Phoenix area real estate

On a regular basis our team will discuss or share articles pertaining to the real estate market in the Phoenix metropolitan area. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing what we feel is important.

Feb. 21, 2018

No HOA Homes | 80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

No HOA Homes | 80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

 

Finding the right home in Scottsdale AZ can be a difficult process. This is why we have integrated fully with all the data on the local MLS and became the real estate source to thousands of home buyers in the Scottsdale Arizona region.    

In order for most consumers to take advantage of a complete list of homes, we’ve created the perfect system for you. We can provide customized search angles towards your unique search criteria such as NO HOA Homes in the Scottsdale area.    

Our #1 goal is to be helpful, not a nuisance. There is no obligation required from you when searching for homes and/or even asking questions about the homes you may find appealing.     

We look forward to earning your trust and respect with our extensive local knowledge and stellar real estate services. I invite you to put our experience of the area to the test, we pride ourselves in our expertise inside our local real estate market.    

Today, I would like to talk to you about 80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

 

According to the latest Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of surveyed renters desire to own a home in the future, with 80% believing homeownership is a big part of achieving their American Dream. 

The profile went on to state that 50% of millennials believe that their rent will increase, with 20% believing that an increase in rent will be the catalyst that pushes them to consider buying a home vs. renewing their lease.

 

So, what is holding renters back?

 

 What would make renters take the plunge?

 

“Housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher.”

Yun goes on to warn that,

“However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist. That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner.”

 

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners whose houses no longer fit their needs and are looking to move up to your dream home, now is a great time to list your starter home! First-time buyers are out in force looking to achieve their American Dream.

 

Source.. KCM John Doering Blog

 

Thank you for visiting https://www.4salearizona.com We pride ourselves being a complete real estate website for all your home buying and selling needs, including finding homes with no HOA.  

We are located in Scottsdale Arizona and I encourage you to check out our website for local neighborhood, school details, mortgage information, interactive maps and all the listings available for homes for sale. 

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Scottsdale Arizona real estate market.  

Thank You, 

John Doering  

HomeSmart International 

8388 E Hartford Dr, Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4salearizona.com 

602–373–1683    

 

 

Posted in No HOA Homes
Feb. 14, 2018

No HOA Homes | Which Comes First… Marriage or Mortgage?

No HOA Homes | Which Comes First… Marriage or Mortgage?

 

Finding the right home in Scottsdale AZ can be a difficult process. This is why we have integrated fully with all the data on the local MLS and became the real estate source to thousands of home buyers in the Scottsdale Arizona region.   

In order for most consumers to take advantage of a complete list of homes, we’ve created the perfect system for you. We can provide customized search angles towards your unique search criteria such as NO HOA Homes in the Scottsdale area.   

Our #1 goal is to be helpful, not a nuisance. There is no obligation required from you when searching for homes and/or even asking questions about the homes you may find appealing.    

We look forward to earning your trust and respect with our extensive local knowledge and stellar real estate services. I invite you to put our experience of the area to the test, we pride ourselves in our expertise inside our local real estate market.   

Today, I would like to talk to you about Which Comes First… Marriage or Mortgage?

 

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable. 

But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 16% of all first-time buyers last year. 

If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2017, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers. A recent report pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their own homes rather than rent someone else’s. 

Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2017 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

 

Bottom Line

You may not be that much different than those who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is already within your grasp!

 

Source.. KCM John Doering Blog

 

Thank you for visiting https://www.4salearizona.com We pride ourselves being a complete real estate website for all your home buying and selling needs, including finding homes with no HOA.  

We are located in Scottsdale Arizona and I encourage you to check out our website for local neighborhood, school details, mortgage information, interactive maps and all the listings available for homes for sale. 

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Scottsdale Arizona real estate market.  

Thank You, 

John Doering  

HomeSmart International 

8388 E Hartford Dr, Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4salearizona.com 

602–373–1683       

 

 

Posted in Scottsdale
Feb. 9, 2018

No HOA Homes | 5 Reasons to Love Using A Real Estate Pro

No HOA Homes | 5 Reasons to Love Using A Real Estate Pro 

 

Finding the right home in Scottsdale AZ can be a difficult process. This is why we have integrated fully with all the data on the local MLS and became the real estate source to thousands of home buyers in the Scottsdale Arizona region.  

