclear what percentage of the settlement amount is comprised of that debt, as that information was not disclosed in court documents, should either of these sponsors default on their obligation to YAM Management, Parsons can foreclose on the respective property at a much lower cost basis than would otherwise be possible in the open market.


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3)  Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa Cities in top 10 for Working Parents

Eric Mungenast, Tribune, August 2014


A list compiled by a financial website and a business publication has listed three East Valley cities as among the nation’s best places for working families. Nerdwallet — a site that analyzes areas like banking, real estate and other fiscal topics — and Business Insider compiled a list of the best cities in the United States for working parents to live. The publications formed the list by ranking cities by four metrics weighted evenly, starting with the affordability to live there. The affordability is based on median income and other costs like real estate taxes, utilities and fuel costs. Also evaluated were child care costs based on state averages, and the final two areas were the quality of a city’s schools based on metrics by the website GreatSchools.org and the number of households with children in the municipality.


The resulting list of 25 top cities featured five cities in Arizona, with Chandler and Mesa finishing in the top 10 and Gilbert placing first by a sizable margin. “It’s another great feather in the cap of Gilbert,” said Gilbert Councilmember Jordan Ray.  Ray attributed the ranking to several factors, among them the town’s strong public safety reputation, the quality of the school districts that educate the town’s students, and jobs not too far from home. Mayor John Lewis, who said 70 percent of households in Gilbert have children, also mentioned the safety factor and added amenities like the parks and businesses like AZ Ice Gilbert that offer youth options.  “We have more to offer for quality of life,” Lewis said.


Chandler Councilmember Jack Sellers had a similar reaction to his city’s third-place listing, and said Chandler earned its rating due in part to relationships forged with local school districts and organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley. He added the rating also indicates city leadership is listening to requests made by residents to improve Chandler.  “It means a lot for the city; it’s nice to have something that tells you that we’re working and it’s right,” he said.

Interim Mesa Mayor Alex Finter, whose city rounded out Nerdwallet’s and Business Insider’s top 10, said the city’s placement on the list is due to factors like safety, the area school districts and things Mesa has done to make it more amenable to families. He mentioned a project that involved paving canal roads to make them more biker friendly and the addition of shade structures and lights to parks as examples.  The city also completed a revamp of Riverview Park earlier this year, all of which combined to improve Mesa’s quality of life.  “That’s what puts Mesa on this wonderful list,” he said. The elected officials for the three municipalities said the benefits of making lists like this is the incentive it gives for residents and even businesses to add those cities as possible places to relocate.


Families doing research on where to move, for example, might find the list and consider it as a factor in their decision to make Mesa, Chandler or Gilbert their home.  “It will just add another look at Gilbert,” Lewis said. The other two Arizona cities to make the list were Glendale and Scottsdale, which placed at 14 and 11, respectively.


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4) Real Estate Briefs


a)  CRE Lending by Banks Surpasses Pre-Recession Levels

Mark Heschmeyer, CoStar, September 2014


U.S. bank lending on commercial real estate has now rebounded to levels not seen since before the Great Recession, but loans from those heady days of 2007 are still acting as a drag on bank coffers, though much less of one. The total volume of CRE loans made by banks as of June 30 is now 2% higher than it was going into the summer of 2007. Total CRE loans on the books of the nation’s 6,680 FDIC-insured banks stands at $1.63 trillion vs $1.60 trillion as of March 31, 2007, according to the latest FDIC numbers released last week. Those numbers also continue to show the damage done by the two-year long real estate-fueled recession and the five years of climbing back. There are 1,982 fewer insured bank and savings institutions today than there were then, and the ones remaining are saddled with 528% more foreclosed properties on their books than reported in March 2007. Total ‘other real estate owned’ (i.e. foreclosed upon) properties on bank books stands at a hefty $14.16 billion today vs just $2.26 billion seven years ago. 


