Selling South Phoenix

Phoenix and the valley are bursting out the seams with new housing. My mission on this day was to see what effect, if any, was taking place in South Phoenix. While stopping at Arby’s for a drink, I ran into Joe Fullmer and Kyle Houston. Joe, a real estate agent, was showing Kyle, who is from Kansas City, around the area in search of a new home.

            They seemed like the perfect pair to stop and talk to about the changes in South Phoenix. After all, the changes are happening quickly and new homes are sprouting up all along the base of South Mountain. The homes bring a new group of people to the area and I was curious as to what was drawing people like Kyle to the community of south Phoenix.

            Joe, who primarily sells homes in the Ahwatukee area, said that a lot of young people are just starting to figure out that a home is an excellent investment. He believes that the low interest rates and good deals being offered in South Phoenix are a big draw. However, the biggest draw is the great location. The fact that the area is close to downtown is the most common response he receives from new buyers.

                        Kyle, an architect at a downtown Phoenix firm, agreed that the proximity to his work was a big factor. He wasn’t interested in a long commute from the other side of the mountain. And, as an added bonus, Kyle had friends in the area that had been giving him good reviews of their neighborhoods.

    When asked about the new sub-divisions, Joe was quick to support the growth. He said that he believed the new homes were improving the area for everyone in South Phoenix. Joe said that the builders upped the home prices for each new phase. This practice gives everyone who has bought a home in the previous phase “instant equity”. He believes this type of rise in price is just as good for the resale values in the more established areas of South Phoenix.

            Kyle confirmed Joe’s report of rising home values. He said that his friends had bought homes only a few years earlier for $140,000 that were now selling in the $200,000 range. The changes in South Phoenix have taken some time. At first it was difficult to get buyers interested in the area due to the problems long associated with south Phoenix. But now buyers are easy to find.

            I don’t know if it is good or bad that the area is being improved. I don’t know if the right improvements are being made or who is being hurt by them. I have met several South Phoenix folks (Read the article on Art) who feel that all new money brought into the area is a valuable asset. I tend to agree with this point of view. I have also heard others say that the new homes will drive out the traditionally poor and ethnic groups that have long held South Phoenix together. I guess to find out who is right I’ll just have to wait like the rest of the city and hope for the best for both worlds.

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Chris Fowler