In order for most consumers to take advantage of a complete list of homes, we’ve created the perfect system for you. We can provide customized search angles towards your unique search criteria such as NO HOA Homes in the Scottsdale area.  

Our #1 goal is to be helpful, not a nuisance. There is no obligation required from you when searching for homes and/or even asking questions about the homes you may find appealing.   

We look forward to earning your trust and respect with our extensive local knowledge and stellar real estate services. I invite you to put our experience of the area to the test, we pride ourselves in our expertise inside our local real estate market.  

Today, I would like to talk to you about 5 Reasons to Love Using A Real Estate Pro 

 

Highlights:

* Hiring a real estate professional to guide you through the process of buying a home or selling your house can be one of the best decisions    you make!

* They are there for you to help with paperwork, understanding the process, negotiations, and helping you with pricing (both when making an    offer or setting the right price for your home).

* One of the top reasons to hire a real estate professional is their understanding of your local market and how the conditions in your    neighborhood will impact your experience.

 

Source.. KCM John Doering Blog

 

Thank you for visiting https://www.4salearizona.com We pride ourselves being a complete real estate website for all your home buying and selling needs, including finding homes with no HOA.  

We are located in Scottsdale Arizona and I encourage you to check out our website for local neighborhood, school details, mortgage information, interactive maps and all the listings available for homes for sale. 

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Scottsdale Arizona real estate market.  

Thank You, 

John Doering  

HomeSmart International 

8388 E Hartford Dr, Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4salearizona.com 

602–373–1683      

 

 

Posted in Scottsdale
Feb. 7, 2018

No HOA Homes | Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

No HOA Homes | Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

 

Finding the right home in Scottsdale AZ can be a difficult process. This is why we have integrated fully with all the data on the local MLS and became the real estate source to thousands of home buyers in the Scottsdale Arizona region. 

In order for most consumers to take advantage of a complete list of homes, we’ve created the perfect system for you. We can provide customized search angles towards your unique search criteria such as NO HOA Homes in the Scottsdale area. 

Our #1 goal is to be helpful, not a nuisance. There is no obligation required from you when searching for homes and/or even asking questions about the homes you may find appealing.  

We look forward to earning your trust and respect with our extensive local knowledge and stellar real estate services. I invite you to put our experience of the area to the test, we pride ourselves in our expertise inside our local real estate market. 

Today, I would like to talk to you about Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

 

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search. 

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

 

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

 

Bottom Line 

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

 

Source.. KCM John Doering Blog

 

Thank you for visiting https://www.4salearizona.com We pride ourselves being a complete real estate website for all your home buying and selling needs, including finding homes with no HOA. 

We are located in Scottsdale Arizona and I encourage you to check out our website for local neighborhood, school details, mortgage information, interactive maps and all the listings available for homes for sale.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Scottsdale Arizona real estate market. 

Thank You, 

John Doering 

HomeSmart International

8388 E Hartford Dr, Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4salearizona.com

602–373–1683      

 

 

Posted in Scottsdale
Jan. 31, 2018

No HOA Homes - Scottsdale Arizona | If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

No HOA Homes - Scottsdale Arizona | If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

 

Finding the right home in Scottsdale AZ can be a difficult process. This is why we have integrated fully with all the data on the local MLS and became the real estate source to thousands of home buyers in the Scottsdale Arizona region.

In order for most consumers to take advantage of a complete list of homes, we’ve created the perfect system for you. We can provide customized search angles towards your unique search criteria such as NO HOA Homes in the Scottsdale area.

Our #1 goal is to be helpful, not a nuisance. There is no obligation required from you when searching for homes and/or even asking questions about the homes you may find appealing. 

We look forward to earning your trust and respect with our extensive local knowledge and stellar real estate services. I invite you to put our experience of the area to the test, we pride ourselves in our expertise inside our local real estate market.

Today, I would like to talk to you about If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

 

Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!

 

How did we finish 2017?

 

1.- New-home sales were at their highest level in a decade.

2.- Sales of previously owned homes were at their highest level in more than a decade.