Residential construction and development properties make up more than half of the foreclosed inventory. In fact, construction and development lending is still the one segment of banks' CRE lending that has not recovered from the recession. The total amount of such loans is down 62% than it was in March 2007: $223 billion today vs. $582 billion then. Despite the steady increase in commercial property values, U.S. banks are still losing money in disposing of their foreclosed properties, although their losses are decreasing. Overall this year, banks have lost $11.83 million on the sale of distressed properties, down significantly from the $352 million banks lost on the sale of foreclosed properties in all of 2013. Outside of construction and development lending, every other segment of CRE lending has surpassed pre-recession levels. Multifamily lending is up 47% to $281 billion; owner-occupied property lending is up 39% to $477 billion; and non-residential investment property lending is up 35% to $649 billion. 


The improvement in CRE lending is also reflected in the declining delinquency level of bank loans. According to the FDIC, noncurrent loan balances improved for a 17th consecutive quarter, falling by $13.4 billion (6.9%) during the three months ended June 30. At the end of the quarter, the industry’s noncurrent loan rate was 2.24 percent, the lowest level since second quarter 2008. Noncurrent real estate loans secured by nonfarm nonresidential properties fell by $1.9 billion (9.6%), and even noncurrent real estate construction loans declined by $1.2 billion (15.9%), according to the FDIC.  

FDIC-insured banks reported total net income of $40.2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up $2 billion (5.3%) from a year earlier. "We saw further improvement in the banking industry during the second quarter," FDIC chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said. "Net income was up, asset quality improved, loan balances grew at their fastest pace since 2007, and loan growth was broad-based across institutions and loan types." 


"However, challenges remain, Gruenberg added. "Institutions have been extending asset maturities, which is raising concerns about interest-rate risk. And banks have been increasing higher-risk loans to leveraged commercial borrowers. These issues are matters of ongoing supervisory attention. Nonetheless, on balance, results from the second quarter reflect a stronger banking industry and stronger community banks." 


b)  Mesa Envisions Bigger Jobs Hub at Falcon Field 

Parker Leavitt, Arizona Republic, September  2014


Amid acres of orange groves and beneath an increasingly crowded sky, the area surrounding Falcon Field has steadily grown into one of the area’s primary employment centers, with nearly 19K jobs and major manufacturers like Boeing and MD Helicopters.  Mesa officials now hope to awaken a greater potential within the 35-square-mile chunk of north Mesa with a new strategic plan focusing on business attraction, retention and marketing.


The Falcon Strategic Visioning Commission, created in April by Mayor Alex Finter, this week wrapped up its work on a 26-page document that seeks to further establish the area as a hub for aerospace, defense, finance and tourism.  Mesa and other Southeast Valley municipalities in recent years have been largely focused on developing an employment base around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, where companies like Apple, Able Engineering and Cessna have made significant investments.  The plan calls for tools like flexible zoning, marketing campaigns and perhaps a foreign-trade zone to help spur private-sector development. It also recommends a feasibility study into a possible “mega sports complex” on city-owned orange groves to generate more tourism.  Officials will work to attract at least 950 new high-wage jobs and $25M in capital investment around Falcon Field over the next three years, according to the draft document.


c)  Chandler Council set to vote on fate of ‘Elevation' 

Tony Gennario, Tribune,  August 2014


The long-awaited demise of the Elevation Chandler building is now entering its final stages.

Final development agreements about the project are on the agenda for the Sept. 8 Chandler City Council. The six-story tension steel skeleton will be down near the end of the year if all is approved.  “It has been a mess of a property … we want to get the development agreement done to move forward and close on the land,” said Chandler Vice Mayor Rick Heumann.  Elevation Chandler, which will remain the name of the property, has been abandoned since 2006 when original developer Jeff Cline had financial issues and construction was halted.  The city is taking precaution after the failure of the first project eight years ago. Chandler City Councilmember Nora Ellen said the city is inserting impact fees into the agreement with Hines — the developer looking to purchase the land — that will include a non-refundable demolition fee. The worst-case scenario for the city is the current eyesore will be gone.


