Over the years, as a real estate agent in the greater metro Phoenix area, I have been asked a lot of questions about retirement communities and the lifestyle. These are real buyer and seller questions and my answers. Some of the same questions come up so I’ve decided to write the answers down. Check back often as this page will be updated with new information as questions arise.
Phoenix Retirement Community Questions and Answers
- Question: In Arizona is it the norm to turn the air conditioner completely off and go away for 5-6 months? (In Florida, we needed to run the air conditioner at 72 degrees pretty much year-round to prevent mold, even if the house was unoccupied for 8 months.)
Answer: Here in Arizona you have the opposite problem from Florida dry heat most of the time except July and Aug. I actually lived in West Palm Beach for 5 years prior to Phoenix. Most people who leave for a few months or more put a few buckets of water throughout the house to retain some moisture in the air. Keeps your home from smelling stale and your interior in good condition. They usually leave the air at about 85 to 88 degrees so it comes on but not too much. Most people that are gone for extended periods of time have a house watcher that checks on the house and/or neighbor once a month or every couple of weeks. House watches are normally people who live in the community who want to make a little extra money. Cost is about $15-20 a visit depending on what you want to be done. I also recommend you have a landscaper out once a month as they make sure plants are getting enough water.
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2. Question: When is snowbird season in Phoenix Arizona and when is the best time to buy a retirement home there?
Answer: The housing market in the West Valley retirement communities is headed for prime snowbird season starting January 1st. High snowbird season is January through the end of March. This is when we will see the most homes on the market and the most home buyers. There is a soft season both before and after high snowbird season. We often see a lot of homes closing in April and June after they go under contract in March or early April. Every retirement community is different. For example, Sun City West has been very active this fall with very low inventory. PebbleCreek has been slow this fall with few homes going under contract and high inventory. I expect that to change. As a rule of thumb the larger the community the more active in the summer offseason. When are the best deals? That question is very subjective. If a home is priced right it can go under contract very quickly at full asking price or higher at any time of the year. Homes that are on the market for some time often have price drops and the sellers are more open to negotiation. That being said, higher-priced homes usually take longer to sell as there is less of a buyer pool.