3.- Starts of single-family homes were their strongest in a decade and applications to build such properties advanced to the fastest pace since August 2007.

 

And Bloomberg Business just reported: 

“America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.” 

And the National Association of Realtors revealed that buyer traffic is stronger this winter than it was during the spring buying season last year. 

The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 9.7% from the same time last year.

 

Bottom Line

With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together to see whether that is the case in your neighborhood.

 

Source.. KCM John Doering Blog

 

Thank you for visiting https://www.4salearizona.com We pride ourselves being a complete real estate website for all your home buying and selling needs, including finding homes with no HOA. 

We are located in Scottsdale Arizona and I encourage you to check out our website for local neighborhood, school details, mortgage information, interactive maps and all the listings available for homes for sale.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Scottsdale Arizona real estate market. 

Thank You, 

John Doering 

HomeSmart International

8388 E Hartford Dr, Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255

4salearizona.com

602–373–1683     

 

 

Posted in Scottsdale
Jan. 25, 2018

Vacation Rentals as Investments

 Vacation Rentals

So you just got back from your vacation where you rented a vacation rental condo and you are wondering; why don’t I buy a vacation rental and make bank!!

 

Well, you can. I have. It’s something that can definitely make you money and can be a great short term and long term investment. Unfortunately, there are some major issues to consider and I’ll share a few with you below, all learned the hard way!

 

Investing in real estate can be risky and you should consult a tax professional as well as a top notch Realtor familiar with the area you are interested in before going any further.

 

Top 5 things to watch out for when buying an investment property as a short term vacation rental:

 

  1. Location. Location. Location. Did I say location? If you want to know where short term rentals do well look online at where the short term rentals are. Here in my home town, Scottsdale, Arizona, short term rentals can do great for about 8 months out of the year. The other 4 months everybody is busy getting out of Scottsdale because it is 192 degrees outside and you can cook an egg on the hood of your car. Plan accordingly, look to make your investment purchase in a location that has a strong tourism draw for at least half the year. Cabins in the woods, lake front homes, beach city homes, near tourist attractions (think Disney), golf getaway locations, downtown in big cities, etc. All these areas can do well.

  2. Is it allowed? In our area there are a LOT of HOA’s that are just champing at the bit to make your life miserable. That beautiful condo in downtown Anaheim right next to Disneyland might make a great vacation rental but when you find out, too late, that the HOA has a minimum 90 day rental rule it’s not such a great investment anymore. Your Realtor, if they are on top of their game, should be able to tell you what developments do and don’t allow short term rentals and what the rules are in the cities you are interested in purchasing your vacation rental income property.

  3. Who gets called at 3 am when the toilet overflows? Unlike a long term rental where a tenant may have some liability in property maintenance and repairs, in a short term rental you are the hotelier and your job is to make sure the client has a perfect experience. This involves handling that overflowing toilet at 3 am. Put together a team ahead of time and leave your clients detailed instructions on how to handle these issues. I personally have a handyman and cleaner that I pay a flat fee monthly to be on call for issues like these. It’s not much, $50, but they know they’ll get all my business on repairs and cleaning and when you have multiple units it can be a win win for all parties.

  4. How do I know who is renting? Here is where I highly recommend using one of the online services, or a local booking company, to handle your bookings. Most of these companies are going to do some basic checking on the client, get a security deposit up front, and have some type of insurance plan that covers issues with clients when they arise. Make sure to thoroughly question your choice of booking agents and make sure they handle these things. Sometimes, depending on where you are, there may be a booking service already in place that will handle not only securing clients but also the handyman and cleaning services.

  5. Make it special! Anybody arriving from a day of flying or driving to get to their vacation spot wants to feel special. It’s an easy touch and goes a long way when you make it special for them. Have a nice bottle of wine on the counter for when they arrive, invest in custom wine glasses they can take with them (you can get them in bulk for as low $2 each), have your cleaner leave fresh flowers in the unit. Other ideas include having a binder full of the local attractions, restaurants, golf courses, dry cleaners, movie theater, beaches, etc. for the client’s to read through. Another touch that I find people really like is a registry that has notes from prior clients. They can share where they went, what they found, etc.