An in-with-the-new process will begin for Elevation Chandler, pending the aforementioned approvals. First priority for the new Chandler Veridian project is a multi-family housing development on the south side of the plot. The housing development may even break ground before or during the taking down process of the current structure as they are on opposite ends of the property.  Class A office buildings and a hotel are also in the plans. The hotel, whose brand has not yet been announced or agreed upon, will be on the northwest corner of Frye Road and Galleria Way. The nearly 240,000 square feet of space cleared for office buildings will be built right around where the existing structure sits.  Retail shopping is not an immediate concern for the plot. Chandler City Councilmember Kevin Hartke believes the area calls for more housing and office buildings than shops as it is located across the street from Chandler Fashion Center.  “One of the things we don’t want there is a whole lot of retail. We don’t want to over-retail or under-house the area,” he said.


While there may not be a necessity or an overwhelming demand for shopping in the area, there will still be a handful of stores located within the shopping center. This could, however, provide a challenge when filling out the property. Heumann said finding tenants for the retail portion will be a difficult process when the time comes, as the vicinity to the mall and the surrounding of office buildings does not make it a desirable spot for consumers.  The entire project could take up to two years until it is fully completed, but the good news for residents and frequenters of the area is that construction should not drastically impede or obstruct traffic on the road. The majority of the work will be done far enough inside the property where there will be no need to block off any roads, said City of Chandler Planning Administrator Jeff Kurtz.  “There won’t be exceedingly exhaustive construction making its way onto the roads” he said.

While the final phases and documents are yet to be completed and filled out, anticipation and excitement for the removal of one of the biggest structural blemishes in the city of Chandler remains high.  


“It’s a shame the building can’t come down in a day. We were ready to have a wrecking ball party, but we probably will celebrate at the beginning and the end of it,” Ellen said.      


d) How to Stop Some of Those Annoying Sales Calls

Pat Hune, 1st Southwest Realty, September 2014


When the “Do Not Call List” came out we all did the happy dance. Well except for the telemarketing companies and their employees.  For a few years most people received very few those annoying sales calls that always seemed to coincide with the evening meal or when one was in the middle of something important.  In mid 2012 there seemed to be a resurgence of those calls with no way to stop them.  And instead of live people they are now computerized voices or robo calls.  Personally speaking I am very tired of Gwen calling to tell me how to reduce my credit card interest. In addition she lies to me every time telling me this is my “final notice”.  


Recently I accidentally discovered a way to block some of these calls on my iPhone.  The function is at the bottom of the screen and you have to scroll down to find it.  I am sure most cell phones have this function so check with your service provider.

After you have hung up on the caller do the following:

Press Phone

Select Recent Calls

Find the phone number that called 

Touch the “i” and the details of the call should appear, i.e. phone number, when it was received, call duration, etc.

Touch the screen to scroll all the way to the bottom until you see the works “Block this Caller” 

Touch the words and message appears confirming you want to block this caller or cancel. 


If you are wondering what happens to the blocked calls they automatically go to voicemail and appear under Deleted Messages.  Unfortunately the iPhone keeps these voicemails, along with others you have deleted just in case you want to retrieve, so be sure to delete them or your voicemail will get full.  


Some of the wily companies have figured out people are blocking the calls. They circumvent this by rotating the numbers or blocking the number so it says No Caller ID.  Since some of my clients do the same with their numbers I am stuck answering these calls. 


In addition to blocking the calls make sure to check the website at Do No Call Registry to confirm your number is registered.  



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5)  Tales from the Real Estate Trenches

Pat Hune, Broker at 1st Southwest Realty


Do live-in caretakers for vacant homes work?  First what are live-in caretakers?  To make vacant high-end homes more marketable, two Valley companies, Show­homes and HomeTenders of America, provide live-in caretaking services, complete with furniture and accessories.  There are benefits for everyone involved, representatives say.  Sellers get their homes professionally staged without having to pay for it or the furniture rental. Not having to rent furniture can mean a savings of $6,000, likely more, a month, said Janelle Joyce, who owns one of the two Valley franchises of Showhomes. Reed owns the other.