 

So there you are, the 5 steps to follow that guarantee you will never fail and make lots of money at purchasing vacation rentals, possibly. Don’t let me scare you away but do make sure you understand you need to do some due diligence and get a plan in place to manage and make your vacation rental successful.

 

If you are ever in the Scottsdale area and want to talk vacation rentals, real estate investments or just get some local knowledge please feel free to shoot me an email and I would be happy to help.




The author, John Doering, is an award winning Realtor and the owner of the The Agency Group at HomeSmart with over $40,000,000 worth of real estate sales in the Scottsdale and Phoenix Metro Markets. You can reach John through email at john@4salearizona.com or on his website at www.4salearizona.com.

Posted in Investment, New Build
Sept. 17, 2015

8 Phoenix-area cities hit top 50

8 Phoenix-area cities hit top 50 healthiest US housing markets

Aug 25, 2015, 11:39am MST
WalletHub Healthiest U.S. Housing Markets

WalletHub

Valley cities scored in the top 50 among healthiest U.S. housing markets.

Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter

Eight Arizona cities are rising in the ranks of healthiest housing markets in the U.S., according to a WalletHub study. They all landed in the top 50 healthiest U.S. housing markets for comparably sized cities based on population.

Gilbert, a midsize city, ranked the highest of the Arizona cities at No. 11. Chandler was next at No. 22 and Tempe ranked No. 28 in the midsize cities. Among large U.S. cities Mesa ranked No. 40 and Phoenix was No. 46.

The website consolidated rankings in 14 criteria, including pricing, percent of homes still under water, days on market, affordability, and other measures to determine the healthiest markets in the U.S.

Texas topped the healthiest markets list with No. 1 positions for Austin (large), Plano (midsize) and Frisco (small).

Other Western markets ranked high as well. Seattle (No. 2, large) and Denver (No. 3, large) ranked higher than all Arizona cities. Salt Lake City (No. 21, midsize), trailed Gilbert, but was just one ranking ahead of Chandler.

Rank of Arizona cities among healthiest U.S. residential real estate markets

  • 11 Midsize - Gilbert
  • 22 Midsize - Chandler
  • 28 Midsize - Tempe
  • 35 Midsize - Peoria
  • 36 Midsize - Scottsdale
  • 40 Large - Mesa
  • 46 Large - Phoenix
  • 49 Large - Tucson
  • 55 Midsize - Glendale
  • 88 Small - Surprise
  • 123 Small - Yuma

Source: WalletHub

Posted in market health
Sept. 17, 2015

Top Home Builders in Phoenix from Phoenix Business Journal

Welcome home: We reveal the top home builders in Phoenix

Sep 4, 2015, 12:01am MST
Click through to see the top home builders in Phoenix.

 

Click through to see the top home builders in Phoenix.

Research Director- Phoenix Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  Google+

Since 2011, the No. 1 spot on the Phoenix Business Journal’s Home Builders list has been a Pulte-only neighborhood. That tradition continued today when the 2015 version of the list was published.

The list was ranked by 2014 housing starts. PulteGroup(NYSE: PHM), which sells homes under the Pulte Homes, Del Webb and Centex banners, was first with 845. Second on the list was Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH) with 811, and third was Taylor Morrison (NYSE: TMHC) with 765.

The housing starts and home sales information on the list was provided by R.L. Brown Reports.

Click the image above to see a slideshow of the top five Arizona home builders.

The full lists are available to print edition subscribers. Check out page 18, with additional coverage on page 19. The list and the accompanying coverage are also available online, in the subscriber content area.

 

Posted in New Build
March 25, 2010

Recovery in Phoenix

Recovery from recession is gaining momentum in Arizona

 

shared from the AZCentral website.

The Great Recession technically ended in June 2009, a period that is finally starting to feel as distant as it should.

For too long, the downturn in Arizona traced a path much like the Grand Canyon itself. Economic measures such as gross domestic product, corporate profits, population and job growth fell off like the South Kaibab Trail: steep and unforgiving. The path out has been more like the hike up the gentler Bright Angel Trail. And just as that path is sharpest close to the rim, Arizonans are hoping for a spike in growth.

"Arizona was among the states hardest hit by the recession," says Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. "The national economy lost 6 percent of jobs. Arizona lost 12 percent, so by that standard alone, we were hit twice as hard."

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Arizona Business

Since then, McPheters says, Arizona's economy has been running at half-speed, with about 2 percent job growth, half the state's long-term average. But the Arizona Department of Administration forecasts a slow acceleration, with a projected growth of 2.2 percent in 2015 and 2.4 percent the following year. And a few economic sectors are on a fast track.

"You can find lots of bright spots," McPheters says. "Health care never lost jobs in the recession. It just kept growing. Food service has gotten back all the jobs lost. We rank among the leading states for adding jobs in finance, which is amazing, because nationally, finance jobs are not growing very fast."

Gas prices are relatively low, which should fuel spending. And consumers are taking on more auto and student loans, McPheters says.

"Those are important stories about what people want to do," McPheters says.

The tech sector has also been "a real spark of growth and excitement," says Michael Goul, chairman of the Department of Information Systems at W.P. Carey, with tech companies bringing both talent and high-paying jobs to Arizona.

February even brought new momentum to the housing market.

"Buyers are finally coming out of the woodwork," says Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at W. P. Carey. In the $175,000 to $600,000 range, signed contracts were up in February about 30 percent over the previous year. They doubled on luxury homes of $3 million or more. And when the number of homes going under contract increases, sales tend to follow.

The question remains whether it will last. But Orr says the real-estate market seldom turns on a dime.

Below, we'll share the stories of how the recovery looks from the perspective of five of Arizona's top businesswomen and their companies.

Finding recovery through balance

Elva G. Vivas has seen many ups and downs in the grocery business, but none as difficult as the recession that put Bashas' into bankruptcy.

"It was a very bad period for everybody," Vivas recalls. "Everybody was struggling. Like any other company, we had to become lean. We had to restructure. And we closed 30 stores that were unprofitable. It was really sad and hard, but it needed to be done."

Vivas went to work for Bashas' in 1986 as a cashier. She earned an accounting degree from ASU and a CPA certification. Over 29 years, she worked her way up to director of finance, planning and treasury.

Ironically, the recession inspired Vivas' best work.

"As an accountant, that's when the company needs you the most," she explains. "Our team worked really hard. We pulled together. It was hard, but very satisfying to help the company."

It was also rewarding to see the community rally around Bashas', an Arizona-based, family-owned grocer, which vowed to repay all of its creditors — 100 percent, with interest. When those checks went out, a number of companies refused to cash them.

"It was a testament to how they like doing business with us," Vivas says. "And I'm talking about small vendors. For me, it wasn't the dollar amount, it was that we'd done good. And the fact that we paid everybody back. That says a lot about this company."

Vivas says the company emerged from bankruptcy stronger.

"We have the right number of stores to keep us profitable," she says.

Today, Bashas' has 120 stores that serve different segments of the market. In addition to Bashas' grocery stores, AJ's Fine Foods offers gourmet and specialty items. Food City serves the Hispanic market; Bashas' Dine Markets serves the Native American community.

"That's what makes us strong," Vivas says. "They all do what they're supposed to. We have a very good balance."

And a recovering economy is beginning to show up at the register.

"We can see the customer is spending a little more," Vivas says, echoing an industry trend.

"In 2014 and early 2015, we started to see some sales growth," says Tim McCabe, president of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance. He attributes the increased spending to the Super Bowl, lower fuel prices and an improving economy.

"If business continues to grow through 2015, I believe you will see (better) employment numbers grow in our industry," McCabe says.

Aligned with another grocery-chain trend in Arizona, Bashas' is investing its capital in remodeling existing stores.

"We've done 16 so far and we'll do about 10 more this year," Vivas says. "We're ready to compete. We've been here 83 years and we're still thriving."

Banking growth leveraging technology

Eleanor Millwood had a front-row seat through the financial crisis.

Millwood, an Arizona-area executive for Bank of America, was working at Wachovia National Bank at the height of the crisis. By the end, Wachovia became Wells Fargo through merger, as the banking landscape shifted. Bank of America recruited her in 2014.

"It was a very stressful time," Millwood says. "But it was also a time I grew tremendously as a leader. I learned to keep my message to the associates very clear, but also support them in getting information to clients because, at the end of the day, our clients just wanted to know what was happening and how it would impact them."