Sellers also don't have to pay monthly utility bills or for upkeep on the home. They also don't pay for the live-in caretaking services, although there may be a small fee at time of escrow.  Management companies make their money from the fees the live-in managers pay. At any given time, they have up to 30 or 40 homes with live-in managers.  Potential buyers get to view decorated homes instead of empty ones. They can better visualize how their furniture will look rather than being perplexed by bare rooms that have no personality.  Live-in managers get to live in high-end homes for a fraction of the cost. They pay a fee — typically about a third of the cost it would be to rent such a home — to the management company, plus they pay the utilities and yard and pool care.


There are drawbacks. (This is an understatement.)

Live-in managers have to keep the homes impeccably clean so that the home can be shown at a 30-minute or hour's notice.  "You have to make your bed every day," Joyce said, laughing. "That's just the beginning of it.”  Toilet seats must be down. Sinks must be free of debris. Granite kitchen counters must be clear of spots. There can be no clutter.  "Everything has to look perfect," she said.  Managers must leave if a home is going to be shown to potential buyers. And if the home is sold? They generally have up to a month to move. And it's usually to another for-sale vacant luxury home.  The nomadic lifestyle attracts a certain type of person, said John Bezik, who with his wife, Cyndee, owns HomeTenders of America, based in Scottsdale. The couple also are live-in caretakers of a luxury home.  "This is good for people in transition, people getting relocated, for people who don't want a long-term lease," he said. It also attracts people who have gone through bankruptcies, divorces, short sales and foreclosures "so they can get their credit together.”  Most of the managers have previously lived in luxury homes and so have the furnishings to match, he said. But they need a place to live.  Being a home caretaker allows them to retain the lifestyle while not having to pay the high price, he said. And they don't have to pay for a storage unit for their furniture. The staged homes typically sell in four to five months but may take from two months to a year, Joyce said. Show­homes homes generally range from 4,000 to 15,000 square feet, with larger homes and some architectural styles, such as ultra contemporary, taking longer to sell, she said.  Caretakers, who must pass background checks, are matched with homes that fit the style of their furnishings.  


From my personal  experience sellers may think a temporary live-in caretaker/temporary tenant is a good idea but they are mistaken. Who would not want to save on the utilities, lawn and pool service maintenance and avoid the cost of staging? Staging a luxury home could cost as much as $5,000.   I recently hired one of these services because the sellers were short on funds and I was trying to save them money while their $500,000 Tempe home was up for sale.   I checked references of the care taker service I used but it did not help. The tenant did not keep the house clean, properly maintain the pool or take care of the landscaping. When I needed to get people in to see the house it was a fight - not the promised 30 minute notice.  Here is the story.


Arrangements were made several days in advance for the buyer (who was coming in from out of town) to see the house.  The tenant cancelled at the last minute at 7AM. The service was no help in getting the tenant to comply because they don't answer their phones until 9AM and there is no emergency number. During the process of trying to gain access to the house the tenant became very confrontational. Now I had an angry tenant living in a hall million dollar house with my staging items. Images of the potential damage she could do were running through my head and they were not pretty.

I had staged the house with my personal staging items. When the tenant left she took some of my staging items, had damaged some of them, had not done the landscaping and the house and pool was filthy. There was damage to two bedroom walls which was not repaired. I did not get back the garage door openers or keys.  When I asked the service to fix these items or give me compensation so I could take care of them they fought me every step of the way. When I spoke to the care taker owners they were rude, condescending and defensive. They kept pointing out they were not responsible for any damages to the furnishings in the house or cleaning them based on the contract. They complained because dealing with this situation was taking too much of their "personal time". When I mentioned how much of my "personal time" it was taking they just laughed. I guess they felt their time was more valuable than mine.  


It took me over a week to get the landscaping and cleaning completed, other repairs done and the keys and garage door openers back. I probably should have rekeyed the house given the attitude of the tenant. But I was trying to save the sellers money so I did not. Luckily we closed escrow shortly after the tenant left and the new owners promptly rekeyed the house as they were aware of the tenant issues.

There is an old saying if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Though these services sound like a good idea they are not. If the service places a problem tenant they do nothing to remedy the situation. Based on my experience, the attitude of the caretaker company owners and the time, money and aggravation it cost me I would not recommend this service to anyone.