Nationally, 530 banks have failed since 2007, including 18 in Arizona. But in recent years, recovery in the sector has gained momentum.

A recent Federal Reserve stress test found that the 31 banks tested, including Bank of America, were stronger than at any time since 2008. And Forbes reported that 2014 proved the best period for the sector since the downturn, measured by loan growth.

Bank of America mirrors that trend. While figures were not available for Arizona, on a national basis, Bank of America lent $270 billion to businesses last year, compared with $224 billion in 2012. The assets of Bank of America's Merrill Edge grew 18 percent in 2014, while those of the Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust components of Bank of America's corporate portfolio combined rose 6 percent, according to a company representative.

"We're definitely seeing our business banking teams doing a lot more lending," Millwood says, "especially as customers take advantage of interest rates to support their business growth."

Banks in general, and Bank of America in particular, she says, have become leaner and stronger through mergers and by shedding non-core businesses, and also by leveraging technology.

Brick and mortar will never go away, she says. But more customers will be taking advantage of technology, mirroring the way the airline industry persuaded travelers to print boarding passes on their own.

"Banking is moving in the direction of routine transactions being done through alternative channels: mobile, ATMs, online," Millwood says. "And business owners are going to be using remote deposit options to process (deposits) at their place of business, instead of paying a runner to come to the bank."

In addition, banks will not simply provide credit to businesses, she says. They will play an increasingly advisory role, with CPAs and attorneys to give advice. Bank of America began placing more local experts inside branches, hiring an additional 35 business bankers in Arizona.

"It's going to be efficiency, relationship building and a fully integrated approach," Millwood says. "That's where I see banking growing."

Diversification and need drive expansion

Health care looked vibrant against Arizona's bleak recessionary landscape, growing throughout the downturn.

The state added nearly 7,000 health care jobs in 2014, says Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business, making it one of the few sectors to grow more than 2 percent and providing wages higher than the national average.

UnitedHealthcare's Beth Soberg watched that growth firsthand as CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. The company, which serves 1.7 million Arizonans, added about 500,000 members in the past five years.

That's partly because the company serves a broad population with its insurance products, including individual and employer-sponsored health care plans, Medicare and Medicaid, and benefits to veterans and service members through its TRICARE contract.

"Regardless of our economy, Americans need health care," Soberg says. "We may have seen a shift in elective procedures during those times. But as employers were looking for creative ways to keep comprehensive benefit plans for their employees, we helped them innovate."

Part of that innovation came through UnitedHealth Group, which provides health-management services, health information technology and pharmacy-benefits management under the Optum brand.

"The diversification of our business allowed us to provide solutions across the continuum of needs," Soberg says. "That's a strength that drove our growth during those difficult times."

And while the company does not disclose its exchange membership, the Affordable Care Act also played a role, bringing "tremendous opportunity for expansion of coverage and more affordable coverage."

Through participation in Arizona's federally facilitated exchange, Soberg expects to see a continued increase in individual membership as well as the workforce needed to support those members. That workforce grew from about 2,100 employees in 2010 to around 5,600, serving members beyond Arizona's borders.

"It's actually a hub of ours," Soberg says, for many reasons.

Arizona is a place people want to live, she says, which is a plus in recruiting. In addition, the company is able to tap into a diverse and highly skilled workforce, shared by the tech industry, around customer service and call-center support.

The company is contributing to the state's workforce through United Health Foundation's Diverse Scholars Initiative, which provides scholarships to low-income minority students.

"Especially in health care, people want care from people they understand and are like them," Soberg says. "Across Arizona, we've got almost 100 scholars right now."

Soberg also feels optimistic about the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and the growth in the biomedical campus downtown.

"I think those will continue to attract talent to Arizona, support our workforce and keep Arizona as a strong economy as it relates to health care," she says.

Mortgage business has doubled

Jamie Korus started her mortgage banking company at the start of the worst housing and financial crisis since the Great Depression. The mortgage lender she had been working for failed in the downturn.

So, in 2006, Korus and two partners took over Alliance Home Loans' dormant license, seeing it as a way to get into business more quickly than having to incorporate from scratch.

"It was very challenging," she recalls, adding that the industry and regulatory landscape changed quickly and dramatically. "It was very exciting. It was very scary."

"It was challenging to obtain approvals as a startup company," Korus recalls. "We rely heavily on warehouse facilities to finance our transactions, and a number of facilities had gone out of business. So there were not many places to find the financing just to daily operate."

At the same time, net worth requirements continued to increase.

"It was a constant game of, OK, we've got to that next point but now we need to meet the next requirement," she says. "It was very challenging. It was also very rewarding as each milestone we needed to achieve, I was able to do so."

The company began with six employees. Today, it employs 175, with several offices in Arizona, including its corporate office; offices in California and New Mexico; and planned offices in Colorado and Nevada. Korus has been the sole owner since 2011, and is now seeing a rebound in the housing market.

"Our business is double what we were doing last year," she says. "And our loan amounts have increased. Last year in Arizona, our average loan amount was $183,000. Our average loan amount this year so far is $199,000."

Wanting a voice in the industry's transformation, Korus became involved in the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Korus is the chair of MORPAC, the trade association's political-action committee. She sits on MBA's board of directors and the residential board of governors, as well as on the advisory board for the MBA Open Doors committee, a charitable foundation that helps families in need.

While the housing crisis gave Korus pause, ultimately, she believes Arizona remains a good place for her company's home office.

"It's still a very affordable place to live," she says. "Phoenix has one of the lowest average down payments of larger cities in the U.S. Our quality of life is phenomenal. Our weather is great, and thankfully, we have no natural disasters. It's just a very safe place to have a corporate headquarters.

"Arizona's always thrived on construction and I think we're going to see that coming back greatly. And we've got more jobs. I think it's just an overall good solid place to be."

'Silicon Desert' changing, growing

Even in the depths of the recession, Arizona's "Silicon Desert" experienced half the unemployment of other sectors, says Steven Zylstra, president of the Arizona Technology Council. These days, tech companies can't find enough talent to fill openings.

The state's semiconductor and electronics industry remains the fourth-largest in the nation, as does the aerospace and defense industry. But Arizona has also become second for data centers and is an up-and-comer in health and bioscience. An IT component is growing, and smaller businesses are proliferating.

GoDaddy, Zylstra says, is a good example of what can happen.

The company, which began with a handful of people at a ranch house in north Scottsdale, went public April 1. Its stock rose 30 percent on its first day of trading.

Last year, GoDaddy announced plans to hire 250 workers when it opened its global technology center in Tempe — a 150,000-square-foot facility with a game center, indoor-climbing wall, go-kart track and a giant slide from second-floor offices into a kitchen with on-site chefs.

The company, known for its edgy, irreverent Super Bowl ads, now employs 4,000 worldwide. And it owes a lot of that growth to Barb Rechterman, longtime chief marketing officer who recently was named chief customer officer.

Rechterman worked with GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons for 11 years at Parsons Technology. She followed him to Arizona in 1997, when he sold Parsons Technology to Intuit and founded what was then called Jomax Technologies, after a street he drove by every day.

Parsons tells people he picked Arizona because the weather was nice and you could golf year-round, Rechterman says. The company sold software at first, then launched a website builder.

Parsons believed the domain-name space was "overcharging and underserving," Rechterman says.

"So we built a solution that made it easy for people to name their business, register a domain name and build a website," Rechterman says.

Under CEO Blake Irving, the company has refocused on another underserved market: very small businesses.

"Only about half of small businesses in the U.S. have a website," Rechterman says. "Internationally, the stats aren't any better. This puts GoDaddy at the 'sweet spot' of helping solve a need in high demand. Over the past 18 months, we've been working to expand internationally. We are now in 37 countries and 17 languages, and we're really just getting started."

Ironically, the economic downturn fueled GoDaddy's business because many who lost jobs started businesses.

"We grew at a double-digit pace throughout the recession," Rechterman says.

A similar dynamic is gaining momentum in the state's technology sector.

"When I arrived in 1997, Arizona's tech community was primarily semiconductors and aerospace," she says. "Now, we have startups of all kinds sprouting up all over and it's great."

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